Founder and CEO at One Million by One Million (1Mby1M)
Sramana Mitra is Founder and CEO of One Million by One Million (1Mby1M), a global virtual accelerator that aims to help one million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond. She is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant, she writes the blog Sramana Mitra On Strategy, and is author of the Entrepreneur Journeys book series and Vision India 2020. As an entrepreneur CEO, she ran three companies: DAIS, Intarka, and Uuma. Sramana has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2015, Sramana was named one of LinkedIn’s Top 10 Influencers, alongside Bill Gates and Richard Branson.
How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?
I am a serial entrepreneur in technology and a Computer Scientist from MIT. 1Mby1M is my fourth company. In between my third and fourth venture, I consulted for a decade. I am also a reputed writer and tech thought leader. This interview would give you more context.
When I was a grad student at MIT, I started my first company (1994). After that, through the first dotcom wave, I started and ran 2 other companies, all within the Internet domain. That was my learning ground for entrepreneurship topics, as well as Artificial Intelligence, E-Commerce, Software, etc.
When I started consulting, I developed further insights into topics such as Cloud Computing and extensive knowledge of disciplines such as Product Positioning.
In 2005, I started writing my blog which became quite famous quite quickly. I started interviewing entrepreneurs and thought leaders in cloud computing, big data, Artificial Intelligence, FinTech, Healthcare IT, Online Education, Cyber Security, e-commerce, etc.
Today, thousands of such leaders have been featured on the blog and every single feature is based on an interview with me. Every week, I speak with 5-10 thought leaders across different domains. My team then transcribes and edits the interview before we publish it. I suggest you spend some time on the blog to get a feel for this body of work.
I also wrote an invited column for Forbes from 2008 to 2010 when Betsey Corcoran was the editor. It was called Zero-In. Some of my signature columns remained on the home page of Forbes.com for a month. Capitalism’s Fundamental Flaw written after the financial crisis was one such.
The 1Mby1M free public roundtables regularly have investors and entrepreneurs as guests, and those interviews are also released on YouTube and on our Podcast.
In general, I am a tremendously well-connected person, an insider in Silicon Valley, and have access to very high level people on a continuous basis. People seek me out from around the world to be featured in my writings, podcasts and videos.
LinkedIn’s recognition of my work in 2015 named me in their Top 10 Influencers. Bill Gates was No. 1. Richard Branson was No. 2. I was No. 10.
Finally, my day job as the CEO of One Million by One Million (1Mby1M), the first and only global virtual accelerator in the world for tech startups keeps me constantly in touch with innovative projects within the domain of technology in general.
What sub-topics are you most passionate about?
Bootstrapped Entrepreneurship Platform-as-a-Service, Software-as-a-Service, Corporate Innovation Virtual Education, incubation, acceleration of entrepreneurs are some of the many.
I really believe in Bootstrapping First, and Raising Money Later (or not at all) as the right way to build a business. This 1-hour course is a great window into why.
My Best of Bootstrapping Newsletter on LinkedIn has over 85,000 followers.
I’ve written article after article on the topic and also books, Udemy courses, etc. to legitimize bootstrapped entrepreneurship. It would not be a stretch to say that I have single-handedly raised the level of respect for bootstrapped entrepreneurship in a Venture Capital dominated media. As such, entrepreneurs love my work. My mantra has been: Do NOT go to VCs as beggars. Go as KINGS. I’m always on the side of entrepreneurs, and investors who want to convey to them that they’re entrepreneur-friendly, like to work with me. They like to be featured in my shows and newsletters.
Of course, I have taken this much further with the founding of One Million by One Million (1Mby1M), the first and only global virtual accelerator in the world for tech startups, in 2010. We’re working with the mission of helping a million entrepreneurs reach a million dollars and beyond in annual revenue.
PaaS is a big trend in the SaaS world right now. You can start with this article. Cloud Stocks and PaaS: Which SaaS Players Will Win in PaaS | Sramana Mitra. We’ve had excellent conversations on companies trying to build PaaS ecosystems. My Cloud Stock Analysis newsletter has covered the topic extensively.
In general, in my Cloud Stock Analysis, I take a product strategy view, not a pure financial view. This means, I look at acquisitions, Market Sizing, PaaS strategy, Partnerships, etc. which financial analysts don’t look at as closely.
My assessment is that CEOs of public Cloud companies need to explain all this much better so that investors can understand the implications of why they make certain moves. I am willing to offer a bigger platform to those who desire to have such conversations directly with investors.
We’ve also done a lot of work within the domain of corporate innovation through our Incubator-in-a-Box platform. Tech Corporations looking to project a commitment to innovation can benefit from working with us. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in this domain. Oracle ran their entire Intrapreneurship program on this platform for 6 years. In a nutshell, we run co branded incubators and accelerators for brands on this platform.
Who influences you on these topics?
I talk to tech entrepreneurs and thought leaders all the time. You can look at our blog for the Entrepreneur Journeys series or interviews, as well as the Thought Leader series or interviews. Thousands of tech leaders have been guests on my platforms. You can also look at the Seed Capital blog/podcast/roundtables for my investor interviews.
What challenges are brands facing in this space?
Too much noise. Hard to cut through. Let me elaborate on these issues. Let’s take the example of FinTech and Financial Services firms trying to talk to entrepreneurs and offer them small business credit. It’s not at all easy to get any mindshare for brands currently. This is where our direct relationship with entrepreneurs can help tremendously to cut through the noise.
Another challenge is for tech companies – both large, mid-sized, and small – trying to sell tech products to both enterprises and SMBs. Again, mindshare is terribly hard to command right now. We can help.
Also, smaller tech stocks don’t get ANY analyst coverage. How do CFOs and Investor Relations folks at these companies communicate with investors? We want to address this challenge categorically.
VCs are dependent on quality deal flow to deliver results for their LPs. We have mindshare with entrepreneurs and can help VCs establish relationships with them.
What do you think the future holds in this space?
LinkedIn is a tremendous opportunity for brands / companies to build relationships with stakeholders directly. That could be investors, could be customers. I believe we can facilitate that kind of relationship building using my influence on the platform.
In B-to-B marketing and investor relations, LinkedIn needs to become a strategic asset that brands need to build on.
If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?
I would like to develop really high quality, in-depth Zoom video interviews that then get uploaded to our YouTube channel. We can then share posts with the interviews on the appropriate LinkedIn Newsletter, Cloud Stocks or Best of Bootstrapping. We can also promote material through Twitter, Facebook, etc. Transcripts of all these interviews would be published in FULL on our blog and propagated through LinkedIn.
We want to help market innovative tech products and services, as well as help with investor relations for Cloud Stocks.
Art is a big one. You can look at my Colors Newsletter on LinkedIn. I am an avid painter. In fact, on a side note, I would be quite interested in working with galleries who want to access my influence in this area as well.
What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?
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