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HomeTechET Startup Awards 2022: Value creation will matter more than valuation

ET Startup Awards 2022: Value creation will matter more than valuation

A startup’s founders, its leadership team, and the talent they attract will play a key role in turning its vision into a reality. That vision, combined with the startup’s ability to adapt to macro changes, turn a crisis into an opportunity, and build a competitive, resilient and sustainable business will differentiate it from the also-rans in a crowded field, say jury members.

Lizzie Chapman, CEO & cofounder, ZestMoney

My expectations from the nominees would be on three fronts: their vision, business resilience and sustainability. I believe that these are important telltale ingredients that make a great startup, differentiating them from others in a crowded marketplace.

The vision of the company shows the problem a business is solving and the change or value-addition (to users) it is working for. Business resilience and sustainability are indicative of the priorities of the company and the approach taken by the founders to build impactful businesses. Considering the current macro environment these two factors have become more pertinent than ever. As an entrepreneur who believes that strong fundamentals and value-creation are more important than valuation or funding, I would look for businesses that demonstrated the above characteristics.

Challenges are common in businesses and no start-up is completely insulated from them, a fact that has been glaringly obvious in recent years. Hence, a company’s core competencies to maintain relevance, its ability to adapt to macro changes and its agility to innovate and turn a crisis into an opportunity and build a competitive and sustainable market advantage are among other things I would consider.

Girish Mathrubootham, Founder & CEO, Freshworks Inc.


Girish Mathrubootham, CEO & Founder, Freshworks

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Evaluating startups to predict future winners is really hard. The founding team needs to get a lot of things right to set the foundation for a great business. I will be looking at the completeness of the founder’s vision and how they intend to expand from their initial offering.

A lot can be understood by looking at the leadership team that the founder is able to assemble, and how they use culture as a differentiating factor to attract the best talent.

To succeed at scale, their product needs to address a large market potential, and to gain customer traction the team needs to display craftsmanship when building their product. Most importantly, I will try to understand what gives the startup the right to win in their market.

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