Startups often confront problems unique to their ecosystem, only 5% of the firms that get established in the country survive due to many factors. There are mentors and portals that come to their guidance in the time of need, but the community lacks content that’s lighter and yet informative, something that’ll help solve problems in a quirkier way. Startup Stories, the YouTube channel with its presence across English, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil languages (with about 3 lakh subscribers) came with such an intention and has now emerged the world’s biggest portal on a streaming platform for content catering to startups. Mudassar Mohammed, Ram Veerapaneni and Armaan Azaad of Hyderabad-based Whackedout Media tell us about the efforts that’ve gone into its content.
“We’re moving towards an age where we’d want to consume content as video. The demand and consumption for video is unmatched. It’s an ideal way to convey, communicate and empower people. We wanted to do something that’ll add value to the work of startups and entrepreneurs.” Why only a YouTube channel? They say many websites do a decent work in empowering startups, though they don’t look for a different medium and that’s where Startup Stories wanted to stamp their authority. The intent being to give entrepreneurs a platform to achieve their dreams. “We want people to get engaged with the community who make a difference.”
Most of their initial videos have been inspiration-driven, that have narrated stories of global entrepreneurs smartly. Startup Stories is unique because it helps one focus on what an entrepreneur goes through. “People buy websites for ₹99, it has become a style statement to call yourself an entrepreneur even if you’re not doing much; the essence of entrepreneurship is missing today because of such cases.” Most entrepreneurs snatch attention for their network, but there’s a void at the grass root level on the knowledge of how a startup functions. “The reason behind sharing stories of global entrepreneurs is to expose them to situations they would come across the good, bad and the best and how they go past them.” A proof to their successful attempt is a group of about 20-30 people who’ve connected with each other through their comments section of the channel and formed a startup of their own.
Startup Stories’ next plan is to host exclusive interviews with celebrities that will enable audiences to ask questions. “This may not solve major problems but it’s a way to connect.” A reality show where one startup will get funded by investors is also on the cards. “We’ve initiated discussions with a few renowned global investor firms. We’re coming with our app that goes beyond news/updates pertaining to startups.” The content will also focus on unique startup events through the country, the recent SLP-5K run for a social cause, the partnership with MSME World Expo being first steps in that direction.
Regional segments work better than English in terms of traction, the stats say; the average lifetime views for each of their videos is about 1.5 lakh. They’re set to launch a channel in the Bengali section too. “We’ve plans to do something native for both Telugu and Tamil. Besides, we’re planning to come up with fictional content and shows, similar to what TVF and Silicon Valley do, that educates and entertains with a mix of fiction and reality.” The web series should be in place within a year.
Startup Stories now has subscribers from Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and parts of north India too. “We have also published a few failure videos in our content, people wanted to learn from it. We don’t want to overdo it and spread negative vibes about the startup community.” Startup Stories is in discussions for partnerships for content across West and Middle East and other Asian countries like Singapore, Malayasia too.