Date of Interview July 02, 2013
Naga is a versatile and passionate leader with around 2+ decades of global experience (decade in the USA and a decade+ in India). As a full time angel investor, invested in 8 start-ups through Indian Angel Network (IAN) and leads IAN’ Impact Ventures initiative. Naga holds a B.E. degree from Thiagarajar College of Engineering, India and an MBA degree from the San Diego/Kennesaw State University, United States.
Mr. Nagaraja Prakasam shared his views on Angel Investing to our readers in an exclusive interview with Startuptimes.in
Mr. Nagaraja Prakasam, Tell us about yourself?
Intrepreneur turned Angel Investor. I love spending time with entrepreneurs, people call that us mentoring. Enjoyed volunteering for non profits and now enjoying helping them to be social entreprises - my current focus is Impact Investing.
Can you tell our readers who is an Angel Investor?
Angel investor has a heart and money. Beyond money he is willing spend time and effort in connecting people, mentoring, opening up doors, etc. Trusts his gut feel on the entrepreneur rather than projections (even though its important) and his/her LP is his wife/husband so need not get into too much documentation.
How many startups have you invested in and name some successful?
Around 9 and pretty happy about all of them. To be specific, Gamiana - online games, Stayzilla hotel booking site for tier 3/4 cities. Lumiere Organic - seed to table.
What is your field of expertise?
IT. Now focusing on sector agnostic social enterprises servicing low income families
What do you consider the greatest opportunity for angel investing in a startup?
Your ability to identify the dimond before anyone else and helping in polishing it.
Do you have any horror stories to share with in your journey as an Angel?
Its a high risk and high reward proposition. Need to have the ability not to loose sleep when your investment goes south. I have seen startup looking so great 3 months before struggling to stay float now. Team dynamics is very key, i have seen co-founders falling apart putting the company in trouble.
What best practice do you like to see in Angel Investing?
Need to be beyond check writing. Be a trend setter, so innovations can be nurtutred instead of following a trending sector.
What do you look for in a Startup before investing?
Product market fit, Proof of businees, Market potential, Execution ability, Finally if the entrepreneur is great, all of the above can become less important.
What is your take on Indian Startup eco system?
The eco system is thriving but its an investor market. So quality of the startup need to be very good. Me toos wont get attention. I want to see disruptive innovation coming out of India. I often tell startups not to read Techcrunch and write business plans based on what got funded in valley. I'm looking for Malcolm Gladwell`s 10000 hour entrepreneurs and finding them only in non-profits and academicians.
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Tags: Interview with Angel Investor India, Nagaraja Prakasam Angel Contact Info, Gamina, Stayzilla, Intrepreneur, india startup eco system, Indian Angel Network