Too many sellers, not enough doers will kill your startup

'The companies that don't get funding are the ones where you have a bunch of businesspeople in the room,' says Rahul Sood, general manager of Microsoft's Bing Fund.

By , ITworld |  Business, Bing Fund, startups

But Bing Fund is not about eliminating venture capital, in fact, Bing Fund is really an opportunity for VCs to work with us in partnership. We're going to come in, we're going to put skin in the game, money, and then we're going to give access to technology, exposure, customers, help build their network, things that you just can't get anywhere else. And we're going to participate in your investments and help your investments really yield a big return.

DB: Yes, and I think with your background too, with bootstrapping VooDooPC, that gives you special insight into this and you can help these new companies be good stewards of the smaller amounts of money that they're starting out with.

RS: Yes, exactly. And not only that, but even just help them think about how they raise money and valuation. I just met with another really interesting startup based in Chicago, just before I met you, and we really liked them. They were telling us about a pending raise they're doing, and it was at this insanely low valuation with a lot of money. It was almost like a shark feeding frenzy. And we said, look, you don't need to do that. There's better ways to do this, you don't need to go out and raise money just for the sake of paying yourself an income. That's just not the way to go. Certainly, I think, my history and the fact that, I've done this before and spent time in as an entrepreneur in multiple small ventures and have failed in many and have succeeded in others, I can give some good credible insight on that.

DB: So with Bing Fund, besides providing some money, there'll be that extended support that's so important to early startups.

RS: That's right, and I think that's the most compelling part of it.

There are very few places on earth where you can be surrounded by some of the greatest minds in the world on any given subject. And at Microsoft that's really what it's all about. There are so many brilliant people here. And being able to tap their minds, not for entrepreneurial experience, but more for them being experts in certain areas like experts in advertising monetization, or machine learning, or conversational understanding. We have those experts and they're very supportive of what we're doing.

DB: Ten, twenty years ago, the dotcoms back in Silicon Valley, they had to spend a lot of money just on capital expenditures, infrastructure, data centers, and that's a lot different today. So what do you see as the major expense that a startup company in the tech business today is going to face? What's the main thing they're going to need to be spending money on?

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