It’s your time now

A good majority of you would probably have heard of the Profoundis acquisition story by now. For those of you who haven’t yet - A young startup from Startup Village named Profoundis founded by a bunch of bright students from college of engineering Chengannur has been acquired by Full Contact, a US based firm in a multimillion dollar deal. It’s been in the news and facebook walls all week.

Profoundis founders Arjun, Jofin, Anoop & Nithin at their appreciation party with the gift from their team

Startups becoming a household name

What this acquisition of Profoundis will help is to move startups into being a household name. When we started out with MobME back in 2005, forget parents, even our friends and batchmates did not know the word startup. When Jacob from the office of the Revenue Secretary enquires about Vibe, the product of Profoundis, as part of casual conversation when I was waiting in the visitor lounge and introduced myself as from Startup Village, we realise that things have changed.

A new relatable success story in Profoundis

It’s not when we hear about kids from Silicon Valley but when we hear stories of our very own friends and batchmates and seniors that we begin to believe and are spurred to action. Its when we get to meet and interact with them in flesh and blood that we realise that they are also just like us - with the very similar set of backgrounds, dreams, aspirations and fears.

MobME was that story for a generation of founders. 10 years on the MobME story has not lost its relevance and continues to inspire. And now Profoundis that has come out of Startup Village, a MobME initiative, will continue to inspire our next generation of founders for the next 10 years and beyond.

Harbinger of times to come

I understand we are all impatient to see the first Google or Flipkart to emerge out of our state. Fetter not. We will get there. Good things take time. And this Profoundis exit is a good indication that we are indeed headed in the right direction.

The Profoundis exit is only a sign of more things to come. Profoundis was the third company at Startup Village. The founders of the first two companies are still alive and kicking. And there are several more that came after. Some of them are battered and bruised but not down and out. And they are all up and about. Profoundis happened to be one of the first among them to get to an exit. Given enough time and the right support, it is but inevitable that they all get there.

We have always maintained that the founders working away in the small rooms and corridors of our 5k building during the initial days of Startup Village will go on to script phenomenal success stories. And this acquisition of their fellow founder will only ignite the fires in their bellies all the more.

Significance of exits

Entrepreneurship is all about creation of economic wealth. Period. Let’s respect that. And exits are the lifeblood of any startup ecosystem. Unlocking of economic value happens at exit - for the investor, for the entrepreneur and for the society at large. And exits happen only when we are committed to exponential growth.

For far long we have relied and have allowed ourselves to be mesmerised by an idea or the innovativeness of the idea. It was as if we were helpless to move beyond ideas and summon the courage needed to get on with getting it out into the world. It was as if all we were capable of is dreaming and not working towards making that dream a reality. It was as if something was holding us all back. Perhaps an inherent fear that such aspirations may not be attainable itself.

This Profoundis exit will drive home both messages - that exits are what powers the startup ecosystem and that it is possible for us to get there. That too in a relatively reasonable amount of time. This will be the single largest impact of this Profoundis story on the Kerala startup ecosystem.

It’s your turn now

One of the walls at Startup Village was adorned with the words that Kris Gopalakrishnan, Cofounder of Infosys and our Chief Mentor at Startup Village, told us during his visit to our small MobME office in Technopark TBI “We started Infosys in a room about this size. It’s your turn now”. To all those bright minds out there, it’s your turn now.

Me and my friend and colleague Sanjay in front of the Kris wall along with founders of the first two startups at Startup Village