The success of Silicon Valley is directly linked to the role played by Stanford University. India may not have a Stanford University aiding Indian start-ups, but iSpirt, the software product industry think tank, is bringing some of the building blocks that Stanford gave to the Valley.
To begin with iSpirt along with Professor Rishi Krishnan, and Prof Sharique Hasan of Stanford University are working together to bring out a report on lines of SPEC study or the Stanford Project of Emerging Companies. As a part of this project a sample set with 100 companies will be created, and these companies will be continuously profiled.
Sharad Sharma, angel investor and co-founder, iSpirt said that while the recently launched Indian Software Products Industry Index- B2B (iSPIxB2B) tracks the top 30 companies in the eco-system, the SPEC study will profile and keep data of run-of-the-mill companies. The Valley too has such a study wherein almost 200 companies are profiled.
“We have borrowed this idea from the Silicon Valley. The idea behind this study is to demystify certain myths that would-be entrepreneurs have. Because we have seen lot of myths within the industry which is leading to bad decisions made by entrepreneurs, by policy makers and eventually by the eco-system. Importantly this will also create foundation for authentic data,” added Sharma.
Sharma further added that one of the myth that entrepreneurs have is about funding. “Many feel raising funds from VCs make you successful. VC funds is not the only way to raise funds. For instance, about 50 per cent of the iSPIxB2B companies were bootstrapped,” he added.
The study will also allow policy-makers to identify their efforts in creating hubs for start-ups. Sharma said that most of the time a certain region gets highlighted because of its popularity in that space, but that does not mean other states are not doing similar stuff. “Policy makers then concentrate only on that one region and not focus on developing multiple hubs. And finally we think this will also help in building institutional structure,” added he.
According to Graduate School of Stanford Business the SPEC data-set has proven to be an invaluable intellectual asset used by scholars at Stanford and other leading research institutions to generate an even wider range of research.
iSpirt is also trying to achieve the same and will host its first ‘Research Conference’ in December of 2015. “By then we will have our own data where we can get researchers to look at Indian entrepreneurial eco-systems and come out with studies and research papers that will be close to our eco-system,” said Sharma.
The first event may be kicked off from Stanford Univeristy in December 2015. For this iSPirt is trying to rope in Saras D Saraswathy, professor of Entrepreneurship, Darden Virginia as well. This will be an annual event which will held in the US and in India.