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Due Diligence to Assess and Validate the Students Entrepreneurs and their Business Plans – An Investors’ Contemporary Approach

Procedia Economics and Finance
DOI: 10.1016/s2212-5671(14)00237-8
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Due Diligence
  • Investors
  • Business Plan
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Education


Abstract Due Diligence in entrepreneurship could be an approach of an investor to increase the level of control on entrepreneurs being groomed in education institutes by identifying entrepreneurial skills in students and mentoring them. It could be a part of the Investors Strategy which is defined as “the match an organization makes between its internal resources and skills and the opportunities and risks created by its external environment (Prashant Hebbar, 2011). Due Diligence model helps to build a few innovative companies from student entrepreneurs with reasonable degree of early success and promising future potential and also it exposes students into real entrepreneurship in a competitive do-it-to-learn-it environment. It is emotionally much harder to restart after a failure because the risks seem clearer. This may be why the energy and enthusiasm of youth are so important in research and in new businesses. While thinking about fear, think of “paranoia” of entrepreneurs with respect to sharing thoughts, ideas and concepts with others. In all investors’ years, they don’t think they have ever seen a single idea some variation of which they have not seen before but entrepreneurs must share enough to validate their ideas with people who are not friends or family (Sridar Iyengar, 2010) so whoever is meeting the entrepreneur needs to give them comfort that there is a code of conduct that would be followed (Ramaraj, 2011). The best of the ideas in the world came from campuses and investment community's feels there is a lack of good investible companies outside so best time to take risk for people is student time on campus (Manish Kumar, 2012). 40% of investors’ business in the US comes from repeat entrepreneurs but investors are very open to backing first time entrepreneurs in the Indian context because they see more first time entrepreneurs than in the West simply because the whole model of building a fast-growing enterprise and then exiting is fairly new (Alok Mittal, 2012). The world's most successful entrepreneurs are all first time entrepreneurs and also the track records of entrepreneurs who have succeeded in their first venture, they typically don’t succeed after that so it comes back to whether they have a track record of achievement in their lives, not necessarily in business (Avnish Bajaj, 2012). All the Angels are very keen to look at the entrepreneur more than the idea, wanting to see the amount of passion, commitment so what's their skin in the game which is an important indicator of commitment (R Ramaraj, 2012). To be a successful entrepreneur, money is one of the ingredients, but it will not automatically guarantee success. At that time there were businesses that had tonnes and tonnes of money, but they don’t exist today (Pradeep Gupta, 2011) so funding is not the issue but the idea itself may not develop into anything. The most important part in the entrepreneurial process is the team - the team that can make it happen because all business plans undergo change, all businesses face crisis. We need to be confident this team has their ears to the ground; they have the passion; they have the staying power to see the finish line (Alok Mittal, 2011). This is the stage things are more flexible and companies can be formed with better teams pertinent to the requirements of the concept so entrepreneurship education on campus helps in entrepreneur team configuration (Manish Kumar, 2012). Students have to develop their own set of tools to finally building the end product and this is possible on campus with less risk and more guidance from the experts and investors. It helps them to think through their product and more than anything else, it reduces dependencies. As corollary, if you have to run for specialist help for your product's core, you may want to think about bringing that specialist onboard (Prashant Hebbar, 2011). The initiative is to explore how investors can organize the youth to create next generation young companies, in their capacity, can play a role in enabling this and hopefully creating some great companies for itself and the ecosystem to cherish. The culmination of this quiet but relentless effort is to reduce the risk of failure of new venture, instilling confidence in investors as well as in students who want to pursue entrepreneurship. The present study is focused on the students’ reasons for pursuing investor supported entrepreneurship development program on campus for the success of their campus ventures knowing investors expectations in terms of running entrepreneurship program parallel to mainstream academics and involving domain experts giving all the necessary inputs to create entrepreneurial mindset. The researcher used questionnaires for B-school students which included close/open ended, multiple choices, nominal and ordinal questions. Investors’ regular interaction with B-school students and helping students develop business relations were found out to be most important attributes in overcoming the fear of starting a new venture. The objectives of the study were:1. To understand the students’ reasons for pursuing entrepreneurship development program that exposes them into real entrepreneurship in a competitive do-it-to-learn-it environment. 2. To understand investors’ views on what makes build a few start-up companies from student entrepreneurs with reasonable degree of early success and promising future potential.

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