The 3 biggest challenges facing tech startups in Goa

Goa might be paradise for tourists, adventure seekers and nature lovers, but for startups, things aren’t as rosy.

Of course, this is the very reason why was formed – to make the tech startup ecosystem in Goa a healthy one. So here are three issues, which in our opinion are the biggest inhibitors to early stage ventures in Goa.

  1. Lack of quality talent – Goa has a few recognised engineering degree colleges (GEC, PCCE, BITS & RIT) and one respected management school (GIM). This isn’t bad considering we are a tiny state with a small population. However, with the best students leaving Goa for job opportunities in the metros and international destinations, very little quality talent stays behind. I know from personal experience how tough it has been to recruit someone for a role as simple as a WordPress developer.
    1. Update 1.1 (October 2013): A year after we posted this, we launched the Startup Goa job board. A place for startups in Goa to list programming, project management and design jobs.
    2. Update 1.2 (June 2016): Goa now also has an IIT
    3. Update 1.3 (August 2016): We recently hosted the first state wide internship fair in Goa and will be back with a bigger one in 2017.
  2. Lack of a strong tech community – When I first moved to Toronto, I did so because I just wanted to hang out with the tech crowd. It sure did make a difference! Simply having a blossoming community of people, passionate about similar issues and ideas works wonders for the way your own knowledge and thoughts evolve. I learned more in my first two months in Toronto (attending events like #LeanCoffeeTO) than I did in all my time in Goa, Bangalore and Mumbai. Networking and support are no longer a question of fora but simply texting people in the community. Finding developers, partners, co-founders and even hanging out with investors is as simple as stepping out for the evening. To nourish the few enterprises that are in Goa and to help retain students and attract outside talent to Goa, we need to build a strong support community.
    1. Update 2.1 (June 2013): We collaborated with Fabian from NBT to launch the Goa Web Folks meetup to network likeminded nerds and creatives in Goa!
    2. Update 2.2 (Jan 2013): There are now over 500 members in our meetup group!
  3. Lack of project & product managers & expertise – For a community of people, notorious for the sussegado lifestyle, it comes as no surprise that only a tiny fraction of enterprises in Goa have (or are aware of the critical necessity for) project / product managers. I think this is the single largest internal issue that Startups in Goa face as a lot of projects miss deadlines and are all too often derailed thanks to poor management. Further, lacking exposure to international best practices specially in UX and UI, most digital projects that do surface here can be spotted from a mile away for all the wrong reasons.
    1. Update 3.1 (October 2013): I launched a product design and development company, DCCPER, with a base in Goa and Toronto. We are doing our part! #ShamelessSelfPromotion

Then of course, there are other big issues like government policy and taxation but that is an issue we believe is going to be resolved shortly.

What do you think ails the Goan StartUp scene? What suggestions do you have to help resolve these?