How I completed another MBA on Annapurna Circuit in Nepal (Part 1 of 3)

I recently completed the Annapurna Circuit in October 2017. I was both sceptic and excited before starting the journey. Annapurna circuit generally takes anywhere between 14 to 21 days. And we, me and two of colleagues had only 10 days to finish it. This is how my education went along Annapurna...

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Thinking of a startup studio as a ‘business idea laboratory’

Explaining the concept of a startup studio to people has been challenging. Many people think of the words “startup studio” as an oxymoron. The word “startup” implies the need for “singular focus”; thus...

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Encourage civil servants to be entrepreneurial

The Public Service Division has announced that civil servants must declare additional trade or work that draws income, following news that a Singapore Armed Forces regular was fined for providing...

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Get a Job Done vs Do a Good Job

Everyone can get a job done. It is actually fairly easy to do it. Not to mention that we all received education and were trained professionally at a young age. But then, what is a good job? A job can refer to anything...

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The Trillion Dollar Food Waste Problem

The next time Grandma tells you not to waste your food, tell her it's too late. Food wastage happens at every level: production, distribution, wholesale, retail and consumption. By the time food reaches our mouths, a lot more has been wasted along the way...

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Startup studios as startup investment vehicles

Startup studios are a relatively new model in investing into early stage startups. Startup studios invest into internally generated startups as compared to angels and seed stage VCs who invest into startups founded by other entrepreneurs...

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Generating Ideas

For a startup studio, the equivalent of deal flow in a VC firm is the idea funnel. We have made it a part of our practice to continually generate ideas. We do this as an exercise over a period where we adopt a theme for the ideas to be generated...

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Testing in the real world

The usual mistake an inventor makes is perfecting the product at the lab before testing it in the real market. Many inventors withdraw into a lab environment detached from the outside world and try to build the product to perfection in “his or her own mind”...

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Engineering in a Start-Up Environment – What Makes It Different?

People perceive a typical engineering workplace as one defined by stock footage: a smiling, ethnically diverse team examining some form of blueprint on a large table, a dynamic group brainstorming complex schematics (again, usually while gathered around a large table), row-upon-row of powerful desktops, each displaying impressively contoured simulations, and, of course, a group in high visibility jackets and hard hats overlooking an arbitrary production facility...

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How can I help you?

We are always on the look out for good people who can be a part of Scientific Innovations. Quite regularly, at the end of a discussion with someone whom we are looking to bring into the team, I get posed the question "How can I help you?"...

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The stories behind the founding of companies

The HBO series Silicon Valley takes a stab at how so many founders think they are making the world a better place doing what they do. It is comedic and true how founders are so drawn into what they are doing that they think it is the greatest thing that the world needs. While sometimes the truth is terribly stretched in terms of the value of what a company is doing, it is useful to have a story behind each company. It's a mission that the team can always fall back on...

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Creating magical experiences

In a previous life, I was an assistant professor at Georgia Tech. As an academic, my interests were in design processes. I studied design processes in depth and the concept that most intrigued me was experience design. It immediately made sense to me. We shouldn't just be designing products and systems, we should be designing the experience of the users...

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Do we expect all of our companies to succeed?

When you start anything, you don't expect it to fail. That's precisely why you start it. However, we also know that most startups fail. We are involved at a really early stage of a startup, when it is just an idea. The probability of failure is high as there are many possible points of failure...

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How do we come up with ideas?

When I ask someone who is interested in entrepreneurship and hasn't done it, why they haven't, an answer that I get frequently is that they don't have ideas. I never quite understood that. Ideas are easy, probably the easiest part of starting a venture. I figured that there's probably more to the answer. People just don't have ideas that they think are worthy enough for them to jump into, give up whatever they are doing and throw their lives into...

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Internally funding versus externally funding

At SI, we are looking to fund the companies as long as we can. Our rationale is that we rather have the management team focus on the operations of the company, rather than be distracted by fund raising. Fund raising can be a very distracting activity...

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