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TiECON Lightning Buzz Session: A Center Stage For Emerging Chennai Startups

Sunday November 27, 2011 , 4 min Read

The evolution

The TiE Chennai Startup Super Day organized by Dorai Thodla (founder, iMorph) set the stage for greater things to come. The Special Interest Group (SIG) on Startups in TiE Chennai has been growing in strength, in terms of education sessions, mentoring and networking. The number of startup members in TiE Chennai is on the rise.

The TiECON Program Committee was debating about the structure and a suggestion came from Aarti Sivanand (Head of the Programme Committee, TiECON Chennai 2011) about a special slot for TiE members to showcase their products/services. The committee was unanimous in voting for this session – though experimental in nature. I had the privilege of being a part of this session for selection, rehearsal and moderation. And it sure was fun.

The purpose of the Lightning Buzz was to highlight Chennai’s very own startups – to provide a platform for them to reach out to the large number of delegates at the TiECON. This was in line with TiECON 2011’s theme: Opportunity - See it, Size it, Sieze it!

TieCon Chennai LigtningBuzz

The entrepreneurial 11: Two minutes to pitch!

The typical responses that came in: “WHAT – 2 minutes? 120 seconds! Is that enough? Would that be sufficient? How I can convey the essence in 2 minutes?”

The brief was simple – Be shameless and address the pain point/solution.

At the TiECON Chennai 2011, we had 11 brave entrepreneurs on stage, to pitch about their service and product. The format received a very good response, judging by the responses and each entrepreneur being mobbed when they got off the stage.

First off to bat was Krish from Chargee who have a unique subscription billing model. Sorav Jain from Echovme talked about the need to be aware of Social Media and its effect on marketing.

In Tamil there is a saying “veetta kattippaar, kallyanatha pannippaar” (build a house and conduct a marriage, to the effect that they are big undertakings that also provide significant experience). Priya presented HomePlanGuru and how it works towards addressing the pain points around a construction of a house.

Next Rohit Koshy came on stage and said that our educational system needs a change. Out to create disruptive innovation, Rohit presented learning through games, which is what his firm LearnBiz does.

Harish from Hypnautix was direct and explained their services (video presentation, mobile content development and communicating a story) and asked the audience for reference requests with marketing heads and decision makers! Way to go!

Ankit Chhajer from Cheenilabs came on stage to launch Komparify – their rebranded product offering for all of us who are suffering from the plethora of confusing plans on the telecom front. Which is the most optimal plan based on our actual usage, a definite need of the moment.

A hub for creative professionals – PROHIVE! Sriram Gopal made a neat presentation about Prohive, which is creating a niche for students and professionals in arts, photography and the like.

Renjith Kartha traveled all the way from Cochin to present Neulight, a turnkey consultancy only on lighting for all kinds of spaces. Maheswaran followed next and presented VMS and a much needed solution for all cities: a unique parking solution for two and four wheelers. He aims to solve the parking problems through different modes!

Prem came in next and quoted from the movie Guru. And as promised, he finished with a few more seconds to spare. His message was simple: Read The SmartCEO and you will definitely get at least one idea to work on per month. He finished with a request to the delegates to visit and take up a subscription.

Finishing the buzz was Narayanan from EffectWorks. They make amazing presentations and assist marketing divisions and companies to get their message across. And he kept it simple and let his presentation do all the talking!

A good start

The first edition of the Lightning Buzz has been received well and we look forward to a lot more additions including an audience voting for the best presentation, mentor-match and the presence of angel investors at this session.

The mix of entrepreneurs from all fields: creative, parking, learning, lighting, home planning, payment gateways and marketing support, underlines TiE Chennai’s commitment to propagate and support entrepreneurship.

About the author

Pravin Shekar is Kreator-in-chief of Krea (, a market research organization in the healthcare domain. He is also founder-trustee of Social Catalyst, a non-profit aimed at professionalizing NGOs. A Charter member of TiE Chennai, Pravin also actively involves himself in TiECON initiatives including its SIG on startups. He was member of Awards Committee for TiECON Chennai 2011.