Announcing FounderX by Inc42 – 4 Reasons You Should Start Up Right Now

Announcing FounderX by Inc42 – 4 Reasons You Should Start Up Right Now


Despite the market slowdown right now, this is one of the best times to start up, and with surging interest in seed funding, there is a clear need for startups to solve India’s unique problems and generate a massive talent pool

Building on Inc42’s mission to accelerate India’s startup economy and our success with AngelX & CapitalX, we’re announcing FounderX, an eight-week immersive programme for aspiring startup founders

FounderX is designed to equip aspiring founders with the right skills, network and mindset required to flourish in today’s dynamic environment

We’ve all seen the headlines: Shutdowns galore, funding winter, 28,000 layoffs at startups, and general doom and gloom. But what if we told you this is the best time to start up?

Well, the Indian startup ecosystem is moving from the PMF stage to the growth stage. The “Great Indian Startup Dream” is only beginning now as ‘startups’ become a household name, with the potential to unleash the vast untapped potential of India’s youth.

Having been part of the startup ecosystem for the last decade and narrating the stories of hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors and other entities of the startup ecosystem, Inc42 has witnessed multiple ups and downs taking place in the ecosystem. What’s been common in these cycles?

A downturn may be bad for business, but it opens the doors to building businesses that will endure.

Only the founders focussed on building businesses with solid business fundamentals survive and thrive in the long run, while everyone else fades into oblivion. With extremely high mortality rates, startups are not for the faint of heart and neither for the ones who aren’t serious about building a sustainable business.

Hearing stories of startups becoming unicorns and founders getting exits to the tune of tens of millions of dollars are exceptions, not the rule.

So, the first step in building a successful startup is to set the expectations right – you’re very likely going to fail at first.

Your every move should be designed to not let that happen and grow inch by inch, one customer at a time, while getting your business fundamentals right.

Now, let’s look at some hard data – India currently has 65K+ startups and only 110 unicorns. This means that only 1 in 600 startups becomes a Unicorn. For that to happen, everything has to align perfectly – your strategy, business model, market conditions and dozens of other factors.

It means you need a lot of help, support, guidance and learnings from others that will pave the path for your success. The best way to do this is by learning from successful startup founders who’ve been through this journey and have faced the challenges that you’ll also face.

And that’s why we are launching FounderX, an eight-week immersive fellowship programme, designed to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the right skills, network and mindset necessary to flourish as startup founders in today’s dynamic environment.

Explore FounderX


Introducing FounderX

With India’s top 1% founders and operators as coaches and sherpas, FounderX is bringing the best of the Indian startup ecosystem to aspiring founders.

Our fellows will work in teams, validate ideas with real customers, master the art of building the right team, test their business model in sandbox environments and even learn how to raise funds by pitching to marquee investors, with no full-time commitments needed for this journey.

FounderX is built for:

  • Professionals working in mid- to senior-level roles at startups & corporates
  • Solopreneurs who want to scale by building a solid team
  • Business school students aspiring to take the startup plunge
  • Family businesses looking to leverage the tech economy
  • Anyone who wants to launch their startup

We have designed the programme in a way that it doesn’t interrupt your full-time job, business responsibilities or your full-time education.

The FounderX journey will quell your fears and guide you to become a smart founder, armed with the right mindset. 

More importantly, get access to the right audience to pitch your startup idea that you will perfect in eight weeks.

But why is this the best time to launch your startup?

#1 Investors Are Chasing Seed Stage Upside

As expected, the funding for the first six months this year was down by 70% as compared to H1 2022. But still, more than $1.5 Bn was invested in seed stage startups in the last 12 months (July 2022 – June 2023).

This indicates that early stage funding remains a silver lining for investors in this climate.

Interestingly, the latest investor survey of 100+ startup investors by Inc42 showed that 66% of angels and 75% of VCs are positive about early stage investments in FY24. With ongoing market corrections, investors are now hunting under-valued companies, offered at the right valuations and are poised for long-term growth.

But apart from the financial returns, India’s investors also want to give back by supporting and nurturing a new breed of tech innovators.

The seed funding rush has resulted in the launch of dozens of new micro VC funds and over $20 Bn of dry powder is waiting in the coffers of VCs, ready to be deployed as the market confidence returns.

Investors are bullish on India’s future and this makes today the most opportune time to build a startup that solves real problems sustainably.

Explore FounderX


#2 India Needs Indian Products

The Indian startup ecosystem is going through a golden phase in terms of the quality of entrepreneurs.

Founders that started in 2022 and 2023 are frugal founders, focused on building tangible, sustainable, meaningful businesses. There is real business and real meat in what they are trying to build, versus just scaling up for the sake of it and only to reach the next stage of funding,” according to PeerCapital managing partner Ankur Pahwa.

But a bigger problem looms – not every founder can solve all problems across India. This is especially true if the focus is on sustainable growth where scaling up takes a backseat.

This means, unlike Silicon Valley, India has more room for diverse products. It also means huge untapped opportunities exist across segments and sectors that the sharpest founders can tap into.

nd what better time to learn about leveraging these opportunities than today? That too from India’s top entrepreneurs.

#3 Next-Gen Models Call For Next-Gen Founders

Prime Venture Partners’ Sanjay Swamy believes that entrepreneurs have now (2023) come back to a position of rational thinking and reason, which allows them to approach problems differently. And that’s the only kind of entrepreneur that can solve some of the inherent problems in the Indian ecosystem.

In 2023, some of the largest Indian startups are finding it difficult to live up to their scale and valuation, indicating that the behaviour that flourished during the era of easy capital will not work today.

The next generation of founders will be those coming with deep domain experience and/or unique insights into India’s problems. These founders, equipped with the right mindset and a pragmatic approach, will have the opportunity to build long-term successful businesses by creating innovative products and business models.

Explore FounderX


#4 India’s True TAM Has Emerged

There’s an India opportunity waiting to be unlocked, and we all know that. But how large that opportunity is has been a topic of debate.

In the initial days of D2C, referencing the 1 Bn+ population of India as the TAM and believing that everyone would buy directly from the brand was common. Over time, more accurate estimates of the real TAM for different sectors and business models have emerged. It’s now a commonly accepted fact that omnichannel strategy for D2C works.

Similarly, fintechs considered 140 Cr Indians to be the TAM, which later turned out to be not more than 10-15 Cr in size.

The #1 reason why startups fail is the lack of market demand. Building a deep understanding of the market needs your startup solves and how it can achieve product-market fit is the most crucial aspect of starting up.

“In a great market, a market with lots of real potential customers, the market pulls the product out of the startup. The product doesn’t need to be great; it just has to basically work.” – Andreessen Horowitz, a16z

This is exactly what FounderX is designed to help aspiring founders address.

FounderX’s Mission: Accelerating Indian Startups By Enabling The Next Gen Of Founders

At FounderX, our primary aim is to equip future innovators with the necessary skills, perspective, and insights required to breathe life into transformative ideas capable of impacting millions of individuals not only in India but also across the globe.

Since the path of entrepreneurship is often beset with numerous challenges, FounderX is designed to give you hands-on training on the dos and don’ts of building a startup.

In this immersive eight-week programme, we will guide you through a meticulously structured curriculum. The training will instil in you the confidence and courage needed to embark on your entrepreneurial journey while setting up the right foundation for your startup. FounderX is not just a programme, it is a launchpad to accelerate your transformation from an aspiring to an accomplished founder.

Our Early Enrolment Offer ends on 31st July. Apply today to reserve your spot at the current programme fee. 

Explore FounderX
You have reached your limit of free stories
Become An Inc42 Plus Member

Become a Startup Insider in 2024 with Inc42 Plus. Join our exclusive community of 10,000+ founders, investors & operators and stay ahead in India’s startup & business economy.

Unlock 60% OFF
Cancel Anytime
Unlock 50% OFF
Cancel Anytime
Already A Member?
Discover Startups & Business Models

Unleash your potential by exploring unlimited articles, trackers, and playbooks. Identify the hottest startup deals, supercharge your innovation projects, and stay updated with expert curation.

Announcing FounderX by Inc42 – 4 Reasons You Should Start Up Right Now-Inc42 Media
How-To’s on Starting & Scaling Up

Empower yourself with comprehensive playbooks, expert analysis, and invaluable insights. Learn to validate ideas, acquire customers, secure funding, and navigate the journey to startup success.

Announcing FounderX by Inc42 – 4 Reasons You Should Start Up Right Now-Inc42 Media
Identify Trends & New Markets

Access 75+ in-depth reports on frontier industries. Gain exclusive market intelligence, understand market landscapes, and decode emerging trends to make informed decisions.

Announcing FounderX by Inc42 – 4 Reasons You Should Start Up Right Now-Inc42 Media
Track & Decode the Investment Landscape

Stay ahead with startup and funding trackers. Analyse investment strategies, profile successful investors, and keep track of upcoming funds, accelerators, and more.

Announcing FounderX by Inc42 – 4 Reasons You Should Start Up Right Now-Inc42 Media
Announcing FounderX by Inc42 – 4 Reasons You Should Start Up Right Now-Inc42 Media
You’re in Good company