The 9th edition of TechSparks kicks off today, promising entrepreneurs, policy makers, investors, and innovators a platform for shaping the next phase of the Indian startup ecosystem. We also take a look at how India’s beloved technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation summit has evolved.
How do investors decide which ideas to put their money on? What winning strategies can budding entrepreneurs learn from changemakers and successful entrepreneurs? How are business leaders, policymakers, and startup accelerators enabling the startup ecosystem in India? What new technologies and emerging industries are set to power the startup world?
The 9th edition of TechSparks will answer all these questions, and more, all through the two-day event. As YourStory celebrates its 10-year milestone, we bring you one of our largest TechSparks events ever and we’re hyped!
TechSparks 2018 boasts an impressive line-up of an elite list of speakers and leaders from across the world, including policymakers, business leaders, investors, and technologists. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur, a keen investor, or a policymaker, this year’s two-day summit promises something valuable for all participants.
Through various masterclasses, product launches, workshops, and expert panels, some of the biggest investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders and technologists will share their stories and experiences and network with innovators and entrepreneurs at this annual confluence of changemakers.
How has TechSparks evolved over the years
Over the past nine years, YourStory’s flagship event TechSparks has established itself as the industry-leading summit for startups and investors to network. In doing so, TechSparks has been instrumental in bringing new ideas, products, and entrepreneurs before key investors and industry leaders. In other words, it has enabled YourStory to accomplish its core goal of giving a voice to every entrepreneur.
The event has also been the platform for important clues to emerging market disruptors in various industries. For example, Radhika Agarwal of Shopclues told us the online retailer expects to be the first ecommerce company to be profitable by staying true to its customers and selling different merchandise. Interestingly, at the same event, NetApp urged larger companies to think more like startups if they did not want to be disrupted. The simple but important message was: “You are the disruptor or you are getting disrupted.”
Founder and CEO of Future Group Kishore Biyani told Shradha in a fireside chat that he didn’t see the point of startups if they didn’t add any value to the economy. While admitting his failure in doing online business, Kishore said, “I think business should be created for the long term.”
One of the biggest moments of last year’s TechSparks was a fireside chat between actor and entrepreneur Rana Daggubati and YourStory Founder Shradha Sharma. In their conversation, Rana compared the role of an actor to that of a startup founder - the proof lies in the weekly Friday box office response, he said.
At the same event, Niti Aayog’s CEO Amitabh Kant elaborated on the government’s efforts to make India a disruptive nation and urged Indian startups to set their sights on the global market.
In 2016, Ashish Hemrajani of BookMyShow spoke about the futility of social media interactions, while Anu Acharya, CEO of MapMyGenome, spoke about how genetics determine at least 47 percent of how entrepreneurs act and react to situations.
The 2016 TechSparks saw the participation of several exemplary women leaders, including Ashwini Asokan, CEO of Mad Street Den; Julie Knight, Vice President, Global Enterprise Marketing, Zendesk; and Neena Budhiraja, Director of Product Management, Growth at Ola.
At the 2015 TechSparks event, Byju Raveendran spoke about how he created the most famous edtech company by competing with himself and not others. At the same event, actor Kunal Kapoor highlighted the impact of crowdfunding across the world, in many ways doing so by breaking the barriers between people who don’t have capital and those who do. “Crowdfunding will help turn every individual into a potential investor,” he said.
TechSparks 2018: What to expect?
Karnataka’s Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge is set to deliver the opening keynote speech, followed by a high-level panel of the founders of BigBasket and a fireside chat with Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma. And no TechSparks is complete without a focus on new and emerging technologies and its potential, a subject close to the hearts of our speakers Brendon Kim, VP, MD, Global Head of Ventures, Samsung NEXT and Atul Jalan, CEO & MD, Manthan.
With the ubiquitous presence of the Internet and the large potential to tap Bharat users in India, YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma will find out from Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO, South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network, the factors driving the digital economy and M&As in India. In a separate fireside chat, Future Group CEO and Founder Kishore Biyani will shed light on what it takes to become the retail king of India.
For a comprehensive overview of the agenda for the two-day event, please visit the TechSparks 2018 website.
With the increasing focus on the MSME sector, policymakers and expert panellists will speak about the current state and future growth prospects for micro, small and medium enterprises in India. Giriraj Singh, Minister of State for MSME of the Government of India, and Ram Mohan Mishra, Additional Secretary to the Govt of India & Development Commissioner for the Ministry of MSME, will drive the conversation around the MSME sector in India.
For entrepreneurs, a series of interesting sessions have been lined up including Winny Patro, CEO of Andhra Pradesh Innovation Society; C.K. Kumaravel of Naturals; Sherilyn Chia, Programme Lead for Young Social Entrepreneurs of Singapore International Foundation; and Rohan Khaunte, Minister for Revenue, Information Technology, Labour and Employment of the Government of Goa.
YouTube star “Mostly Insane” Prajakta Koli and Ashish Agarwal of yUz Media will address the new facets of content, spanning various mediums.
In addition, experts and leaders in the fintech startup industry will delve into the future of fintech and payments innovation, while a host of experts focused on new technologies such as AI, Blockchain, and machine learning will delve into how innovative applications of these technologies are poised to shape the future.
For the TechSparks 2018 agenda, please visit the website.