Smart Start Fund

Smart Start Fund provides Early Stage capital to innovative projects and ventures in the technology space.

The truth is harsh… Ask any startup founder. There is little money available for experimentation, an essential task that leads to innovation. Formal angel investing is rare in most parts of the developing world. While the need for innovation to alleviate problems faced by people is greater in the developing world, the resources available are exponentially less. Founders of SmartStart, themselves successful entrepreneurs, understand the essential need of such early support to startup ventures. Smart Start will fund such teams early, support them through their journey and provide them a wider canvas to paint their innovation on.

Typical investment by SmartStart would be capital to get the idea ready for formal capital to enter, provide assistance during growth and access to networks and mentors around the world. We want to do our bit to make available real Angel investment in good ideas, without any geographical limitations, with the aim of – Nurturing Curiosity!!!

We seek :

Teams : A tenacious and dedicated team is the root of any successful startup and a good team of founders will usually survive pivoting of ideas, markets and businesses. We look for depth and connectivity of team members, and perseverance to sustain till success is achieved.

Innovation in Thought : Innovation is built on past knowledge and we look for it from various dimensions. Our aim is to find curious minds, differential thought, innovative treatment and above par execution. The idea will pivot and we want the team to iterate too.

Solution to Problems : We look for ventures that clearly identify a problem to solve. While it sounds a lot like a social agenda, it is indeed a universal mission to find something that customers/users will identify with and use as a solution to a need.

Niche that can scale : Sounds like an oxymoron, but it is not! Some of the best ideas started as small solutions to small problems, but became big solutions to a small problems faced by a lot of people. We look for visionaries who can identify such niche problems to solve.

Conquerors of the World : While we want the innovators to focus on their local problem to start and test, we look for the streak of leaders that aim to conquer the world in their field. Ideas that have international scope are very attractive.

We will usually invest in teams with ideas, which have passed the first round of testing – usually in the form of a prototype or launched web service. We will usually not, however, fund ‘just an idea’. We look for thought out ideas, domain knowledge & experience, track record of innovation, self-confidence, driven focus, team spirit, communication skills of the team– besides your plan of execution, to consider support for it.

We are open to investing in early stage companies and teams. Our usual investment is small and is, usually, to reach a level where the venture will attract more formal investment proposals. The track record of our investors and principals is a unique component in next level of support to our potential portfolio companies. Our investment essentially comes with a lot of interaction – mentoring, guidance, introductions and networking – besides the cash.

We will only invest if our investment, or significant portion of it, is not used for payment of fees, licences, setting up and/or structuring of legal entities or bureaucratic requirements. We will also not consider working with agents or advisors who will be paid part of this raised capital, directly or indirectly. We will, however, actively consider funding the guarding of eligible and promising IP in some cases.