Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Apparao Karri’s Story

The following post is from Yushan Lou ’18, a Butler Venture Accelerator team member.

Apparao Karri M'12 at Founder Friday

Apparao Karri M’12 at Founder Friday

On March 25, Apparao Karri M’12 shared his entrepreneurial experience for Founder Friday at the Blank Center. He graduated from Babson Graduate School in 2012 and started his company Cintell, an enterprise technology startup that helps businesses engage with their customers better and operationalize their buyer personas. Cintell was a MassChallenge  finalist and was also a finalist of the 2015 B.E.T.A. Challenge alumni track. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Apparao successfully led strategic initiatives at companies like NetProspex (acquired by D&B), OneSource (acquired by InfoGroup) and other successful startups. Apparao said entrepreneurship is a state of mind. Here are some highlights of what you can take from his experiences:

Gaining experiences through working for big company will ensure a higher probability of having a successful startup.
Almost all Babson students can’t wait to be an entrepreneurs right after graduation, if they are not one already. However, the experiences you learn and the networks you build through working for big firms are extremely valuable for your future career. Apparao also mentioned that besides the factors such as securing financial stability, working in a big organization can open your access to very expensive resources. From his own experience, the connections he made while he was working brought him huge success later on as he started his company. He applied what he has learned from the past to his own venture.

You want complementary skills in your team.
Choosing the right team is always a big factor for having a successful startup. Apparao shared his experience on how he selected his co-founder, who is a marketing expert. “It is always great to have someone who has complimentary skills in your team. If you have a person who is just like you, your team will not be cross functional enough and will lack necessary skills to build a business.” Apparao already had the Product Strategy & Execution skills and was looking for adding Sales & Marketing skills to the team.  So when he started his company, he reached out to Katie, so that he would have someone who can complement his skillset. Later on, he added Shyam, who brought Technology Management & Engineering expertise to the team

Leave an impression on the people around you before starting your startup.
Impression is very important. After meeting with people, Apparao always leaves with the an entrepreneurial impression. He has always tried to innovate and bring entrepreneurship into the organizations he worked for. So when he first started his company, people had trust on him. This made recruiting talent and gaining investment much easier for him.

See you at Founder Fridays at 11am in the Blank Center!