It was the first time in India for the young and dynamic COO of Startup Weekend, Adam Stelle. Not knowing what to expect, the first round in Bangalore had something very impressive up its sleeve. The startup weekend Bangalore spanned over 3 days (September 14-16) and 16 companies were formed over the 3 day period that culminated into a pitching session on Saturday. The 3 day period had intense mentoring rounds from some very experienced and successful entrepreneurs like Mekin Maheshwari, Chief of Engineering at Flipkart, Mukund Mohan, serial entrepreneur & investor and Steven Lourie, GM of Zynga, India.
Post the 54 hour stretch where startup enthusiasts got together, explored synergies, formed teams and executed their ideas, they all pitched to a jury who picked the top 3. The 16 demoing companies showed immense levels of dedication and motivation. Talking about the companies, Adam said, "I really didn't know what to expect from the startups over here but the levels of enthusiasm has blown me away. The quality as well as quantity of startups is great and it was a fabulous experience for me!" There were ideas from diverse fields including rural, education and finance. There were some very young entrepreneurs including the founder of SmartFarm who is still in grade 12! One could sense a need for maturity in some of the plans but considering the time frame and new experience, the response was good. Also, one could see many of them treading the B2C or even a C2C path which isn't harmful but becomes difficult when one looks at it from the investors' perspective. More mentorship and a few pivots in strategy will make interesting propositions out of the participating companies.
Here are the top 3 selected ones:
3rd position was shared by:
Our take: Solving a very relevant pain point, ReporterSource brings HARO (help a reporter out) to India. HARO has been doing well in the US and with good execution, can do good for journalists in India as well.
RideInMyCab: They are trying to simplify car sharing for office commute. Dont wait for ride partners, do not get into money transactions or uncomfortable discussion and always get ride requests from professionals working in a reputed organization near yours and underwent stringent verification from our side. Once registered, you just need to give a missed call 10 mins prior to your journey and we will do the rest.
Our take: A tricky selection, RideInMyCar has targeted a problem which has been attempted to solve by multiple players but to no avail. The concept of giving a missed call and expecting the person to be there in the stipulated time is a big challenge. This will be very hard to work out on the ground.
JustCodeIt: Learning to code by first keeping an end application in mind and then walking through the steps can be interesting, as opposed to reading books or viewing tutorial videos online. JCI is developing an interactive learning platform in which the user can compile and run his code online and get instant feedback of what is he doing. Also, the user can practise and polish his skills with JCI's own and crowd generated problem sets and can participate in hackathons and recruitment sessions of Companies using our platform.
Our take: Very strongly inspired by CodeAcademy, JustCodeIt has a good UI and feel to it. The fact that you can actually see the result of the code you write in real time on the left part of your screen is very impressive. Definitely something to look out for, JustCodeIt might throw up a few surprises in the future.
TourBox: TourBox is an online platform empowering the modern day traveller to search, plan and book ‘what he wants to see, do and experience’ during a holiday – with the familiar ease of using a popular flight or hotel booking website.
Our take: Certainly a winner! One could tell it from the time they pitched that TourBox would be there on the podium. Backed by a team with experience in the offline travel industry, going online and aiming to grab a huge market share, TourBox has many ingredients for success. Also a very quick turnaround, the team had the app going in 3 days with a beautiful UI (for which they won a special prize as well).
The winners were given goodies in terms of ad credits, domain names, hosting space and the likes. Visit the Startup Weekend blog for a complete list of the 16 companies.
Also checkout our Yourstory PAGES, which has become the largest database of startups in the country.