TamilChangemakers Insights: Unleashing Potential - Empowering Startup Founders in Challenging Economic Times
Mohan Markandaier's insights appeared in our May TamilChangemakers business newsletter.
TamilCulture Media
Toronto, Canada
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Mohan's insights appeared in our June TamilChangemakers Newsletter. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here and join our private LinkedIn group here.
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Startups are the driving force behind innovation and economic growth. However, during challenging economic periods, they often encounter even greater obstacles on their path to success. Over the past three years, startups have faced extraordinary circumstances, from navigating the pandemic to the current economic conditions. Being an entrepreneur, especially as a startup founder, is a formidable task, involving managing cash flow, fundraising, customer acquisition, product development, talent acquisition, and more. Now, in addition to these challenges, startups must also contend with macroeconomic factors such as inflation, high interest rates, the fear of recession, and the risk of bank failures. As a result, the past year and the early part of this year have posed significant challenges for startups worldwide. 
Resilience and Focus: 
Successful founders exhibit resilience during these times by staying focused and extending their runways (the number of months they have to execute their plans before running out of money). They achieve this by either reducing expenses, which is a difficult undertaking, or raising extensions to their previous funding rounds, even in some cases with the same or lower valuation from their last round of financing. Great founders and companies overcome these challenges and emerge stronger than ever before. In fact, many of today's most successful companies were founded during a recession. We know that numerous problems need solving in the world, and it is through innovative startups that we can attempt to tackle them. 
Traits of a Successful Startup Founder: 
• Passion: Successful founders are driven by a passion for solving a problem they have personally experienced. They persevere and take courageous risks, facing numerous failures along the way, yet maintaining an optimistic outlook that ultimately leads to success. 
• Learning and Adaptation: Startup founders must continuously adapt and learn to navigate the ever-changing landscape of technology, industry trends, shifting customer behavior, and more. They embrace the "fail fast, pivot if needed" approach. 
• Strong Relationship Building and Effective Communication: Building strong relationships and maintaining a positive reputation are crucial. Surrounding oneself with exceptional team members, advisors, and mentors is key. Effective communication of the bold vision to employees, customers, investors, and other stakeholders, with a focus on credibility, integrity, and transparency, is paramount. 
The Tamil Community: 
The challenges faced by startup founders are further magnified in underserved communities, including the Tamil community, which often lacks access to essential resources and support networks. However, by recognizing the immense potential within these communities and taking proactive steps to empower startup founders, we can unleash a wave of entrepreneurial success and drive positive change. The Tamil community is rich with educated, entrepreneurial, and talented individuals who possess innovative ideas, unique perspectives, and a deep understanding of the market. By providing the necessary support, we can tap into this potential and foster a vibrant ecosystem of Tamil entrepreneurs. 
The collaborative efforts of the Canadian Tamil Chamber of Commerce (CTCC) and the Canadian Tamil Professional Association (CTPA) have resulted in the launch of the highly anticipated Tamil Startup Pitch competition, scheduled for June 7th this year. Stay tuned for a range of upcoming programs dedicated to supporting Tamil startup founders, and explore opportunities to become actively involved. The primary objective of this initiative is to facilitate valuable connections between founders and experienced entrepreneurs or professionals, fostering an exchange of insights and establishing a robust network that can attract investors, customers, and partners. 
Empowering startup founders, particularly those in underserved communities, during challenging economic times, represents a transformative mission. By providing essential elements such as access to capital, mentorship, and cultivating a supportive ecosystem, we unlock the untapped potential within these individuals, driving economic growth and creating a thriving entrepreneurial landscape. Through these collective efforts, we pave the way for innovation, job creation, and sustainable development, not only within Tamil communities but also beyond.

Mohan Markandaier is the Managing Partner at Good News Ventures, a pre seed and seed stage Venture Capital firm based in Toronto and investing in high growth technology companies across North America. Since 2017, Good News Ventures has invested in over 50 companies with a few early successful exits. He also mentors and advises startups through various incubators and accelerators. Mohan is a serial entrepreneur with multiple successful exits. He co-founded his first company Pulse Voice in the Telecom software space which was later acquired by Enghouse in 2009. Prior to joining Good News Ventures, he has been an active Angel investor as part of York Angels Investors. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Engineering. 
TamilCulture Media
Entrepreneur | TamilCulture.com
Toronto,  Canada
TC is a community platform that helps you discover Tamil Thinkers, Creators and Doers.
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