Whoever believed that the startup ecosystem is flourishing only in the metros in India needs some serious rethinking to do if the Techsparks 2012 Ahmedabad Roundtable is anything to go by. This was the first time that we did an event in the business minded land of Ahmedabad and the response was mind boggling. A jam packed IMDC auditorium at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad witnessed a phenomenon.
The audience, a very young one at that, displayed that the startup ecosystem is still maturing and will come off age very soon. The event was kicked off with an enthusiastic welcome from the effervescent founder of Yourstory.in, Shradha Sharma after which she gave way to Gautam Gandhi, Head – New Business Development Emerging Markets, Google to give the key note speech. Adjusting to the requirements of the entrepreneurs in the house, the discussion veered towards challenges that one would face while starting up and learnings from his experience of founding four startups (of which two miserably failed and two got sold). A flurry of questions from the crowd clearly indicated the need of more such events in the city.
Keeping up with the agenda of every Techsparks Roundtable, the keynote speech was followed by a panel discussion with four luminary individuals on the panel ably moderated by Shradha Sharma:
- Vishal Mehta, Founder, Infibeam
- Sachin Kelkar, Head – APAC Scale Program, Intel Software
- Aakash Goel, Sequoia Capital
- Gautam Gandhi, Google
The discussion gave some very good insights, especially from Vishal Mehta who has built Inifbeam with a base in Ahmedabad and has managed to bring it to a level where it is at the forefront of the Indian eCommerce scene. The theme of Techsparks 2012, 'How to scale up smartly' came to the fore here and many issues were touched upon from both perspectives; an entrepreneurs' and the investors'. Aakash Goel was very frank and open with direct answers to questions aimed at the VCs. Sachin Kelkar brings in years of experience which had many takeaways for the young crowd and Gautam Gandhi, after his keynote speech was totally at home with many witty comments interspersing his insightful answers.
The event was wound up with a long networking session and a promise that the entrepreneurial flame will keep burning and Yourstory.in will be doing a lot more in the city. As a finishing note, we'd like to thank our partners Intel Software, Sequoia Capital, Amazon, Qualcomm, VentureBeat, CNBC-TV18 (and Ahmedabad outreach partners- TejSolPro and TheTecnica) for making #tsparks successful.