I’m at Venture Engine now. The boys from Swara are doing a demo of their Simon Cowell app, which judges your singing. Today I saw some presentations from design school grads with ethical fashion ideas. I pitched YAMU, a location based cab app. Interesting stuff.
I wrote earlier that Sri Lanka doesn’t have a startup culture, but that’s changed. Blue Ocean Ventures and the Indian Angel Network are essentially starting up startup culture, which is here, I guess. And I think there are other venture ventures running in parallel.
A VP from Google India is here, as are local investor types. Unlike Hackathon, which was productive, there seems to be actual investment dollar at the end of this. Methinks. They’re asking some good questions and giving some semi-decent advice. But the main draw, of course, is money.
The gap here isn’t necessarily ideas, or even technology. Getting things together into a business plan is, which is where this type of support helps. Even I only learned what a Net Present Value and assorted financial terms are. I’m not even sure that’s right. It’s NPV, a way of discounted projected cash flow (cause a bird in the bush is worth less than on in hand). For Sri Lankans to approach venture guys with a structure they understand, this type of stuff is required.
So anyways, YAMU is running in the sense that I use it to get around, but it needs some investment to be awesome enough for public consumption. And tightening up the business model is a big part of that. I mean, communicating to investors forces you to think about it and makes a better product in the end. But I think I’d like the money now.