Part #1| 5 Entrepreneurs that picked Goa to ‘start up’, and never...

Part #1| 5 Entrepreneurs that picked Goa to ‘start up’, and never looked back!

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1. Browntape:
Founded by Gurpreet Singh, Piyush Goel, and Ian Morgan, Browntape is a cloud-based modern, affordable, and efficient software, for online sellers for their e-commerce needs, no matter what marketplaces they are selling on.

While Piyush and Ian were completing their PhD in Artificial Intelligence, in the UK,  a couple of their friends were selling stuff on eBay, however, they soon realized that it became extremely painful and tedious to process the orders to get them out the door and to the customer. To deal with this problem, he jointly built Scrobbld.com – a quick tool that could keep track of the orders and shipments, with Ian, which laid the foundation to Browntape, as they realized that there could be other people who could benefit from this service.

Post UK, Ian worked with General Electric, and Piyush moved to the sunny lands of Goa, to work with a leading UX design firm, which was headed by Gurpreet.  In four years under his leadership, the design firm grew from scratch to just under a million dollars in annual turnover. Geared with his business experience, Gurpreet decided to join Piyush and Ian to take Scrobbld to the next level. A quick trip to the UK brought all three on the same page and they decided to go for it. Armed with the learning from Scrobbld, they started working on the next version of the service ground up, and hence Browntape was born.

With Browntape, online merchants (sellers who sell on eBay, Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc) manage their orders and inventory in one place without the need to log in to each site separately. A seller can bulk print shipping labels, invoices and manifests and track the status of all his orders in one console. When an item sells on one site, the stock quantity gets updated on all his online stores automatically via Browntape.

So far, they’ve received two rounds of angel funding, and are backed by Ganesh Krishnan, a serial entrepreneur and a prolific investor.

Browntape's office.
Browntape’s office.

2. Prototyze:
An incubator, currently working in stealth mode, that turns ideas into businesses, Prototyze builds mobile technology centered products in multiple sectors such as mFitness, transportation, financial services, and corporate training and learning. Four ventures catalyzed by them(Mobiefit, HandyTrain, Carryage, and Seynse) have already been incorporated as independent companies with independent teams, investment and trajectory.

Their other companies include ScreenRoot – which focusses on human: screen interaction design, Synapse – which specializes in business communication, Visual JuJu – centered on multimedia, Starving Artist Films – which makes films designed for online media, Zaki –  which focuses on custom art for individuals, corporate and architects, Gulnar Soaps, that formulates and markets natural hand-made soaps, and Shirkshop that focuses on open source furniture design.

Unlike accelerators, companies under Prototyze are not rotating guest ventures, but are created from scratch – where  everything from investing (and facilitating) capital, to providing infrastructure, to expanding venture teams, to helping build products, to providing services including financial and legal, is taken care of.

Founded by Gourav Jaswal, Prototyze is backed by both individual and institutional investors, and is driven by a team of evangelists, guides and mentors.

Monte Carlo – their HQ, is located in Dona Paula, Goa, and plays host to 70+ people, 3 venture teams and a mini zoo. Pretty close by you’d find their second office – Monte Cristo.
Their third office is located opposite a hospital and next to a bar. It seats 45 people and 2 venture teams. Prototyze also has 3 guest houses are designed to host clients, partners and interns – two of which have an infinity pool with a sea-view, while the other is 60 seconds away from a beach.

3. Tea Trunk:
Founded by tea connoisseur – Snigdha Manchandha, Tea Trunk provides a wide range of gourmet teas, that are hand crafted after days of tasting, refining and re-tasting, so that you get nothing but the very best from India’s tea gardens—with all the flavour and health benefits intact.

Although, no one really needs a reason to drink tea, it’s important to know the difference between good tea, which comes with all the health benefits, and what-most-people-think-is-good tea. With Tea Trunk, you get:
Quality: Most commercial producers blend vast quantities of regular-grade tea with some fine-quality tea, robbing tea of its natural flavor and goodness. At Tea Trunk, we only use the finest-quality teas sourced directly from tea estates. That’s why they taste great and do you lots of good!
Whole leaf: Tea dust is what adds to the weight of your tea but not its quality. Tea Trunk has a no-dust policy. Our teas, whether in tea bags or sold loose, are whole-leaf teas only.
All natural ingredients: Our teas are blended with only 100% natural, fresh-from-the-earth ingredients like rose petals, ginger root, and lemon peels. No artificial fragrance. No added color. No nonsense.
That special touch: Specially crafted pyramid-shaped teabags make sure our teas are comfortable and have enough room to infuse. Each tea comes with a customized brewing guide that tells you how best to steep the tea and what food to pair it with.

“There is no better time than now, to do what you enjoy doing the most.” — Snigdha Manchanda,Tea Sommelier and Founder of Tea Trunk.

4. Vacation Labs:
After being exposed to the travel industry, and the challenges that come along with it, during his 5-year stint at Cleartrip, Saurabh Nanda, an alumnus of IIT Kanpur, started Vacation Labs that builds powerful, yet easy-to-use technology tools, for tour operators that enables them to market their products and services, better. vacation-labsThe online booking system, that was built keeping in mind the complexities of a travel-based business, is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and is now powering websites of operators across the globe – from North America to Europe and from Africa to Asia. Operators with varied tour options – weekend trips, holiday packages, etc – and activities such as scuba diving, trekking, camping, rafting, walking and cycling, cooking classes, and so on, are selling their services online, without any hassles and in minutes.

..and they are doing all of this, out of a Bungalow in Goa!

5. Beard Design Studio
What would a design studio of the 21st century look like? Who would it work with? What kind of work would it produce? How would it evolve? Beard Design was founded in 2012, by Abhishek Sarda, as an experiment to answer all of these questions, and to create a prototype of a modern design studio. They work with emerging brands on brand identity design, Web / UX / UI Design and packaging design, and also tinker with space design, brand communication and strategy, sometimes.

With the simple belief that good ideas are born in the mind, but are given life by the hand, the team at Beard Design cherishes the joys of creating and crafting, of seeing their work come alive.

Over the last 3 years, they’ve worked with 170+ clients, across 27 cities,
11 Countries, 10 Time Zones and 4 Continents. They are domain-agnostic, which explains why their works spans 11 industries including education, healthcare, e-commerce, automobile, hospitality, consulting, hardware, non-profit, real estate, publishing and you name it!

 

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