Technology Startups – The Capacity-Building Conundrum

Wikipedia defines a startup or start-up as an entrepreneurial venture which is a newly emerged business venture that aims to meet a marketplace need, want or problem by developing a viable business model around products, services, processes or platforms. A startup is a new business venture designed to effectively develop and validate a scalable business model. The typical early tasks in forming a startup are assembling a team to secure skills, gaining the know-how, collecting or finding financial resources, and other elements to conduct research on the target market. A startup will then begin building a first minimum viable product (MVP), a prototype, to validate, assess and develop the new ideas or business models and concepts. 

Start-ups typically go through the life cycle stages of Ideating, Concepting, Committing, Validating, Scaling and Establishing. After committing themselves fully to the new venture, start-ups need to decide about their own capacity building, how much to build inhouse and how much to subcontract or outsource. By “capacity-building”, we mean the “people-resources” with the right mix of skills, competencies, experience and expertise. Start-ups must be “lean” in the validation phase, first defining and building the minimum viable product (MVP), testing and iterating for user acceptance, growth and revenues. The next critical stages of Scaling and Establishing come with their unique changes regarding capacity-building as not only internal but external stakeholders’ interests have to be effectively addressed.  

The core competencies of any start-up are their unique idea, innovation, Intellectual Property (IP), technical knowhow and productizing this idea through product marketing management and marketing communications. Startups need to protect these competencies (family jewels) by preserving these tasks inhouse and looking for efficient ecosystem partners for capacity-building as a perfect win-win situation for all the stakeholders. 

Many startups have found Intellore’s unique value proposition very compelling – one-stop digital transformation services based on rock solid foundation of embedded systems services and software services. Over the past year or so, Intellore has been extremely fortunate to interact with several start-ups, not only in India but from various parts of the globe. They are from diverse verticals / applications / domains – Industrial IOT Platform-as-a-service provider, innovative portable digital health monitors, private bicycle ride share company with unique electronic locks, LoRa based utility metering for smart cities, medication adherence devices, automotive surround view system, track, trace and geofencing of industrial safety wearables, smart solutions to improve pedestrian and vehicle road safety etc.  

The biggest risk involved in outsourced development projects is Intellectual property (IP) protection. Start-ups value Intellore’s robust processes of non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements, IP protection polices because being a pure-play technology services provider, the resulting Intellectual Property (IP) belongs solely to the customer (start-up). 

Intellore helps resolve the capacity-building conundrum that technology startups face through various engagement models / partnering solutions comprising the “resource-based” (ODC, FTE, T & M) engagement models where we specialize in assembling and managing dedicated teams of highly skilled technical professionals to augment your in-house resources as well as “project-based” engagements that deliver the exact scope-of-work based on our experience, expertise, knowledge and reusable frameworks for a fixed price. 

Being based in India, it is only logical to end by India-centric concluding remarks – the Indian startup ecosystem is here to stay because it has a track record and because technology has fundamentally changed the way we do things. Startups are using technology to come up with innovative solutions for India’s problems. When these solutions succeed in a market the size, scale and complexity of India, they can be duplicated in other large emerging markets too. There is also no dearth of Indian startups who command a solid client base outside the country. It is now getting increasingly clear that India’s startup ecosystem has become vibrant and mainstream in many ways – in terms of job creation, in terms of solving consumer problems, and in terms of creating products for the rest of the world. With this, can global investors stay away? They are realizing this and have made a beeline for India. 

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