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Building Sustainable Cities with Startups: An Exclusive Interview with Plug and Play’s Kishore Ravichandran

Building Sustainable Cities with Startups: An Exclusive Interview with Plug and Play’s Kishore Ravichandran | Plug and Play APAC

Asia Tech Daily recently interviewed Kishore Ravichandran, (Ventures, Sustainable Cities) at Plug and Play APAC. In the interview, Ravichandran provided valuable insights for early-stage founders on navigating the different phases of startup development, covering aspects such as fundraising, business management, and exit strategies. Below is a snippet from the complete interview:

Democratizing innovation, Plug and Play Tech Center has built a global platform that bridges the gap between entrepreneurs, corporations, and investors. Over the past 15 years, Plug and Play has cultivated a thriving ecosystem, uniting over 35,000 startups, 500 corporations, and numerous venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies across 20+ industries. 

With a presence in 50+ locations worldwide, Plug and Play has facilitated investments and catalyzed collaboration among key stakeholders.

At Plug and Play, its venture capital arm nurtures early-stage startups across diverse industries. With a portfolio of over 200 investments annually and supporting 30+ unicorns, it includes industry giants like PayPal and Dropbox. Its focus spans various sectors, from Agtech and Fintech to Sustainability and Smart Cities, to drive innovation across various domains. 

AsiaTechDaily recently conducted an exclusive interview with Plug and Play’s strategic investor, Kishore Ravichandran. With a background in Materials Science and Engineering and a Second Major in Innovation and Design, Kishore has always brought a unique blend of technical expertise and visionary thinking to his investment approach at the firm.  

His focus on Aerospace, Mobility, Deep Tech and Smart Cities blends seamlessly with their vision of innovation and sustainability. With a keen eye for promising ventures, he embodies the Plug and Play mantra of empowering entrepreneurs and building a brighter future

In this insightful interview, Kishore shares his perspectives on Sustainable Cities, Aerospace Technologies, and the future of innovation. For readers keen on gaining valuable insights into the intersection of venture capital, sustainability, and innovation, this interview is a must-read. 

When evaluating potential startup investments, what criteria or attributes do you look for in a company that aligns with your vision for building a smart future and sustainable cities?

There are many different criterias to consider when assessing a potential startup for investment. At Plug and Play, the main things we look for are the 3 Ts – Team, Technology and Traction.

Team: Why is this team the best team to take this company and grow it into a unicorn? Why is the team motivated to run this company? What is their grand vision for this company?

Technology: How unique is their technology? What is their defensibility that would prevent a replicate of this idea and scaling it faster than they can? Can their technology revolutionize the modern era?

Traction: Who are their current clients? How much revenue has been generated? How much of it is recurring revenue? How scalable is the business? How can they win new markets and grow while facing stiff competition from local competitors?

If a founder is able to answer these questions with conviction, then it would be a no-brainer for VCs to jump on board their investment round – subject to several other metrics, of course 🙂

Investing in Early-Stage Startups often requires patience and a long-term perspective. Could you provide insights into your views on exit strategies, and how important is it for founders to consider these in the context of sustainable businesses?

Exit strategies are often overlooked factors in early-stage investments simply because startups are typically too early to be thinking about them. However, it is indeed crucial to have a rough idea of your business vision from the outset. 

Truth be told, many early-stage VCs are not keen to hear that a founder plans to exit the business after scaling up to a Series B or C. Most VCs want the company to grow, with the founder demonstrating a vested interest in staying for the long term.

Practically speaking, this may not always align with reality. Whether it’s having an acquisition plan from a specific corporation, merging with another company, or pursuing an IPO, these considerations should be part of the founder’s plan right from the start. Only then can the founder steer the company towards the goal and vision they’ve set out to achieve.

To read the full interview, click here to view the original article at Asia Tech Daily.


About Plug and Play

Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we have built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services, and an in-house VC to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before. Since its inception in 2006, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in over 50 locations globally, giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 80,000 startups and 550 official corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. We provide active investments with 200 leading Silicon Valley VCs and host more than 700 networking events per year. Companies in our community have raised over $9 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club, and PayPal.


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Building Sustainable Cities with Startups: An Exclusive Interview with Plug and Play’s Kishore Ravichandran

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