Student entrepreneurs in Carleton’s Technology Innovation Management program had a chance to show off their startups during an event attended by senior policy advisers with the Ministry of Research and Innovation on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. The event was a showcase for 11 businesses founded by Carleton Entrepreneurs.
Carleton Entrepreneurs has launched 24 companies during the last six months with the aim of globalizing their ventures early and rapidly. The companies have ties to India, Pakistan, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Poland, China, Nigeria, Australia, the United States and more.
“The programs we work on are about creating connected entrepreneurial ecosystems within the province,” said Susan McLean, manager, Network Programs Unit at the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, Ministry of Research and Innovation. “We look forward to hearing and seeing the exciting projects you’re working on.”
Subakumaran Radhakrishnan developed a product called Dronies with his company Artifigence. Dronies are aerial video cameras that help skiers and other extreme athletes capture video of their exploits. The company plans to offer its services to skiers at resorts around the world.
Vignesh Sundaresan pitched his company BitAccess, a manufacturer of bitcoin teller machines (BTMs) that allow users to buy and sell the virtual currency. The company has already sold 70 BTMs in 12 countries around the world.
After being recipients of the Nicol internship at Carleton, both Radhakrishnan and Sundaresan had the opportunity to take their businesses to the renowned Y Combinator accelerator. They each came back with $1 million in funding to further develop their companies.
“We started this company one year ago,” said Sundaresan. “By next year we’ll be the number one infrastructure provider of digital currencies.”
The students also presented a series of lessons they learned as part of their entrepreneurial experience at Carleton. These lessons include:
- Building a great business while completing a Carleton degree is a valuable, world-class and unique learning experience.
- Your venture’s objective is to generate annual revenue of $1 million within three years.
- Globalize your venture early and rapidly.
- Love your customers’ problems more than the solution your venture proposes.
- Anyone can develop something. The point is to develop something for which customers are willing to pay, help improve and refer to others.
- A minimum viable venture earns the right to exist from its stakeholders and has a stronger business model than its competitors.
- Create value for each of your venture’s key stakeholders. Then seek the right investors.
- Use the entrepreneurship approach that best fits the situation you face.
- To increase your venture’s value:
- Increase the spread between customers’ willingness to pay for your venture’s product and the cost of the product.
- Increase the demand for your venture’s product.
- Increase the demand for the stakeholder’s products complemented by your startup’s product.
- Establish a position in inter-organizational networks that improves the volume, variety, velocity and veracity of privileged information you can access.
- Attract individuals who have the requisite experience and knowledge to create value for your startup.
- Leverage the CLA’s business ecosystem. Students thrive because of the variety of expertise and resources that would not be as accessible outside of the ecosystem.
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