First, Ankit Duggal from Clifton, New Jersey, pitched RER LLC, a firm that currently manages a real estate investment fund and is working on an investment advisory service catering to real estate investors - individuals and small businesses. Ankit has done a nice job of segmenting his market and focusing on two cities in New Jersey. He has started working with some investment clubs. I suggested offering a discounted service to the members of the investment clubs and going to market with them. In addition, I also suggested testing the wealth manager market. In my experience, wealth managers often refer experts to their clients and Ankit could position his service through that channel.
We also had a discussion on market sizing. I provided Ankit with the framework for his analysis. You can listen to the recording of this segment here.
Lead Generation & Qualification With a Channel Partner
Next, we went to a discussion on a scenario that a 1M/1M premium company is facing where they offer an innovative customer support solution to large enterprises like Telecom and Consumer Electronics players and are going to market through a channel partner in the U.S. While they have been able to get in front of some large customers, they need to accelerate this process further and increase the pipeline and feed the channel partner with more qualified leads. We went through a set of lead generation mechanisms and discussed the distribution of roles and responsibilities between the company and the channel partner.
This, by the way, is a real scenario. One of the members of the channel partner team was actually present in the room and shared his point of view as well. He made the point that they had a meeting this week with a very large customer and the executives from the customer's organization reframed the use case with which they started.
The moral of the story is that use cases are really important in selling large deals and often, customers help you frame the use cases. To train a channel, understanding the use cases is crucial. You can listen to the recording of this segment here.
Silicon Valley: The Next Decade
Finally, we had a highly interactive and animated discussion on what the next generation of innovation would look like. I proposed 'human-centric computing' as the lens through which to look at the problem. Referring to my recent blog post, Silicon Valley: The Next Decade, I offered the role of the 'renaissance mind' in the next phase of our evolution where sociology and insights into human behavior would perhaps be more important than pure geeky intelligence. After all, the technologies (especially Internet related) we're working with these days are a lot less complex than what the generation that produced bear chips and networking related innovations in earlier decades worked with.
The audience came up with lots of great points and I strongly recommend you listen to this discussion here.
Recordings of previous roundtables are all available here. We will be holding future roundtables at 8 a.m. PDT on the following dates:
Sramana Mitra is the founder of the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) initiative, an educational, business development and incubation program that aims to help one million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond. She is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant, she writes the blog Sramana Mitra On Strategy and is author of the Entrepreneur Journeys book series and Vision India 2020. From 2008 to 2010, Mitra was a columnist for Forbes. As an entrepreneur CEO, she ran three companies: DAIS, Intarka and Uuma. She has a master's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Silicon Valley photo by Revol Web