Adhish Verma, CEO & Founder, The Cofounder talks about the inception of the start-up magazine and its journey so far
By Adhish Verma
CEO & Founder, The Cofounder
The inception of ‘The Cofounder’ is the most unrealistic yet completely intriguing story I can tell. It’s the tale of two founders who never met each other, but raised seed funding to launch India’s first start-up magazine together. At that time, I used to write articles on early start-ups in my online blog named HireStreet. When I looked for a co-founder who could take my blog forward, I found Arunraj on Facebook. He was writing a similar kind of blog. We collaborated and started writing for HireStreet, and we began to get pretty good traction. After a few months, when we wanted to take the next big step, we came up with the idea of launching a Print magazine which focuses exclusively on early stage start-ups in India. The idea was presented to investors, and we were fortunate enough to find someone who believed in our vision. The most interesting part was that Arunraj and I met each other for the first time only during the signing of the term sheet with our investor!
Then began the search for a suitable name to position the vision and value of this platform. We were stressed out as every suitable name we thought of was already taken up. One night, I was sitting at home and thought of amusing myself by keying in random names to check their availability and I happened to type ‘The Cofounder’. To my surprise, it was available. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I searched again and again trying to pick out a definite mistake or an error. I was certain that I was wrong somewhere (The Cofounder can’t be available!)... But when I was dead sure that it was indeed available, I called up my CA at 3 am, asking him to apply for the TM immediately. He said that he would do it the following morning. “You do it tomorrow and you are fired,” I told him. He got going that very moment and blocked the name for us. No wonder our tagline says "We salute those who never said no"!
The Cofounder has since launched five editions of the magazine. Meanwhile, in the industry, as the me-too start-up mad rush has slowed down, and funding too has taken a hit, the reality of Indian start-ups on retaining users and setting up viable business models has dawned upon the ecosystem. The Cofounder brings the whole ecosystem under one roof.
Last, but not least, a word of advice as an entrepreneur - it is important to face short term failures as these are necessary for long term growth. So, don’t be greedy at first!
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