Back in the day a 19 year old entrepreneur chose to stay in office of his small start-up to finish his scheduled meetings rather than go meet Obama, who made a surprise visit to his university. He states, “Priority is everything.” Today, Avelo Roy, an alumnus of Illinois Institute of Technology is involved in multiple ventures to aid startups and entrepreneurs. He has been honored by the California State Senate for his brilliance in this field. He was invited to speak at a White House panel for Entrepreneurial Education. And, also has been featured on CNN Money, ABC7, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, and other US news media.
When the madness takes over
You have to be truly mad and passionate about something to be good or even great at it, and Avelo and his college mate and business partner for their startup in college, felt that same crazy heady rush. They were willing to do everything to make it happen, says Avelo. He chose to give his startup the highest priority. He says, “I was okay not being the best student, I was okay not being the best son, but I was not okay compromising even a moment away from my startup.” This statement from an ambitious mind proved to be the beginning of many big ventures. So it’s no surprise that by time he was 22, Avelo had already built his startup to a million dollar valuation.
“I was okay not being the best student, I was okay not being the best son, but I was not okay compromising even a moment away from my startup.”
The tale of every student entrepreneur
In 2016 as a visiting speaker and judge in a college in India, Avelo was for first time exposed to the budding Indian entrepreneurs. And what he witnessed didn’t shock him at all. He saw students entrepreneurs asking for lakhs and crores with nothing but a presentation. Avelo says, “The other judges were ridiculing them but I saw myself in them when I started as a student entrepreneur with no clue about building businesses or investments.” Avelo says he had his mentors in Chicago who helped him grow; therefore he felt a need to help these students just the same way. So, that very evening, Avelo bought the domain “kolkataventures.com” and his co-founder Neeraj Krishna’s team built out the website in the next couple of days.
The other judges were ridiculing them but I saw myself in them, when I started as a student entrepreneur with no clue about building businesses or investments.”
Why Kolkata Ventures is needed in east of India
Avelo’s research and keen observation proved that that most of the big shots, in the startup ecosystem in Kolkata, have never built any successful businesses themselves. There was a need for seed funding but hardly anyone cared to invest in Bengal or East India in general. From this learning came Kolkata Ventures with the help of Avelo’s entrepreneur/investor friends from US, India and Hong Kong providing: seed funding, education for startup entrepreneurs through our launchpad programmes and an access to an Indo-US network of successful entrepreneurs who made it from zero to millions. Currently, Kolkata Ventures is the largest startup organization in East India with 240 plus startups from various tech and non-tech sectors.
The man of many achievements
The ingenious man feels he has achieved a lot. And the achievements, he says, are not in forms of awards. He explains, “For 8 years my efforts to spiritually train and counsel young men and women of Chicago which has transformed them from being heartbroken, frustrated, addicted or even suicidal to become happy, powerful and confident and even getting jobs at Google, Cisco, Amazon or even building their own startups, are my achievements.”
As for India, Avelo Roy says he feels proud of the youth breaking the stereotypes set by their parents and grandparents and paving the bright future of India. And with Kolkata Ventures playing a small part and inspiring 600,000 aspiring entrepreneurs, Avelo Roy has proved to be a startup leader.