College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota
College of Science and Engineering
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Social Entrepreneurship : Financing

"You're building a company, but you're building it with my money." - Panelist from Ankur Capital.

Today we learned the true importance investors withhold on social ventures. Since Sunday evening we have been at the IIHS office (Indian Institute for Human Settlements) working on our final venture pitch presentations for this upcoming Saturday. My partner Sam and I must have changed our problem statement ten times already - but each time it gets closer to the goal we are hoping to achieve. After non-stop visits and excursions with various Non-Profit Organizations around the Bangalore area, we have a lot of material and new insights to work with. I feel that the past two days have been helpful in further developing our venture idea. We've done a lot of in class exercises - all of which have helped to better communicate our ideas. The brainstorming process:
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Today the class primarily focused on finance and how to acquire funding for your venture. Later in the day we were joined by a panel of guest investors. The speakers were from various investing enterprises such as Khosla Impact, India Angel Network, Aavishkar, BitGiving, and Ankur Capital. They spoke about many useful topics but seemed to all agree that they need to see a clear impact the company will have in the future. When deciding who to invest in, the investors also look for trustworthiness, compatibility and an ability to listen in the entrepreneurs. The panelists mentioned that most ventures go through changes, and these changes are actually what makes a business successful; therefore the entrepreneur must be adaptable, otherwise the business will fail.

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Overall, I felt the day was productive; it was a unique opportunity to get each panelists viewpoint as well as their feedback on our venture pitches and I am looking forward to our presentations finally coming together.


 


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