In August 2020 we launched the BlumeU Velocity program –  a seven week program for our early stage portfolio founders. We have always believed in creating a structured learning program for our founders, and this therefore was the first step in that direction. The idea was to help founders get strategic / tactical advice on running key org functions (like Product, Design, Marketing, Sales, Technology, HR and Fundraising) from seasoned entrepreneurs + operators + members of our team – who have been there, done that.

We wanted to build a highly engaged community through mentor interaction + peer learning. Founders love interacting and learning from seasoned founders, operators and their peers — and the idea was to do exactly that.

We spent the month of July designing the program framework (series of 15 virtual sessions spread across 7 weeks). As part of the process, we spoke to a group of early stage founders about their challenges across key functions. We also spoke to growth stage founders to understand if a program like this would have been valuable to them when they were in the early stage of starting up. 

The next big task was to get well-recognised mentors to deliver these sessions and we were stoked to collaborate with some of the finest minds in the ecosystem. We are thankful to the mentors who gave their time, and shared valuable insights. These are highly accomplished people, who agreed to mentor the next generation of startup founders. Without them this wouldn’t have been the success it is today 🙂 

As part of the first cohort – we invited founders of 10 portfolio companies to be part of the program. It was based on interest (and intent) and we’re glad that all of them chose to be part of the program. Here is the list of companies that participated — Tapchief, Taaraka, Ethereal Machines, TartanSense, Stage3, InTouch, Skillenza, Futwork, FirstHive, and Jai Kisan.

The program officially kicked off on 17th August and ended on 10th October. Here are the mentors and sessions that were part of the BlumeU Velocity Program.

  • Jasminder Singh Gulati (Co-founder, NowFloats) on ‘Building a winning GTM strategy’
  • Ankur Sharma (Head of Product, Spotahome) on ‘Developing good PM practices’
  • Karthik Reddy (Co-founder & Partner, Blume Ventures) + Hersh Gulati (Principal, RPSG Ventures) on ‘Fundraising strategy and tactics’
  • Amit Ranjan (Architect, National DigiLocker Project and Co-founder, Slideshare) on ‘Building human centred product design’
  • Kabeer Biswas (Co-founder and CEO, Dunzo) on ‘Learnings from Dunzo’s fundraising journey’.
  • Vani Gupta Dandia (Partner, CherryPeachPlum and ex Marketing Director, Pepsico) on ‘How to build a strong B2C brand’
  • Sairam Krishnan (Head of Marketing, imocha) on ‘Building B2B brands that stand out, inspire and help increase revenue’
  • Amit Gupta (Co-founder and CEO, Yulu) on ‘Building organisation culture’
  • Swapan Rajdev (Co-founder and CTO, Haptik) on ‘Building engineering culture and best practices’
  • Dhruvil Sanghvi (Co-founder and CEO, LogiNext) on ‘Building a B2B Sales Engine’
  • Gautam Gupta (Partner, M13) on ‘Product pricing and monetisation frameworks’
  • Ashish Fafadia (Partner, Blume Ventures) on ‘Formulating an ESOP Policy + Setting up a finance-first org’
  • Raghunandan G (Co-founder and ex CEO, TaxiForSure) on ‘Hiring and People Management’
  • Pankaj Mishra (Co-founder, Factor Daily) on ‘Brand Storytelling’
  • Arpit Agarwal (Principal, Blume Ventures) + Tushar Vashisht (Co-founder and CEO, HealthifyMe) + Sadashiva NT (Partner, Constellation Blu) on ‘Tracking metrics + Board Management’

The format of the sessions were a mix of talk / presentation + Q&A and Fireside chat + Q&A.

We’d like to thank all the founders who participated in the BlumeU Velocity program as the first cohort. They were the biggest beneficiaries and we are glad they have already started implementing some of the knowledge they gained from the program.

Overall feedback for the program: 

  • All the founders agreed that the program was useful to them and they will highly recommend it to their peers. 
  • 85 percent of the sessions had an average rating of 8 and above (out of 10). The score was an overall session rating (speaker knowledge + curation + organising)
  • 90 percent of them took away key strategic / tactical advice that they looked forward to implementing in their startup

We are certain with the positive feedback we’ve received from our founders, the ver 2.0 of BlumeU Velocity will be even better.

(P.S. Detailed learnings from the BlumeU Velocity sessions to follow soon as a series of blog articles)

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