In the month of November, HeadStart achieved yet another milestone, that of reaching out to masses and sharing knowledge with entrepreneurs from different places across the country, even those living in remote areas where there is lack of proper guidance and dearth of much needed inspiration during the startup phase. With the November Startup Saturday event at Mumbai being covered by ET Now, to be aired on its show Starting Up, Headstart is well on its way to create an entrepreneurial revolution in the country.
Mumbai - Starting Up@Startup Saturday
The theme of Mumbai Startup Saturday was “Social Media”. The event had social media experts come and share their experiences.
The first speaker of the day was Gaurav Mishra who made a great case on how it’s the right time for start-ups in India to focus on “Invention” rather than “Tweaks”. RajivDingra of WATMedia(http://wat-media.com/) spoke next about the use of social media for startups.
This Startup Saturday Mumbai was marked by the unveiling of StartingUp Show on the ET Now channel.
Three start-ups introduced their products, in 90 seconds each, Rakesh Deshmukh presented MoTrade, a mobile trading platform with secure transaction as its USP. Avinash Anandan introduced Qureka, that helps you discover people around your interests and Samir Palnitkar presented his start-up ShopSocially, a social shopping experience site. Sudhir Syal of Starting Up moderated a fun Q&A session with the 3 founders answering the questions raised by the audience.
This fun session was followed by a talk by Naman Sarawgi, Head of Product at Freecharge.in(http://www.freecharge.in), on the problems faced and solved by them using social media. Dina Mehta then spoke on 10 tips for establishing “Personal vs Professional Brands on Social Media”. Rohit Varma of Interskale Digital Marketing, spoke next about how social media is a great tool for start-ups to reach out to targeted groups interested in their products.
The session ended with a talk by Mahesh Murthy on how mammoth companies like Google, Amazon and Yahoo took off solely through word of mouth and without much advertising.
Startup Saturday Bangalore
The Startup Saturday Bangalore was based on the theme “What business is right for me?”
The session began with an informative talk by Amit Singh, one of founding members of Headstart Network who also heads Startup Saturdays across India. Amit spoke about the idea behind Headstart, its initiatives like Startup Saturday, the people behind this initiative and the future goals of Headstart.
Amit’s session was followed by an entertaining speech by Shastri Divakaruni, Chairman & CEO of SilkMedia.( http://www.silkmedia.net). Mr. Shastri emphasized on the importance of perseverance and the need to focus on profits and not just the idea of business.
The next talk was by KA Srinivasan, co-founder of Amagi Technologies((www.amagi.com) and founder of ImpulseSoft. Mr. Srinivasan shared his experiences about starting Impulsesoft, how it got acquired and what they focused on in his venture Amagi. He advised aspiring entrepreneurs to focus on doing what interests them. He also emphasized on the need to be flexible and change one’s ideas if needed in the initial stages, to avoid learning the hard way.
Karthee Madasamy from Qualcomm Ventures (http://www.qualcomm.com), a VC firm then spoke about Inflection point(the point at which the growth of the product/industry is typically exponential in nature). The session ended with a talk by Mr. Manish from Saarthi Consulting(www.saarthiconsulting.com) who spoke about “Success Chakravyuha” or the 7 factors that decide the success of a startup.
Startup Saturday Hyderabad
The theme of Startup Saturday Hyderabad was “Cloud Startups”. Different concepts like building solutions in SaaS model, building tools and infrastructure for the cloud and key challenges in the business models for cloud solutions, were being discussed in the event.
The first speaker was Satish Madira, founder of Yasu Technologies and an angel investor in Hyderabad. In his engaging talk on cloud based business models, Mr. Satish Madira spoke about online gaming industry, free gaming consoles and subscription based games.
Chiatanya from Ozonetel spoke next about the product Koo Koo. KooKoo is a next generation inbound and outbound IVR telephony platform, that allows users to build and manage their telephony application using web technology of their choice.
The Hyderabad event ended with a talk by Ripul Kumar of Kern Communications who spoke about a new Cloud based LMS solution being launched recently.
Startup Saturday Kolkata
Startup Saturday Kolkata tried a new format this time. Instead of speeches it had an open discussion session by entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs and other professionals on serious issues that affect startups and businesses day in and day out.
The session started with a discussion on “Should a startup focus on one core competency or should it take up every small assignment that comes its way just to survive?” Aji and Manoj suggested that it is a good idea to take up what comes its way while dedicating a certain percentage of resources in building a product or a particular service. While another attendee, Pallav Nadhani, said that the resources of the startup should be allocated only to its long term, medium term and short term projects.
Another debate that sparked at this point was “How to differentiate products and services?” Many emphasized the importance of developing products to succeed. It was pointed out by several attendees that it is difficult to be a 100% product company as even giving a product may entail providing some services ancillary to the main product - such as installation or user training. The event ended with a discussion about hiring and retaining talent.
The first speaker in the Chennai Startup Saturday, Vivek from Interview Street made a simple yet powerful presentation. Satya Prabhakar of Sulekha.com then shared his experiences giving a glimpse of the challenges faced by an entrepreneur. “You need to be fully involved in an idea and at the same time enjoy the vagaries of life.” Satya quoted in his talk.
Startup Saturday Pune
The theme of the Pune Startup Saturday was “Mobile Application Development”. The first speaker was Sachin Murgunde of Savvy Infocenter who gave a good overview of the mobile market with a lot of statistics. Sagar from Optinno technologies spoke next. He spoke about the complexity and difficulty of product development and market analysis. This was followed by an insightful talk by Shardul from Webonise on the world of mobile products. Shailendra from Mobisoft was up next. Surojit Nandy then introduced his company IncuCapital(http://www.incucapital.com/) that works with startups and helps them in their scale up. The event ended with a talk by Jignesh Jain from XTPL on mobile product development.
Startup Saturday happens at eight cities every second Saturday of the month. Join us there if you have the faintest inclination towards entrepreneurship and startups. We can assure you that these sessions will leave you inspired. The audience comprises of entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, academicians, corporates, students including the curious passerby.
Signing off folks, lets create more startups and make existing ones more productive. Join us @ www.headstart.in. Tweet us @headstarters
Contributed by Ruchika Abbi (audience at SS Mumbai), Ramesh, Ramanuj, Ram, Vaijayanthi,Prakash(audience at SS Chennai), Sarang Lakare(audience at SS Pune), Swati (editor) and HS content team.