"When you are at an ideation stage you don't attract investor attention. At that stage, you go for FFF- friends, family and fools. Either your friends and family believe in you or you can get them to believe in you."\r\n\r\nKunal Nandwani, CEO of uTrade Solutions, was at his candid best at BIGShift Chandigarh, which was an evening to remember for this emerging startup hub. Addressing over 50+ startup founders present at BIGShift, the founding member of the Chandigarh Angels Network enthralled the gathering with his witty take on the startup life. Inc42 and DigitalOcean hosted the first leg of the 6-city BIGShift series at Chandigarh\u2019s SpaceJam on July 19, inviting the early age startups, budding entrepreneurs as well as incubators and investors of the Chandigarh startup ecosystem.\r\n\r\nAs is clear from its growth in the past few years, Chandigarh is home to some of the most innovative startups in India and BIGShift celebrates such Tier 2 cities which often don\u2019t get the limelight in comparison to metros and the Tier 1 cities. Chandigarh is just the first host city for the new BIGShift series, with next leg set to be in Nagpur on August 3. Supporting Inc42\u2019s initiative, local founders, investors, incubator bodies and entrepreneurs took time out to engage with each other and solve the problems that are specific to the Chandigarh startup ecosystem. As can be expected, BIGShift witnessed startups come forth to talk about their work, challenges and participated in curated sessions with experts.\r\nSales101: Driving Your Sales Strategy\r\n\r\n\r\nThe first BIGShift session was with Khalid Qazi, the head of alliances, partnerships and growth at foodtech startup, Dineout. Qazi engaged the audience with insightful pointers on driving sales and increasing profitability, by building a strong marketing and product teams.\r\n\r\nAccording to him, each business needs to think about these seven statements:\r\n\r\n \tWhere you\u2019ve been and where you want to go\r\n \tA clear ideal customer profile\r\n \tYour product's SWOT analysis\r\n \tBlend of your sales and marketing plans\r\n \tCreate clear revenue goals\r\n \tDevelop and communicate a clear positioning\r\n \tUnambiguous action plan\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat has changed that affects your traditional sales strategy and pushes you to adjust with the modern ones?\u201d he asked the audience. His answer was, \u201cCustomer centricity.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe explained how companies and startups not only want to drive profits and sales but also want to focus on customer success, \u201cThey choose their target audience and then focus on how to attract them and gain their trust.\u201d\r\n\r\nWith his engaging style, Qazi also touched on pressing questions such as the discount culture and subscriptions in the context of online shopping and the food business, comparing the traditional and modern-day sales strategies and more.\r\nSeed Funding Playbook For Startups\r\n\r\n\r\nA thriving investor community is what every startup hub needs. Kunal Nandwani, the CEO of uTrade Solutions and a founding member of Chandigarh Angels Network, is one such example in the context of Chandigarh. Nandwani also runs Startup Pundits, a non-profit initiative to mentor startups, funded by uTrade Solutions.\r\n\r\nFrom \u2018how much\u2019 to \u2018when\u2019 from \u2018whom\u2019 to \u2018how to go about valuation\u2019 and finally the different sources available, Nandwani answered every question thrown at him by the gathering. He started his session talking about the importance of motivation, \u201cYou need to really know what your motivation is because most likely it is going to take you 5-7 years to survive, 8-10 years to set up a business in India. And there is a 99% probability of you failing.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe urged the startups to focus on the execution, commenting, \u201cInnovators do not make as much money as imitators do."\r\n\r\nNandwani also gave the audience a look at the world of professional or angel investors. According to him the four things that investors typically look at before investing are\u2014market size, team, business model and market landscape.\r\nMarket Size\r\n\u201cMarket not just today but what it would be in the next five years. So, it has to be a big and growing market or a small and rapidly growing market.\u201d\r\nTeam\r\n\u201cGood teams can make bad business plans work. It is about adapting, it is about perseverance. Hence, investors will back the team.\u201d\r\nBusiness Model\r\n\u201cYou may not make money today but at some point, your business has got to make money.\u201d\r\nMarket Landscape\r\n\u201cThis is a bundle of a couple of things, such as who is your competition, what is your cost of distribution, what is your cost of production, how will you bring in people and many more.\u201d\r\nLearnings On Scaling For Early Stage Startups\r\n\r\nHosting the next session was Karan MV, the senior India outreach manager of DigitalOcean. From insights on building and improving the content on your website in order to drive more traffic to building products for product builders, he shared the key insights that have helped DigitalOcean in their growth journey.\r\n\r\nUnderstanding the need for a startup to scale, Karan spoke about growth loops, how they differ from funnels, as well as the importance of content. Content is what drives more and more traction onto your website, according to Karan. \u201cWe have more than 2200 technical development-related and other tutorials published by both our in-house team and our contributor community. These tutorials get 3.5 Mn unique visits monthly to DigitalOcean site as the key thing that we concentrate on is the quality of the tutorials. Nearly 40% of our customers read a tutorial before they sign up\u201d, he said.\r\nEmpowering The Founders Of Tomorrow\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nWith the aim of satiating the curiosity of budding entrepreneurs about what successful entrepreneurs think about the ecosystem and the lessons they have learned through their journey, the next discussion was one of the highlights of the evening.\r\n\r\nVineet Khurana, VP of Chandigarh Angels Network, with more than 10 years of industry experience moderated the discussion. Sumeer Walia, the director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Education Development (CEED); Nandwani and Ritika Singh, founder, Kontent Factory joined the discussion as panellists.\r\n\r\nKhurana dove deep into issues such as the gaps in the Chandigarh startup ecosystem, the positive and negative changes over the years and much more.\r\n\r\nCEED\u2019s Walia told the audience that he believes the Chandigarh startup ecosystem lacked the environment that creates the drive for entrepreneurship, unlike in Tier 1 cities. Tier 2 cities such as Chandigarh need the infrastructure and the conditions that motivate entrepreneurs to start their own venture and work on ideas.\r\n\r\nDuring the session, while answering one of Khurana\u2019s questions, Nandwani said that those who can\u2019t take failures should never enter the startup ecosystem. "It's a ride, adventurous and interesting but it requires courage. You should be able to accept your failures.\u201d\r\n\r\nRitika Singh tackled Khurana\u2019s question on the \u2018importance of incubators and accelerators in the ecosystem\u2019 with a crisp response. "Just having incubators and accelerators around is very reassuring for the ecosystem. For the early stage startups to grow and strengthen, the mere presence of these enablers is very comforting.\u201d\r\nHighlight Of The Evening: The BIGShift Pitch\r\nOut of over 100 applications, only four startups had made the cut and were chosen to present their business ideas in front of the jury at the BIGShift Pitch. The jury constituted of Ashish Grover, cofounder of uTrade Solutions who has worked for nearly a decade in software development in India, and Ashok Mehta, MD from Emmbros Automotives, an entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience across various sectors.\r\n\r\nThe four startups that made it to the BIGShift Pitch were:\r\nTickTalkTo\r\nFounded in 2018 by Abhay Singhal, the mobile application connects people suffering from mental illnesses to therapists and mental health practitioners.\r\n\r\nSinghal\u2019s belief is that access to mental health is a basic human right and owing to that, TickTalkTo counters problems such as the stigma around mental health, and the inadequate ratio of mental healthcare professionals in India.\r\n\r\nUsing a therapy-focussed model, it claims to offer absolute anonymity and confidentiality to users. It only brings verified and experienced professionals on board and has over 3.5K downloads till date.\r\nZadd Bikes\r\nFounded by Aniket Bharadwaj and Shubham Goyal in 2017, Zadd Bikes makes smart and eco-friendly two-wheelers that provide real-time tracking, crash detection, connected riding experience and other smart features.\r\n\r\nWith a focus on urban mobility, Zadd Bikes are designed to meet the commuting needs of people in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. The startup offers solutions such as infotainment modules, anti-theft systems, onboard diagnosis, navigation among others.\r\n\r\nHaving Samar Singla, CEO, Jugnoo, as an investor and advisor, Zadd is providing solutions to the problems of the cost of travelling, congestion, pollution and time spent on the daily commute in the metros and more.\r\nWaypals\r\nA connected vehicle and automated data analytics and telematics company, Waypals was founded by Sukhvinder Lamba, in 2015. It monitors, analyses and predicts driving behaviours for OEMs such as automobile makers and insurance companies.\r\n\r\nThe startup offers solutions for advanced fleet management, connected personal vehicles and the insurance industry. Its solutions range from fuel monitoring and saving to real-time track and trace to crash alerts and vehicle immobilisation as well as vehicle diagnostics, incidence reporting, telematics insurance solutions, microinsurance enablement and more.\r\n\r\nWith total revenue of more than 2 Cr till date, Waypals also offers a visual dashboard and other advanced features for drivers to manage their vehicles, while insurance admins get access to real-time data in an interactive dashboard.\r\nSubhe\r\nSubhe is a skill-learning platform founded by Vivek Rathore and Jagrit Gupta in 2018. The startup offers a library of video training courses and tutorials in Indian regional languages for those looking to upskill themselves for jobs.\r\n\r\nOn a mission to help the Indian youth dominate the existing learning space, they offer in-demand skills in technical and business subjects in the language that they are comfortable in. It has curriculum-based video training courses and tutorials created by industry experts.\r\n\r\nTo counter the problem of students who are not fluent in English, the platform is offering monthly courses with a minimal fee in their native languages and aims to offer annual courses soon. Students can learn the latest digital & technical skills on their time & device, in their own language.\r\n\r\nAt the end of the day, after the selected startups had made their pitches, the jury chose Zadd Bikes as the winner of BIGShift Pitch.\r\n\r\nThe startups that made the cut to the BIGShift Pitch got a direct entry into DigitalOcean\u2019s Hatch Program which offers infrastructure credits, priority support, training and access to the startup community.\r\n\u201cChandigarh has a vibrant ecosystem of startups solving various problems, supported by a community of approachable investors & enablers. Events like BIGShift offer a platform for the community to learn, network and also understand how their business can grow,\u201d Karan MV, senior India outreach manager, DigitalOcean.\r\nThe response from Chandigarh\u2019s startup ecosystem, the founders, investors and angels was exhilarating and vindicated Inc42\u2019s confidence in startups from Tier 2 startup hubs.\r\n\r\nAfter Chandigarh, the focus turns to the heart of India with Nagpur as the BIGShift tour continues. Inc42 and DigitalOcean will arrive in the city on August 3, and you can register for it right here.\r\n\r\nThe BIGShift editions for Chandigarh were supported by Dineout as Associate Partner and,\u00a0TiE Chandigarh, Chandigarh Angels Network, Startup Punjab and eChai Ventures as ecosystem partners.