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A group of Silicon Valley geeks, entrepreneurs, & investors dedicated to educating and helping the next generation of internet startups.

CBA officially launches Startup2Startup in India

Kaushal introduces the India Launch of Startup2Startup

Click here for Pictures & Videos

CBA officially launched Startup2Startup in India on 16th January 2015 at Taj Lands End with a mix of select 50 entrepreneurs and investors. The theme of the evening was Building Value to Exit and the event took off with a Panel Discussion on the subject, followed by Round Table Interactions between the audience.

Akash Sureka (Founder & CEO of Hoopz Planet Info), who exited to Persistent Systems, set the tone of the panel discussion by sharing his journey. “What I have always believed is – what you start, defines your exit. For me, it was clear that we  wanted to build a great world class global product which could be used to  build, in the longer term, a multi-billion dollar business by may be another bigger competitor player”. He added, “For many entrepreneurs, what matters is whether they choose to build a great company or a great product to nail down vision in right ways and plan for future on that vision with stakeholders involved”. While speaking on the apt timing for an exit, Kaushal Chokshi, Chairman of the Scaale Group and one of the panelists for the evening shared, “The timing of exit and market in which the business is operating, defines the value which can be unlocked by the entrepreneur.  An entrepreneur in an extremely competitive market should look at exiting sooner”.

The Panel also featured David Costa, CEO, Everis UK, who had travelled from London for the evening. On investing in an exitable venture, David Costa said, “As an investor, you should know where to invest. link directory You plan not the exit, but the resources that you need to make it happen (sic). As a mentor to early stage ventures, what I look at is, ‘If they like what they are doing and they understand the market”. Nived from Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF), which invests in innovative EdTech companies that are affordable to the large mass, gave a fund’s perspective on exit, “From our perspective, we are a long horizon fund, 5-7 years, so it’s more the idea/ technology/ entrepreneur/ team that we invest and back. We focus on strategic investments and, when the fund invests in ideas or at seed stage, we first allow the venture to reach a specific stage and then look at the roadmap towards exit”.

Post the panel discussion, the audience at the round tables deliberated on angel investment practices that have evolved from the West and how they are becoming increasingly exit oriented.

Manish Shah, Founder, Big Decisions that exited to News Corp recently, shared the importance of tying up with the right partners, “The right strategic partnerships go a long way in deciding the fate of a venture, for the investors & potential acquirers too”. Arvindra Kanwal, Co-Founder, Bindaas Party believed that the focus should be on building value and exit follows naturally, while Ruchita Dar Shah of First Mom’s Club felt that the focus should be on building the correct product. Global applicability would then depend on the nature of the same.

The experience was refreshing for startups who were at the growth stage & for angel investors, new to the ecosystem. Satellite maps Gaurang Chandarana, Co-Founder at 14 Squares, shared “Everybody has the same questions about their ventures, but each one answers it differently & knowing how they do it, is a great learning experience”.

Pankaj Krishna, CEO, Chrome DM, who is also a CBA Investor, shared “It was refreshing to hear ideas round the table and a pleasure to see globally scalable business models being built using technology as a backbone to address consumer needs”.

The general view of the evening was that ventures in India are also moving away from the IPO route towards an exit via an acquisition. The key take away of the event was building startups with an eye on exit.

However, in all cases, timing is key, as Kaushal quoted “If I knew when to Exit, I would have made Billions!


16th January 2015: Startup2Startup Mumbai – Building Value to Exit

CBA is officially launching Startup2Startup in Mumbai, India on 16th January 2015.

The theme of the event is Building Value to Exit, where the audience would be a mix of 60 entrepreneurs and investors. The event will take place at Taj Lands End, Mumbai.

The agenda of the event is:

7:15 PM – Registrations
7:30 PM – Introduction to Startup2Startup by Kaushal Chokshi, President, Scaale Group
7:45 PM – Panel Discussion on Building Value to Exit
8:15 PM – Q&A
8:30 PM – Round Table Discussions
9:00 PM – Dinner and Networking

The Panel will comprise of;

Kaushal Chokshi, President of the Scaale Group and a Serial Entrepreneur based out of Silicon Valley

David Costa, CEO of Everis Group, UK and a CBA Member & Angel Investor

Akash Sureka, Founder & CEO of Hoopz Planet Info (Now sold to Persistent Systems) and the Business Head at Persistent Systems

Nived Dinesh, India Head, Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF)

Sign up Here! and don’t miss out on this exciting experience! satellite photos


Startup2Startup Partners with CBA


Startup2Startup is glad to announce CBA as its Partner. This partnership will allow Startup2Startup to launch in India and UK through CBA’s platform.

CBA announced the launch of Startup2Startup in Mumbai through a pre-launch event on 7th November 2014. The event was attended by a focused group of CBA Members and Entrepreneurs who discussed Best Practices of Angel Investment from Silicon Valley. CBA is officially launching Startup2Start in Mumbai, India on 16th January 2015, where the agenda would be to have a Panel Discussion on Building Vale to Exit, followed by a Q&A session and Round Table Discussions among 60 Entrepreneurs and Investors.

About CBA

CBA is the first international investment network specialized in investing in international companies. CBA is an investment network with more than 150 members around the world, interested in investing in international companies from USA, Europe, LATAM and Asia. Our mission is to present great international deal flow to our members. To do so, CBA screens and selects 5 – 10 opportunities to invest in, selected from over 100 companies every month.

With a presence in over 12 innovation hubs globally, we are the trusted partners for our members, allowing CBA investors to monitor and follow up with their companies around the world with our local teams and online platform.

CBA belongs to Scaale Inc., a group of companies working with over 100 clients around the world, with offices in 5 continents and a team of 300+ international professionals. Our mission is to help companies strategically become micro-multinationals by applying global context through our four pillars: Innovation, Sales, Capital, and Talent.

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Prelaunch of Startup2Startup in India

S2S Mumbai Event

CBA announced the pre-launch of Startup2Startup (S2S) in Mumbai, India through an event on 7th November 2014. The event was attended by a focused group of CBA Members and Entrepreneurs who discussed Best Practices of Angel Investment from Silicon Valley. Kaushal Chokshi, Chairman of the Scaale Group and Marta Emerson, CBA Manager, opened the discussion by sharing their experience of investing in the West.

The round table deliberated on various models of angel investment that have evolved from the West and how they are becoming increasingly exit oriented. Ventures in India are also moving away from the IPO route towards an exit via an acquisition. A few takeaways from the discussion were;

1. To Invest or not to Invest? The time to validate an idea in India is much higher when compared to the same in Silicon Valley. Investors in the West get on board for an idea much faster than other countries.

2. Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth! Best practice for an angel round would be to have a Lead Investor on board, who would represent the angels on the Board of the company and also work actively with the startup in obtaining its objectives for a successful exit.

3. Socialize! The entrepreneur and the investor should connect socially, outside the work environment to form a stronger bond.

4. Local or Glocal? Entrepreneurs everywhere are now coming out of their cocoon and spreading their wings to take on the global markets. If the product is indeed scalable to international markets, then get on board a local investor from that market to scale up.
Case-in-Point. One of the startups at the event in the education space at first targeted the local market. But once they went digital, they explored the opportunity of going international and applied to Startup Istanbul and other similar programs. Another Indian promoter spoke of his startup in EdTech, which was incubated in Chile, followed by an acceleration program in Estonia and how he is now targeting the global market.

5. Having an IP is a MUST! Investors highly encourage entrepreneurs to get rolling on obtaining the IP. An IP can help the startup monetize powerfully, increase the valuation and act as a strong differentiator from the competitors.

6. Financial or Strategic? To tackle this, entrepreneurs clearly need to understand the current stage of their business, funds required and what objectives can be achieved by pursuing a strategic and a financial investor. A vital difference between a strategic and a financial investor is that the former is focused on the startup’s growth and a faster exit, whereas the latter is focused on the ROI.

7. Investor A, B or C? In the event of multiple options available, it is recommended that an entrepreneur considers having on board an investor with whom they share the same frequency.

This was one of the few events where entrepreneurs had a neutral platform to exchange their views & challenges with the investors and understand their perspective.

Sign up for the next Startup2Startup Mumbai Event scheduled on 16th Jan 2015!

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February 27th: OKRs And The Executioner’s Tale

Ideas are cheap. Execution is everything.

This month, Christina Wodtke is giving a sneak preview of her SXSW talk and upcoming new book The Executioner’s Tale.

How do you inspire your team to be insanely great–and accountable? Google, Zynga, KPCB’s John Doerr and Intel all used the Objective and Key Result approach (OKRs) as the secret for providing the discipline for radical growth. Many start-ups as well as established companies are adopting it, hoping to throw accelerant on their execution.

But OKRs are controversial and while they sound simple, they aren’t easy. Christina’s been refining the OKR process with the start-ups she invest in and advises.

If you’re curious, learn more about OKRs here or read the Business Insider article about how Google uses them.

Drinks start at 6pm. Dinner and the panel start at 7pm, followed by lively discussions at each table. Seating is limited to 50 for this event. Thanks to Kayvan Baroumand and our friends at NestGSV for generously hosting us in their great Redwood City office.

About Christina Wodtke
Christina is an angel investor and startup advisor. She wrote the bestselling book Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web. Her upcoming book, The Executioner’s Tale, is about using OKRs, roadmaps and cadences to build high performing teams. She was a GM at Zynga and MySpace and worked in product and design at LinkedIn and Yahoo. You can learn more about her at www.eleganthack.com.


January 16th: Startup2Startup 2014 New Year Party

Startup2Startup is a group of Silicon Valley geeks, entrepreneurs, & investors dedicated to educating and helping the next generation of tech startups. We meet periodically over dinner to discuss relevant topics in technology & entrepreneurship, connect with new people & companies, and share our knowledge & experience.

Join us as we celebrate a New Year! This event will be at the HQ of 500 Startups in Mountain View starting at 6:30.

Proceeds will be donated Black Girls Code, a fantastic non profit run by a terrific entrepreneur, Kimberly Bryant

Unlike our regular dinner/discussions, this is a casual event and hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be provided.

Please come prepared to tweet your tech industry prediction for 2014. Use hastag: #startup2startup

We hope you can make it!

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August 29th: Startup Board Meeting Secrets

Board meeting are supposed to provide a chance for startups to make strategic decisions and reflect on the course of a company. But as super-lawyer Ted Wang, a great observer of board meetings, put it in a recent article “most entrepreneurs view board meetings as somewhere between a total waste of time and mildly annoying. Outside board members are often similarly frustrated that they are unable to get the information and analysis they desire from these meetings.”

So we asked Ted, entreprenuer Hiten Shah and investor Rob Siegel to join a panel and provide advice and perspective. What are best practices for Entrepreneurs to get the most out of Board meetings? What are some cardinal Do’s and Dont’s for Entrepreneurs?

Drinks start at 6pm. Dinner and the panel start at 7pm, followed by discussions at each table. Seating is limited to 50 for this event. If you would like to invite others, please drop us a note and we’ll try to accommodate. We hope you’ll be able to make it.

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April 17th: Asana’s Kenny Van Zant on Freemium and Bottom-up Sales Lessons

van_zant_180x180Kenny Van Zant pioneered the bottom-up sales models for selling software at SolarWinds and he now drives marketing and corporate strategy at Asana. We’re pleased that he’ll share some of the secrets and lessons that he’s learned along the way. Drinks start at 6, followed by Kenny’s talk, dinner and table discussions. We hope you’ll join us.

More about Kenny
Kenny Van Zant is a business guy at Asana. He was the SVP and Chief Product Strategist for SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI). He’s an angel investor and advisor to companies such as Assistly, Erply, Chart.io, Delphix, PagerDuty and PuppetLabs. Kenny was EVP of Marketing and GM of Communications for Motive (NASD: MOTV), and the co-founder of BroadJump. Kenny has a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas.