The Indian Start-Up economy is on a high. When the going gets tough the start-ups get going. As an entrepreneur myself, I believe it takes a lot of grit to swim against the tides, sometimes brace against raging storms and stay the course. In their journey, every start-ups need community support and validation – more the better. The rhetoric around an enabling ecosystem has been done to death, so let me just get away from that and talk about some of the Doers who are leading by example.

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Sun Microsystems has been one company which has been supporting Start-Ups. This Year the Most Popular Entrepreneur Challenge is being brought to you by Sun Start-Up Essentials and Your Story.in and being supported by a host of partners which include Mumbai Angel Network, Times Private Treaties, Aikon Labs, Morpheus Venture Partners, Yuva Magazine, Leverage – IIMA, EDC IIT Delhi, Clearpath Technology, LS Solutions and Startup Garage. Apart from the significant goodies that are offered by Sun Start-Up Essentials Program, what we see here is mentoring support, Media support and Technology support.

Your Story’s value add is significant in it being designed as 100% Community Validation of Start-Up Value Propositions along with the sustained visibility of the start-ups that register for the Challenge.

In the words of Shradha Sharma– Founder of Yourstory. In,

“This is a unique contest in the fact that for the first time the winning metric is solely judged on the business acumen and networking abilities of the entrepreneurs. We are doing away with the more traditional competition parameters of judging business model viability, revenue growth rates, profitability and so on. The essence behind launching this contest is to celebrate and foster the spirit of entrepreneurship without passing any so-called expert views on the various business models adopted. The contest is completely online and one hundred percent community driven.”

When the consumer is king there is no better validation of a product or service and it is they who fund the business in the long-run.

Aikon Labs as mentor partners sees its role as providing the platform for early-stage start ups to bring together their ideas and fund them with the skills and efforts of community members (in return of equity) to build a prototype which then qualifies for funding from traditional sources. Being online, it does not matter which part of the world the support comes from. Above all it can sustained over the entire life-cycle of the idea realization and leverage capacity (effort hours) that are available. Tapping the wisdom of the community from the word “go” is a great way to validate the value proposition.

There is a huge opportunity here for established companies to come to the table and support start-ups based on the merit of their products and solutions and its alignment to their Strategy. Leveraging thw wisdom and skills of Start-ups to power their own value propositions makes eminent sense.

If Start-Ups win, the established Companies win and so does the Country. We look forward to more such examples. To use the famous IBM line – “Stop Talking, Start Doing”.

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