Indian Entrepreneurs Geek Up with the Geeks on a Plane in Bangalore


When the Geeks on a Plane took a stop-over in Bangalore, we were glad to host them for a meetup with some really enthusiastic Indian entrepreneurs. We opened up registrations and had more than 120 people registering within a space of a few hours and the event stayed up to its promise.

Geeking it Up

Geeks On a Plane is an initiative by Dave McClure’s 500 startups where a bunch of tech geeks go around the globe to meetup with various startup communities across the globe. And while in Bangalore, the three-hour session hosted by YourStory included a fireside chat with Dave McClure and Shradha Sharma wherein entrepreneurs took home some very encouraging points.

One thing hard to miss by people in attendance was Dave’s informal style at the event. Sporting a 500 Startups teeshirt and a pair of shorts, he had many serious thoughts to share with people present. “You don’t need to solve a sexy problem, you need to solve a real problem,” he said. The imprecations in his language might have made a few people in the audience cringe but every attendee was glued to their seats for the length of the session.

Dave McClure and Shradha Sharma

Dave almost abhors people who suit up for everything, “We need to relax a bit and not take the load of the world, just do stuff that matters,” he said. Dave and Shradha talked on some very pertinent points which can be summarized as follows:

  • Most entrepreneurs concentrate too much on technology. Given the expertise available in the market, it is a relatively easier to make a decent product. Dave recommends people to take up UX engineering and internet marketing, as these have been the areas which have rapidly evolving and are still nascent. A fully rounded tech entrepreneur should know about user experience and internet marketing along with technology.
  • While some experts might feel that in 2013, fortunes will swing toward enterprise software, Dave and 500 Startups don’t subscribe to it. According to them, this is a way of escaping the difficulty in promoting and monetizing products on mobile. He urged people to figure out a way to crack this space, because all signs are pointing towards a lucrative industry to capture in the mobile space. Furthermore, enterprise sales is not replacatable at scale because it is dependent on good sales people, which is a rarity.
  • As VC's, 500 Startups differentiate themselves as they are okay with doing normal things which other VCs aren’t comfortable doing and hence there is a cool quotient about them. They’d spend time in seemingly silly things like photoshopping a Star Wars theme to announce their next batch of applications, only to be recognized for it. One needs to have fun. It is very important!

Following the fireside chat, we got all the geeks on the stage for a short intro about themselves where we had the likes of techies from Sendgrid to Partners at XG Ventures to journalists from TechCrunch.

The geeks were also exposed to an engaging talk about the Indian startup ecosystem by Sriram V Iyer, co-founder of the United Mobile Apps. After the talk, entrepreneurs got an opportunity to network with the geeks which went on till late into the evening.

The video of the fireside chat is available here.