Valuable takeaways await startup entrepreneurs in Chennai Regional RoundTable


Join us at IC & SR auditorium, IIT-Madras, on June 25 at 3 pm

Chennai, a conservative and traditional metropolis, is slowly wearing off its identity. The city has come to embrace the modern tradition of building technology companies. Still tradition plays a huge part and the Chennai customer is always value-conscious. And serving such a customer is altogether a different ballgame. Saravana Stores, a multi-utility retail format, inspired Big Bazzar, as Kishore Biyani confesses in his autobiography. The manufacturing giant and automotive components hub is also now home to some promising technology companies. Fresh Desk won the Microsoft Bizspark Startup Challenge only yesterday. And that proves the promise that this city holds.

IITs, which give India a global academic identity, is scoring yet another first in Chennai. With the efforts of IIT-Madras’s visionary director Prof. M.S. Ananth and a few other stakeholders like RTBI founder Dr. Ashok Jhunjunwala, the IIT-M Research Park has been put into operation. The first of its kind research-cum-incubation facility in the country that aims to leverage the best of research coming out of IIT and encourage such researchers to build viable commercial models, the Research Park is now home to 37 companies and 10 incubatees. It’s only right that Prof. M.S. Ananth is inaugurating the TechSparks 2011 Regional RoundTable Chennai tomorrow.

In yet another first, Murugavel Janakiraman, now the online match maker, who himself found his match through his own Bharat Matrimony, has built a web portal for solemnizing marriages online. This venture has inspired a whole bunch of web entrepreneurs to build similar models of matrimony online. Hear him as he delivers the keynote at the Regional RoundTable Chennai with the theme “Tying the Knots with Bharat Matrimony.”

Suresh Sambandam, one of the panelists in the go-to-market strategies discussion, has built a PaaS platform through his company OrangeScape. This platform helps developers to build business applications on top of Google App Engine, yet another innovation from Chennai. He is going to share some insights that would be very useful and given that Suresh is also a giver to the community in terms of mentoring and support he extends to startups, you will regret missing to meet him.

Badri Seshadri built India’s first online cricket portal in the 1990s when Internet was just taking off. Badri then had the audacity to constantly innovate with this cricket portal before it was acquired. Once out of cricinfo, Badri went on to establish New Horizon Media, which targets regional language publishing. In capsule-sized books, New Horizon Media publishes all that is content and knowledge. Without restricting itself to big titles and big names, the content that they dish out is very interesting and in some years, you will have everything about this state of Tamil Nadu in their repository. Hear him as he would tell you how to build not once but twice over.

For complete agenda, see here. For free registrations, write to

–Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, chief evangelist


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