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Investing in People Before Ideas: The Entrepreneurship First Approach by Raghav Goyal

In a world chock full of innovative ideas and concepts, Raghav Goyal, a distinguished alumnus of BITS Pilani Goa campus has carved a niche for himself by championing a unique philosophy: investing in people before ideas. With a dual degree in MSc Economics and B.Tech in Computer Science, acquired between 2015 and 2019, he embarked on a remarkable entrepreneurial journey - starting ground up as an entrepreneur, he has managed to come full circle and now works in the investing space.

Goyal's foray into the start-up arena began with co-founding Habbit, an online experiential learning platform that catered to alternative lifestyles and embraced the vast array of creative arts, culinary skills, and homegrown businesses. Habbit's mission was to empower micro-entrepreneurs aspiring to establish B2C enterprises, bridging the gap between the demand for 21st-century skills and the availability of resources. With unwavering determination and a team of 32 individuals, Goyal spearheaded Habbit's rise, amassing a customer base of over 100,000 learners and offering a diverse range of 10+ new age skills. This impressive feat attracted the attention of numerous seed investors, enabling the company to secure pre-seed funding amounting to a whopping $320 thousand. Just two years after its inception, Habbit caught the eye of Alippo, which eventually acquired the enterprise.

Following the acquisition, Goyal's journey led him to assume the role of Vice-President at Alippo. Even then, he decided to embrace a fresh challenge - becoming a Pre-seed investor at Entrepreneur First, a prominent venture capitalist firm. Within this new realm, he discovered a fresh purpose: identifying exceptional talent within India and nurturing them into accomplished entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneur First heralds a new and holistic approach to fostering a start-up culture, believing that investing in people should take precedence over ideas. Drawing upon his expertise, Goyal searches talent ecosystems like BITS Pilani and the IITs, seeking out exceptional individuals who possess a command over deep tech domains such as SaaS, AI/ML, Web3, and robotics.These individuals are then immersed in a program that connects them with the brightest minds from around the world, creating an environment where they can find their ideal co-founder and collaborate on innovative concepts. Entrepreneur First guides participants on the crucial journey from pre-idea to start-up, with Goyal's insights serving as a compass, guiding them to ascertain if the start-up path is the right one. He helps provide essential resources, guidance, and market testing support to help in the product development process.

Goyal believes that the most valuable lesson he can impart is to seize the moment and not wait until college concludes to venture into the start-up space. College, in fact, serves as the opportune time for students to begin contemplating and acting upon their entrepreneurial aspirations.

As a student of BITS Pilani, Goyal has emerged a visionary, setting his sights on lofty goals. His passion for collaborating with individuals and guiding them toward success is evident. In addition to his achievements, Goyal's influence extends beyond the confines of the start-up realm. He has been selected as an official LinkedIn creator, entrusted with the responsibility of crafting insightful content pertaining to the business and start-up domains. Furthermore, he lends his expertise to Memo'd, a UK based knowledge sharing platform, where he contributes to the creation of compelling content through their Commissioned Creators Program