Transcription Episode 82

Hi everyone and welcome to another episode of Living On Blockchain. Today we are speaking to Bimlesh. Bimlesh is the co-founder of Foundership.

He and Santosh have created Foundership HQ as an incubation platform for early stage Web3 startups. Bimlesh has had extensive experience as a technology executive and leader with over 22 years of global experience in building products, solution consulting, outsourcing, as well as entrepreneurship. He had also founded earlier PitchCamp and FarmEasy and he’s gotten some exits as well.

So this particular conversation is really for the early stage Web3 entrepreneurs or builders who are figuring out as they go and as they build because at times like we talk about in this conversation that you listen as well that there are entrepreneurs who don’t even realize the kind of problems that you know they will have you know as they continue on this path to building their vision for the future. Very insightful conversation and I can’t wait for you guys to hear this. Let’s deep dive right in.

Hi Bimlesh, thank you so much for making the time to speak to me today. How are you doing? I’m doing great, Tarusha. Thank you so much for having me.

No, it’s my pleasure. I’m so glad you could make out you know make the time and speak to our listeners today. Okay, you know just for their benefit, I’ve known you for a long time but can you give a little bit of an introduction about yourself and how you perhaps got into Web3? I’m the co-founder at Foundership.

Before starting Foundership in 2021, I have been an entrepreneur for over a decade. I built out two ventures and before that I started my career as a software engineer way back in 1997. So my career spans over two and a half decades now.

So seeing the transition from you know web 0.9 to web 3 right now as we call it and you know it’s been an incredible journey of being in the corporate world in the first 15 years of my life in web 0.9, web 1 and web 2 and then transitioning as a web 2 entrepreneur, built out a healthcare startup. India’s first connected healthcare platform called FarmEasy with a Z, not the unicorn with an S. Though we both launched out on the same week, they turned out to be a unicorn and we shut down after two and a half years. Okay.

Later built out a venture studio which got acquired by US FinTech company for whom we built a micro-lending, digital only micro-lending product for India on top of Aadhaar and UPI version 1.0 and you know their initial goal of 180 days kind of got hit in six hours thanks to the technology that we built and thanks to the Indian users who were looking for micro loans and that created an opportunity for me to exit as they raised a series and they acquired us and this was the time when I was trying to mull on what to do next and that’s how me and my co-founder Santosh got together and Foundership was born. My introduction to web 3 kind of happened right at the cusp of 2008. I always that is the pivotal moment of why and how the genesis of web 3, blockchain, trustless, transparency and everything was born because the society at that time felt a lot cheated especially those in the US and those who had repercussions across the world.

I being in a company that was building software for banks and for large hospitals had the front row seat as we got impacted terribly as well and that’s how the genesis of my introduction to web 3 got started. Looking at the anger of people around who were severely impacted with the financial loss, with the loss of their homes and then their lack of trust in the banking ecosystem and the governments. So that entire anger is what got translated into what we see in the Bitcoin white paper and eventually blockchain taking into various shapes and forms.

Post 2008, after I became an entrepreneur kind of lost track of what’s happening on that side of the world and when COVID hit that’s when my entire journey of getting exposure to blockchain all got started and eventually we saw a huge opportunity in 2021-22 where a lot of frenzy around trading was going on and a lot of early stage startups were coming in and a lot of very young first-time entrepreneurs were getting into web 3 without having any prior experience of building technology products or finding product market fit or even trying to raise funds and so on. And as an accelerator that’s the opportunity that we saw where how we can enable global early stage startups to kind of build tangible companies and not just go behind the hype around token launches but have a substance behind the token launch and that’s how we pivoted from a pure web 2 accelerator to a global web 3 accelerator because two things triggered. One, a lot of young founders, first-time founders were getting in into the space and second, web 3 from day one had the opportunity to become global and there has never been an accelerator from non-US regions that was offering support and network and ecosystem for global founders and that was a spot that we found and you know very happy to be where we are today.

Right, it’s been quite a journey for you like you know from early tech days to web 3 and now incubating these early stage startups. Now my question comes around, I know and I have been a part of the foundership you know ecosystem for a while and I know the kind of value you guys bring so obviously more power to you people and your entire team for being able to do something like this holding so many events and just creating and fostering a community which is not just encouraging but also a place where people can problem solve you know is very commendable but you know this comes with its own set of challenges right like setting up an incubating early stage web 3 startups. Can you perhaps tell us a little about these challenges that you have faced while setting up you know this incubator with a little bit of a twist? Yeah absolutely, so I think one of the key so we went back to first principles right there’s two right what’s what’s needed for an early stage startup and what’s you know and when we mapped out what some of our other ecosystem accelerators in the market were doing we both me and my co-founder both have been you know part of other accelerators in the past when we were at very early stages of building our startups and we found a one-size-fit-all approach that was uniformly applied to the entire cohort and this was something that was not you know of great value and second is in the web 2 world the networks and ecosystems are very geographically dependent to say that depending on where you are is where you have your maximum strength but you could not take that network out globally.

Third was while accelerators focus on doing a lot of evaluate at an entire cohort level and at a geographical level but they were not able to rally out a community around with them which could act as both as a marketing and as a distribution channel for the entire ecosystem. Everyone were obviously solving for go-to-market and for fundraise but operationally some of these gaps is what we saw so one of the one of the key things that we have we put in place very early on was an entire coaching philosophy versus a mentoring philosophy because the whole fact is you know all of us as as industry experts or as ex-entrepreneurs do have a lot of value addition to do but we also have limited time so the dilemma that always was that when I onboard a mentor will the mentor be passionate enough in in giving it forward only on at a 30,000 feet level or would they also would love to get their hands dirty at an each startup level to their context and in the industry what we saw most of them are mentors but not coaches. The fundamental difference between between these two for us has been that the coaches get involved over a period of three to six months depending on the duration of the court where they also have a skin in the game versus a mentor typically comes in for a master class shares their perspective and moves on.

So this we were very keen that how do we make it contextual and that’s where our coaching philosophy comes in that every startup that gets picked up into Foundership Accelerator has to define their 90-day OKRs and it is based on these OKRs that the coaches get allocated and coaches push the founders to by asking those hard questions and making them to do the hard yards to say that hey what do you need from me that I can help you to achieve your goal. So all our coaches have been onboarded with that simple philosophy that hey this is not a place where you earn your consulting hours but this is a place where you can pay forward to the right high intent founders across the world and be a part of a story that when they become big you have an opportunity to claim your legacy. So having a skin in the game pending more dedicated hours with a startup being very contextual you know was one of our hardcore principles and philosophies when we started out and this has turned out to be a great differentiator for us.

Second is on the community side as you said yes it takes a lot of hard work when you’re doing community across the world especially with web 3 because teams are global expertise is global the entire market is global because it is a 24 by 7 market unlike New York Stock Exchange or an Indian Stock Exchange which have a six to eight hour working cycle. So your audience is predominantly talking the web 3 language and this audience is spread across the world and that inspired us to also look at how do you now create playbooks and how do you rally communities around the world and not just focusing on the geography that we are predominantly presented. So with that philosophy we were able to bring out our community initiatives called Blockmeet in about 37 plus cities in 2023.

25 cities in India and about 10 cities around the across the world and this led us to create opportunity to take our companies out into these places look for talent look for users look for partnerships and obviously enable fundraising through this community driven approach and so today we are we are the accelerator that enables you know through our 3c model of coaching capital and community and that’s how a startup in our accelerator gets access to all the three by the time they graduate and they only build up on from there but foundership we say that once you’re part of our portfolio and family you’re always part of the family yes you may not have that intensity of three months on an ongoing basis but the entire foundership team and its ecosystem are a message or a call away. Right and that is wonderful right to have this sort of a community which you can bank on as a founder I think that is very very valuable and you know you feel like somebody has your back because there’s an entrepreneur it can be a very very isolating if not alienating journey like to take it all up alone. So some of our community events have actually led to our ecosystem partners finding talent our startups finding investors so it’s been an amazing outcome a point of view to see how communities especially our IRL community events have really yielded some tangible results.

Right right yeah absolutely I think that is that is that is where the that is how you feel like the satisfaction I think right because you are able to create some immense value for folks and that is why perhaps you keep doing what you do. Absolutely. So talking a little about the challenges like you know like I mentioned that okay being an entrepreneur can be a very isolating journey which is something that I’ve felt many times because you know you have your own peer group and no matter how large your peer group has been you know you feel that it you know in your friend group or your traditional friend group that they perhaps do not understand the kind of challenges that you know you have and creating that can be one of the challenges of perhaps trying to build a company but from your perspective what are the kind of challenges that you know you have seen these builders face like what are the bigger challenges that entrepreneurs who are perhaps just starting off they should be wary of?

A great question I think this is very subjective to the strength that the team brings to the table so we have seen teams that are very strong on tech but have no clue on marketing no clue on you know on user acquisition whereas we have teams that are great on community and user acquisition but very poor on tech right but now if you apply this in the traditional world it has a different journey but in web3 you could do both together and co-exist right and but more so than more so what’s important is in web3 because it’s such a nascent and there’s very smaller community of people who kind of believe in the entire crypto and blockchain narrative that it’s also easier for you to go ahead and build out a community even before your product is launched right yeah whereas because there has not been much reference points to some of these path-breaking ideas and approaches on you know on be it on nfts on utilities around nfts.

today when you’re looking at different tokens different forms of infrastructure different forms of exchanges that can add different values you have very few parallel in the web in the web2 world right so there is an opportunity to rally a community just around your narrative and being honest to your narrative now different teams get it a lot of teams don’t get this and this is where a challenge between a web2 founder transitioning into web3 versus you know a hardcore djinn who is native to web3 trying to build out on you know a web3 startup so we believe this has been a constant challenge when we work with startups and trying to identify what their core strengths are and navigating them through the strengths while they tip a little bit of their weaknesses that founders should be strongly focused on the strengths rather than trying to focus on weakness and say that they learn these things in 90 days because practically you and I as founders you know that for us learning is always on the job you can’t dedicate out you know say a specific time yeah specific time in the day just on an academic type of an activity so then you get into a place where you know

you’re not taking any action and that can be very frustrating as well right and then entrepreneurs can be like perfectionists and they will want to perfect it and then that itself becomes like a feedback loop from hell because you know you’re spending time just trying to figure out certain things and you’re not taking action and then that that can cause like a lot of frustration as well correct so first for founder teams where they do have a challenge on the marketing we guide them through a small set of tasks to say that hey here is here is your mini playbook that can help you get started but once you get off the road you got to keep up the momentum of both building your founder personality and about you know talking about the problem and and and rallying you know your followers on different social media challenges that you are comfortable with and where your community is hanging out with it could be telegram it could be discord or it could be twitter figure out your channel figure out your space but start working towards it because that has to be part of your daily life right and this when you give them a a small you know five task or a 10 task thing that they got to do on a daily basis help some of these founders who have never done marketing or never built a brand never put themselves out in the front kind of navigate through this process on the other side you got founders who are very active on social media who know how to rally you know the community behind them on different channels and sometimes they are active on all the channels all the time but they struggle on building out the tech right in those cases they have a very different problem statement they are so busy being out front that they are not able to spend time around the product roadmap or getting the tech out you know before they look for investors or even looking for out for their you know users to get hand out on the product in those cases you’ve got to guide them on hey so you can start building out a simple MVP and there are different forms of MVP that you can build that you can’t that you need to start engaging your early users who are very interested to work with you so that kind of philosophy on help them prioritizing their feature set identifying their roadmap how do you get this done if deciding on which chain that you want to build on do you want to build everything on yourself or can you build on somebody else’s stack is there plug and play stack that can help you get get off the block are there some good hackers within the community that can help you build it in a much cheaper faster better type of a model so that you are able to solicit feedback so two different type of entrepreneurs who face very different challenge you know but we figured out that you work on the strengths and as on the job learning with with guiding them on a few things that they can do and they are able to move forward right the third the third challenge that we commonly see is is the lack of appreciation of that web3 is a global opportunity right so whether it’s a US founder or whether it’s an Indian founder or an Asian founder but naturally the mind tends to limit itself to say that you know what I’m going to talk to the users just around me versus I’m going to talk to the users around the world for some this change in mindset happens naturally but for many of them this change in mindset happens only through multiple conversations right that how I call this as um another limiting beliefs right for whatever reasons we all have grown up by saying that hey you can’t do x you can’t do y the world is like this uh that’s how our limiting beliefs we are born with or we have grown up with some limiting beliefs and as founders this is something that we need to be open to change you can’t build successful startups if you cannot overcome your own limiting beliefs a lot of founders have limiting beliefs on money they have limiting beliefs on being vulnerable they have limiting beliefs on um you know on marketing on on even the way you work with global teams or having a global market so this has this has been a common challenge with many of the founders in our uh in the ecosystem that we’ve interacted with right I think you know you’ve enumerated a lot of the challenges that uh the early stage entrepreneurs kind of do face when especially when they’re starting off in web3 and I could resonate with a lot of them but your programs and uh like the launch camps and there are you know there is a 0x program that you have uh they kind of help uh these startups right basically you know help them in navigating the complexities of building and scaling their projects in web3 uh can you tell us a little more about these programs and how can perhaps startups become involved if somebody is interested uh in getting involved in one of these programs and being a participant absolutely so uh so we consider ourselves as a startup uh so we’ve iterated around on our own programs we have solicited the feedback uh so initially we started off as a six-month accelerator program and with feedback now we have brought it down to three because a lot of founders uh want to get quickly moving on to focused execution rather than uh you know after getting a lot of uh coaching uh through the program so now our 0x camp is more structured has got very tangible inputs and outputs uh that that a founder can derive out of the program so this is an early stage program also called as early traction program uh we do have certain partners uh who encourage founders to build on the chain or we also have a multi-chain program where a startup can not dedicate it to one chain but looking at a multi-chain type of solution so this is a three-month program uh startups uh who are eligible for this are typically uh who have not raised any institutional funds into the company yet uh but have either received grants or have raised a small angel around from their family and friends uh these are the startups that are eligible and the product you know has not yet gone on to mainnet right uh it could be in an MVP or it could be on a testnet environment and so on post this uh we have uh the launch camp program which has now been rechristened uh as a program which is for startups looking for token listing okay so this is a new program or we re uh you know we have reiterated on this program about four months ago and we now have startups uh who are now slightly ahead of the game and who are now getting ready for token launch or token listing and this is an advisory program which is offered as a one-on-one basis we kind of take on uh about 10 to 12 a year this is not a cohort program this is a one-to-one advisory program where the entire focus is from the journey where the startup is to token listing right so we act as that enabler in defining or working with them on their tokenomics on their token strategy on choosing the right uh you know listing partners on even if you have to go through a launchpad which is the right launchpad for this particular token so look at us as a pre-launchpad partner that’s where we position ourselves to say that we work with several launchpads we will give you an unbiased opinion on which is the right launchpad partner to work with so that you don’t get lost between the marketing messages from different launchpads and we bring in our ecosystem of coaches to work with you during this launch program as well so you get the entire power of the foundership ecosystem but with a very tangible goal that hey you get yourself ready for token listing and do what it takes to do that so here the focus is the startup should have had at least 250k to 500k funds available to be part of this program because on an average for you to get ready to token listing you need a budget of over 200 250k just for your token listing marketing activities right and then a bunch of other product and other related spins that you may have to go through so these are for slightly uh the launch camp program is for starters slightly ahead of the game and we are we are currently working with three such startups now and on the 0x camp which is for early stage we now uh you know we are we are currently in the middle of our fifth cohort and we have a we have a portfolio of about total 40 companies now as we speak okay that’s wonderful so you know you have different kinds of programs basically catering to the different stages of the startup which makes it even more exciting right this is not like one solution fits all kind of an approach that that makes i think foundership very very unique because you’re trying to solve the problem of entrepreneurs who you know might not even aware that that problem exists at that point uh ensuring and keeping in certain variables uh that they have in place vis-a-vis their startup so this is absolutely wonderful to know and if somebody had to perhaps uh you know get in touch with you uh regarding participation in these programs how should they go about doing it yeah they can uh hit us up on uh on telegram join our community or even just visit our website we have everything on our website uh or ping us on twitter or telegram anywhere you can search for foundership you will find us pretty much buzzing in all these channels all right okay that’s wonderful so any of your entrepreneurs who are listening in i would highly recommend uh you know you checking this out because foundership as an ecosystem has added a lot of value in uh my journey and you know my journey as as an entrepreneur and moreover you guys have a solid team so you know that is something that i’ve always been a little in awe of that you know you’ve been able to bring in people who are so aligned with your vision and they are able to execute it uh so very well absolutely so so very humbling to hear this tarusha thank you so much uh no i’m i’ve been very like i’ve been a supporter from you guys from day one and uh and i think so you you are aware very aware that you know i’ll always uh be available to help you out in any way but more than that i think that you know what you’re doing through for the ecosystem that is very very commendable and i feel uh that you guys are like you’ve been able to uh stand the test of time and all of these cycles and you know you’re still adding value so that is that is absolutely wonderful yeah absolutely i think uh one i keep saying this one of the key advantages as an ecosystem enabler is uh we can talk to everyone and we can work with everyone right yes uh unlike an entrepreneur once you choose a chain you kind of logged in into the chain unless you unless your solution goes multi-chain and you got to pick and choose your ecosystem partners uh but whereas one of the advantages of an ecosystem enabler is we can build our tentacles and and increase our network multifold um because uh everyone needs us and we need everyone right yeah absolutely i think this is an industry that only uh grows when we are working together and that is very very imperative i think that is what i have one one thing that i’ve learned all of you know from all these years uh being in web3 that uh community and just going together become very essential here absolutely so you have a lot of extensive you know experience in tech as well as an entrepreneurship what do you believe are perhaps the key factors that contribute to the success of a web3 startup in today’s market especially in today’s market where we seem to be uh you know liquidity seems to be a bit of a crunch uh for for founders and uh i i do still think that you know money is available for uh the right kind of startup at the right time uh but the general perception is that liquidity has kind of dried up and what what would be perhaps the key factors that you look for and uh you think that that really contribute to the success of a startup in this this particular market so there are there are still a lot of investments going on in the infrastructure space yeah um so liquidity as you rightly said it’s still available for the right founder for the right problem statement so it’s all about paying attention to uh you know what you can find nuances in that problem stream there are there are 100 problems but the way you would want to approach and understand the problem could be very different than the way i would look at it and want to um you know my understanding of the problem statement could very be different uh for example if you take real world asset or so today real world asset as a marketplace is a dead idea but real world asset defi enabling liquidity building synthetic tokens now these are all various shapes and forms of the same real world asset tokenization problem statement right now you could slice and dice it differently i could slice and dice it differently my insights on those slice and dice is what differentiates me as an entrepreneur versus somebody else now how good are my insights how good can i attract my early adopters onto this problem statement and on the way how i’m solving it so so being out front is becoming even more important today because the world is so noisy and you got to create a different set of noise right now the set of noise can happen silently underground with a few rock star believers that you have a unique access to a very unique network that you have or you could be out there and out noising everyone else so that you become the biggest noise maker and that’s how you attract so your personality will define how you attract your early adopters right and if you if you change and adopt you can you can bring in a very different set of audience but if not every founder in early stage plays to the string and getting this early adopters becomes very critical because it tells you one that people do resonate with this problem and that there is a real problem and second that there is a way to monitor validation yeah it’s validation yeah it’s validation and second that you over a period of time you also figure out that how will you monetize you know this particular problem statement and trust us that which is something that you are also pretty familiar that what you think of monetization today will naturally evolve and change uh as a monetization model uh in a in in 6 to 12 months from now because that’s part of the founder’s journey to discover and to iterate even the monetization models right absolutely i think that kind of changes right it has to evolve correct so that is wonderful to know that that is uh you know uh these are the factors that you feel are going to be perhaps contributing factors for the success of a startup and i think this kind of remains the same uh you know no matter what part of the cycle you might be in uh this is very foundational stuff and that kind of cuts across the different sectors as well perhaps not so much community part but you know uh just ensuring that you perhaps say have a wait list or say have uh you know a few earlier doctors in line already uh who are ready to perhaps test out the product this is something that works across web 2 or web 3 absolutely some of the shrewd entrepreneurs go also by the narrative to say that hey i will only build what’s the current narrative is being spoken on the market so we have also seen uh some entrepreneurs take this route to say that i will i will just go with what’s being spoken about uh what’s being trending uh so we have seen uh short-term success in these models where eventually these founders go and end up either shutting down after some time or go ahead and pivoting and building out a more tangible uh company so we you know we have started to see that trend in the last bull cycle we are beginning to see early signs of that uh trend in the current cycle where people are chasing narratives and uh so that so narratives are driven by uh what where the money is being spent today and so you start going ahead behind the narrative versus going behind actually trying to solve a unique problem so there are so as an entrepreneur you’ve got to find your shoes that yeah you know which shoes you’re going to be comfortable in absolutely i think yeah there is no right or wrong here it’s more that you know what what which which hard are you choosing like both the journeys can be hard in themselves but what is something that is perhaps more suitable and more aligned to the vision of the future that you want to build yeah so as the landscape you continues to evolve and it evolves very rapidly uh what trends uh do you foresee uh shaping the future of the industry and how is foundership uh adapting itself to stay ahead of the curve fantastic so i think um you know uh in the last 30 days what we have seen is the etfs getting launched on the bitcoin is a signal is a big signal that you will start seeing a lot more money and liquidity being accessed by the large funds and large funds coming in into bitcoin is a signal that this industry is going towards uh in the within the next 10 within the next 10 years you will see this becoming a norm rather than being uh seen with um you know with a strong lens right um so one is going to become regularized so in the next decade so this this means a lot of enterprises adoption will kick in a lot of use cases will kick in which we saw last year during the bear market a lot of brand loyalty programs have started to adopt uh building on loyalty solutions around the blockchain uh so this will only accelerate you will see a lot of banks we believe a lot of banks and financial institutions will also start offering um a combination of web 2 and web 3 uh solutions for you and i as banking customers so this will increase not only adoption but this will also increase the very need on how do i manage a single bank account which will manage both my fiat and crypto requirements right and how will now wealth management take place inheritance take place laws changing in different jurisdictions across the world so a lot of these uh changes are going to come in and the moment banks come in you could say it could be the end of uh crazy bull cycles but you will start seeing a lot more stability coming in into these uh you know into the crypto worlds uh is what we see happening towards the end of the decade but uh that that conversations have started um you’ll find a lot more consumer awareness uh being done uh lesser of Ponzi schemes lesser of uh scams being uh taking place because technology will evolve the moment a web 2 company comes in a lot of compliances will have to follow in so we we see the early signs of this going towards getting regularized across different jurisdictions and hence a lot more use cases a lot of startups opportunities will arise um to do this and when will this happen while you see the enterprises starting to take shape and form but we see towards the end of this decade a lot of these things will will fall in place and to do this one is uh foundership is uh you know is in it is continuing to invest with early stage startups sometimes we learn the narratives from what the startups are because we have an active capital ecosystem network we get to hear what are the areas that our capital partners are looking to invest in so we take in inputs from a lot of these uh perspectives and and and iterate on our own theses as to say that rwa is something that we are going to look at very strongly we’re going to look at infrastructure very strongly uh loyalty programs is something that we have been uh very uh you know very much looking at uh gaming uh is something that we see because even till today web2 gaming is continuing to be a multi-billion dollar industry and a lot of these web2 gamers will eventually come to victory in adopting it and and exchanging their digital assets in different shapes and forms so these are broadly the four uh you know four areas that we strongly look at and as other areas come in uh you know we will be happy to learn from it and uh and taking startups and grow them from there right okay this is that is very very insightful uh now you know coming to collaboration and community uh basically these seem to be very integral to the ethos of foundership as well as web3 as a whole how do you foster a supportive ecosystem like of web3 founders leaders investors developers within your network because the this is like a problem i think all founders face at some point or the other that the community is not engaged enough or it’s not uh you know value driven perhaps enough so how do you keep those checks and balances in place to maintain uh the the ethos with which you know you perhaps founded a foundation right uh this this is always a tough question uh to ask because community uh initiatives are are seen over longer periods of time and they’re never an immediate roi um because it takes it takes repeatability for people to build trust in your uh community and once trust is built uh that’s when the network effects kick in to say that hey this is this is a great place for me to either learn this is a great place for me to network this is a great place where i don’t get cheated or don’t get taken for granted so right uh when any so we at at foundership we strongly believe that uh community activity is something that everyone should feel at par right so equitable equitable as a philosophy is something that we believe and we drive consciously in everything that we do um in everything else outside of community our entire focus is always founder first right right so if you are expanding our ecosystem why are we expanding the ecosystem because founders will benefit if you are expanding our partner ecosystem who’s going to benefit it’s the founder who’s going to benefit uh if you are expanding our capital network who’s going to benefit is the founder is going to benefit so our why has been laid out very strong that we exist for our founders and the community and the ecosystem is required for the startups to succeed and when startups succeeds everyone succeeds so that’s true our entire why revolves as our as our beacon and that beacon helps us to always have conversations in this context to say that hey how can we create a win-win-win across three different stakeholders right a partner startup and foundership right so these are the three stakeholders when it comes to a partner between an investor it is investor of foundership and and the startup between a community it is community uh either a community leader or community participant uh foundership and the startup so in in all aspects of this the moment you keep uh our founders at at the center of it and rally the entire ecosystem around it uh that is when we truly believe that everyone benefits over a period of time right yeah i think that is absolutely true and uh you know creating basically more value for uh startups and ultimately what you said i think this is very quotable uh that ultimately when a startup wins everybody wins so just making sure that that value is being delivered day in and day out becomes the very spine uh behind any community that kind of seems to uh be able to sustain itself and on a long period yeah so there is there’s a fundamental difference between how we approach community building versus a product company or or a solution company approaching community building right if you are if you are uh if you’re an exchange you are building out the community to increase awareness about trading so that eventually all this knowledge will result in more trades and more user onboarding right so every every community building has to have a strong why and as long as all your activities and decisions align to that why there is no reason as to why you will not see all your metrics being met over a period of time but if you try to look for metrics within every month uh that’s that’s in my opinion that’s a wrong way to look at it but when you look at metrics over each quarter you will start seeing the numbers adding up right right i think that is absolutely true you know you have to be obviously patient to see here and that is that is something that you know you one does need to have if you are going to be uh looking at building something that kind of stands the test of time and is sustainable because uh it doesn’t happen overnight right overnight success is like 10 years in the making right so uh many startups at the moment they struggle and even in general i think and they struggle with fundraising and attracting investment what would be your advice to such founders who are looking to secure funding for their project i think what we are uh what we have seen is uh you know catching on to the narrative and your problem statement so many times if you don’t make the listeners especially investors if you don’t make them fall in love with the problem you have lost the battle there right this is something that we very strongly emphasize at foundership as part of our you know fundraising coaching sessions is first go very deep in understanding the problem that you’re trying to solve and how do you articulate that problem because if i don’t understand or relate to the problem statement no matter what data what content everything that you narrate later is of no consequence and investors are also pretty much like your buyers right so there is a tendency uh or there is a lenient there is a leaning towards emotion versus just uh hard data or yes data is important but that last 10 percent decision on the 20 percent decision always goes based on emotions and that emotions are driven by homo emotions are driven by uh on how big is this opportunity going to be how well you articulate that this problem can really become a big problem and this solution is is going to be a multi-million dollar solution this in is in a crux on how you communicate with your investment because end of the day i as an investor i have what are you trying to do as a founder i am trying as a founder i am trying to communicate to the investor to say that instead of you putting a hundred dollars on another project to take a bet that it will become ten thousand dollars put this hundred dollars in me because i’m the right horse to bet on because i’m going to make you not only ten thousand dollars but i’m going to convert your ten thousand dollars to uh you know a hundred thousand or even a million how are you going to make that million is the story you got to narrate and convince the investor through your storytelling through your fundraising pitch deck through this process and if you get this act right you will start seeing investors being comfortable to invest in you and in early stage it’s all about your credibility your resilience your perseverance on how well you are able to communicate this narrative to the investors and show them that you’re not going to be a fly-by-night operator but you are going you’re around here to build a multi-million dollar company right absolutely i think that is very very important is the diligence the sincerity the vision it gets translated well in the deck uh because at times founders kind of get too close to their own idea and their vision and they’re not able to perhaps portray that very well and that can be obviously their undoing and they are not able to then get the message across and not be able to secure funding i think uh like we mentioned before there is um you know liquidity available for some project projects that will perhaps are utility driven will stand the test of time will get sufficient traction and increase adoption of wepti in general right so now uh you know we are almost uh like short on time but i would love to ask you if there is any success story from one of the startups that have gone through your program that you can perhaps share uh with our listeners yeah absolutely there are a bunch of them i think uh because now close to 10 of our portfolio companies have raised funds uh you know as being part of the foundership program um and in the last 15 months that we have seen um it’s not been an easy journey for any vip3 startup to be around and to raise funds but uh but nevertheless uh some of them have gone ahead and done that so we have uh zot who is building out a defi platform for rwa uh we have seen a book which is in building out again time sensitive real world asset marketplace uh for example you could tokenize your hotel room bookings and and trade it off secondary and so on and i’ve got circle of games um you know who has been successful in both uh securing grants and also in raising funds we will soon have some announcements coming around some of these shortly um we are waiting for some regulatory approvals to come in but yeah so these are some of them and in our current portfolio there are there are some active conversations going on uh who are raising funds um so some of these startups came into us with an idea on paper when they’re very early on some of them came with just with an mvp one of the startups went through a founder exit and then they were able to find another co-founder so we have had startups who have gone through uh some real challenges uh in terms of their ability to execute their ability to stay focused and yet build a very strong uh you know understanding of the problem statement and making the investors realize that hey we are true to our nature as founders and we are going to build out a large business and this is an opportunity for you to be part of the journey or miss the right and that’s how some of these guys have gone ahead and been able to raise money even in the last uh 18 months which has been a tough market to operate and to raise so uh now you know i i think uh you know we’ve kind of covered all bases when it comes to entrepreneurs and their startups and you know what foundership can do perhaps to help them looking ahead do you have any kind of a milestone in mind when it comes to foundership itself in the coming years you what is the kind of impact you envision uh your work having on the broader ecosystem absolutely as uh foundership one of our logical uh steps has been uh you know putting our energies towards putting a fund together because currently we do not invest and that obviously has uh certain challenges and we believe our ability to invest when we start a cohort will dramatically change uh both the outcomes and the uh expectations of an accelerator as well so this year is going to be our focus on getting our fund together where we’ll be able to write that first check and believing in the projects that we back them to the head second is you know this year we are also expecting some form of a bull cycle to come in so let’s see how this year spans out so we hope it will become a lot more easier for some of the good startups to raise the funds with liquidity coming in as bitcoin inches more towards the 50k and eventually goes uh you know beyond the 60k mark later through this year so those are the signs that we are looking for in terms of easing uh investor access to look at projects to put in the first check and also come in for follow-on rounds uh if as and when the bull market starts we’ll see a lot more projects going ahead with token launches so that will generate a different form of liquidity than just equity investors coming okay yeah i think that that is that those are wonderful milestones i can’t wait for you guys to hit them and i think knowing the team that you have uh you would reach there uh in in the time that you know you kind of have stipulated um now because we are out of time uh i would love to ask you one question that i ask everybody uh who comes on the show you made a leap from you know earlier tech days web 2 to web 3 and now that you are in web 3 what is the kind of advice you can perhaps give to somebody facing the same dilemma whether you know they should make that change whether they should take that leap and truly you know for them to start living on blockchain what would be your two three suggestions i think if if you’re a first-time entrepreneur and have no clue on web 3 uh first align yourself with the principles of what web 3 brings to the table i think that fundamental alignment is very important because it is not it becomes very tough to sustain over long periods of time if that alignment is not there if you’re a founder coming in from web 2 to web 3 uh it’s a big change uh because in principle that entire world is all about private whereas this world is all about public so that transition uh you know change uh is important in the mindset first and then second is into the ecosystem uh third you will find uh you know the web 3 ecosystem much more open to work together much more collaborative to work together because the ecosystem is smaller you don’t need too many you will not find too many formal channels to do work so you’ve got to be got to be ready to operate in different channels of of work and even sometimes an email of an agreement is treated as an agreement versus putting together a formal mou so this is a big change that a lot of web 2 founders will find when you’re coming into web 3 but once you come in be assured that you got to move fast because the technology change is so dramatic that what was a problem statement as long as six months ago may not be the same problem statement in the same shape and form so you got to learn you got to adapt you got to move on so your ability to to adapt faster is going to be a constant challenge and you got to be mentally geared up for that process um yeah i think that is very sound advice for somebody who is like perhaps uh looking to make an easier right and why is it even more exciting today to start uh it’s just that because in this last 18 months a lot of founders have gone who have had cash and who have been able to survive gone and then built out some amazing uh products and solutions that can help you jump start much more faster than what was available 18 months ago so the no-code platforms have become more robust uh you got more analytics tools today on blockchain than they were before uh so your ability to jump start and build out a product or even build out a narrative try it try it out with a bunch of users in different geographies uh depending on your use case is much more easier and accessible today than it was 18 months ago so pretty much in the case of web 2 uh it’s much more easier to start today than it was 18 months ago so it’s never too late to start a startup uh but give it a shot but give it a shot with full intent and with full sincerity and there’s no reason that uh you should not need why you will not meet with success uh you know with your true insights and understanding of the market absolutely i think that’s wonderful advice and that’s a wonderful way to close up this particular episode as well uh once again thank you so much for making out the time to speak to me today this has been a truly insightful conversation i’m sure a lot of entrepreneurs will find this very very insightful and be able to derive a lot of value from it fantastic thank you thank you Tarusha pleasure great questions great conversations uh look forward to to talking to you and having you as a guest on my podcast soon absolutely likewise i would love that thank you so much.

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