A dose of motivation and a dollop of innovation at TechSparks Chennai

By Team YS|20th Sep 2014
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The Chennai round of TechSparks 2014 turned introspective as the main speakers spoke about motivation, endurance and readiness to start a new venture. Whether it was an evolving idea or simply the pain of being unable to watch one’s favourite movie in the theatre because of a college assignment, the triggers to become an entrepreneur were as different as the people in the room.

Tweets during Yourstory’s flagship event showed that the remarks that captured the audience’s heart in the quaint southern city were about reflection, emotional endurance, readiness to venture out and strike out on one’s own.


Sridhar Venkatesh at TechSparks

“The one question I always get asked is when to start-up,” Sridhar Venkatesh, co-founder of Indix, the product analytics firm, said.“It is like standing in front of an ice-cold lake and getting ready to jump. You can never be prepared for the shock of the first plunge, but it’s something you have to deal with.”

The key points in his speech were:

  • Let the idea evolve over time.
  • Start-ups require a lot of focus and effort. For that you need passion. But you don’t have to be passionate about the idea, if you are passionate about building a start-up that’s good enough.
  • Best advice I’ve got: Focus on what you’re doing and bring excellence to it, the next steps will present themselves.
  • The team has to be together and on the same page. Do not overlook building a sales and marketing team in the early stages.
  • Execution is critical and processes should evolve along with the growth in the company.
YourStory's Match-making booth
YourStory's Match-making booth

Pradeep Somu, co-founder of Tamil movies online site, Herotalkies.com also shared his learnings, which echoed some of Sridhar’s.

“There is no right and wrong time to start up a venture, just get started,” said Pradeep. His advice was to “Build a team, plan for delays and restrain cash expenses.”

Pradeep Somu, Co-founder, HeroTalkies
Pradeep Somu, Co-founder, HeroTalkies

Herotalkies, which offers Kollywood movies online, started out when Pradeep, then a student with International School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, found himself unable to watch a blockbuster because of a class assignment. The torrent of Tamil movies (about 170 a year or three a week) meant that movies don’t get to stay in the theatres for too long.

Dipesh Knona engages the audience in his D.thinking workshop
Dipesh Knona engages the audience in his D.thinking workshop

That got Pradeep thinking about the audience that misses out on these movies for various reasons and has to turn to piracy websites and the producers who lose out on revenue as a result. Thus Herotalkies was born.

The workshops were fun and engaging. That included design thinking workshop by Dipesh Khona of Intel, which also had a fun practical exercise where the audience worked on creating a “smart home experience.”

Tejasvi of Sequoia conducted a start-up metrics workshop on what entrepreneurs should track. Brandcapital, a Bennett Coleman & Co subsidiary, conducted a short session on brand and image building.

I am an entrepreneur and I...
I am an entrepreneur and I...


Some innovation at TS Chennai

YourStory will hold the last round of Techsparks in Mumbai on September 27 and the grand finale will be in Bangalore on October 17-18. Book your tickets here

A big thanks to all the sponsors and partners for supporting TechSparks 2014 – Sequoia CapitalAWSIntelDSOAVerisignStanford IgniteTargetIntuitBrand Capital and Ola.

TechSparks is coming to Mumbai next. You can book your tickets here

Want to make your startup journey smooth? YS Education brings a comprehensive Funding Course, where you also get a chance to pitch your business plan to top investors. Click here to know more.