Focus on unmet needs with known people to get first few sales
Sachin Jaiswal co-founded InnovAccer along with his four others Abhinav Shashank, Kanav Hasija, Ankit Maheshwari, Sandeep Gupta in July 2012. When they were contemplating on a unique line of business to get into, they realized that their alma mater from IITKgp was working on a research project at Wharton and wanted to explore if there were any problems that they can solve. They realized that the researchers need support in mining or analyzing data and it was an area that was a little underserved, hence, they decided to take up Academic markets with an intent to accelerate their research work.
Thanks to the connections of IITKgp, they were able to get connected with multiple research institutes and began their consulting activities. Initially his clients were not very keen on these services because they were not sure if this will add value. But when the team went in, did the analysis and demonstrated that a typical research life cycle could be reduced from six months to a few weeks, with the Innovaccer expertise, the research community was really excited. Thereafter, the numerous success stories spoke for itself and they hopped on from one institute to another really quickly.
Based on their success in the consulting area they realized that their success in business depended on the number of resources that were on board and they knew that there was a limitation. They began analysing their past 70 research project implementations and they found out that there were many aspects of the research which could be re-used. They began putting these thoughts together and began building a product, Datashop, by factoring these re-usable parts of the research. The first few sales were with the existing customers who wanted this product and then based on the learnings from the initial implementations, they scaled it to other customers and then to new research institutes. They had a winner in their hands now because the clients came back and said that the time of execution was further reduced to almost instantaneous, due to already compiled data and an extensive analytics library. The Market for academic research acceleration was unexplored and they provided the market what they needed. After the success story of Datashop in the research market, they are now trying to scale the product to fit the needs of other industries and are setting up marketing and sales channels globally.
Sachin’s advice to startup founders – Focus on getting a user for any product or service you offer, instead of building something generic. Try and understand what your customer wants – build it, find similar customers and you will scale automatically.
InnovAccer (http://www.innovaccer.com/) today has a team of 55 people and they work with researchers from around 65 of the top 100 universities in the world that includes Harvard, Wharton to name a couple. They were winners of Nasscom Emerge 50 2014 and their product, Datashop featured in the League of 10 – 2014 by Nasscom.