[TechSparks 2020] Key highlights from India's most influential startup-tech conference

After 5 days of invigorating keynotes, fireside chats, panels, and masterclasses, India's TechSparks 2020 comes to an end. Here are the key highlights.
YourStory believes, "Every story deserves to be told."

It is with this mission — for more than a decade — that we have been telling stories about inspiring people looking to change the world for the better.

Over the years, we’ve told over 100,000 stories and if there’s one major takeaway for us, it’s the immense power of storytelling.

And that’s why, with TechSparks – YourStory’s flagship entrepreneurship event – we’ve harnessed the power of storytelling to empower connections, conversations, and collaborations that matter, so that together we may move forward in this mission to build from India for the world and catalyse impact that matters.

In its first virtual, all-immersive, and global avatar, TechSparks 2020 reflected the new normal we are all stepping into.

As we wrap up this year's TechSparks, here are the key highlights from the five-day event.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology

Opening keynote address: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad delivers keynote address at TechSparks 2020; recognises YourStory’s role in sparking change

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks2020-union-minister-ravi-shankar-prasad-keynote-address

India’s startup and digital story should travel to small towns and cities too - Ravi Shankar Prasad

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-ravi-shankar-prasad-india-startup-digital-story

India well-positioned to leverage the 'great opportunities' that new and emerging tech presents, says IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-ravi-shankar-prasad-artificial-intelligence-big-data

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad extols potential of India’s demographic dividend to build an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, power the Indian economy

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-meity-minister-ravi-shankar-prasad-aatmanirbhar-bharat

To enable the people of India to go digital, technology should be homegrown, says IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-india-ravi-shankar-prasad-covid19-digitisation

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at TechSparks 2020

Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister

FM Nirmala Sitharaman lauds businesses for resilience amidst COVID-19; says government here to listen and do what India needs

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/union-finance-minister-nirmala-sitharaman-techsparks-2020

FM Nirmala Sitharaman 'closely monitoring' progress of MSMEs; says they will help India become Aatmanirbhar Bharat

Read more: https://yourstory.com/smbstory/techsparks-2020-finance-minister-nirmala-sitharaman-aatmanirbhar-bharat-msme

Resilience of Indian businesses is inspiring; govt is determined to provide support, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/nirmala-sitharaman-aatmanirbhar-bharat-techsparks-2020-government

India has to strive every bit to become a part of the global value chain, says FM at TechSparks 2020

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/india-global-value-chain-finanice-minister-techsparks-2020

Ratan Tata, revered industrialist, investor, philanthropist, and Chairman of Tata Trusts

Ratan Tata delivers a deeply poignant and timeless message in his closing keynote at YourStory’s TechSparks 2020

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-ratan-tata-closing-keynote-humanity-money-success

YourStory Tech30 2020

Over the last eight years, we at YourStory have been presenting the Tech30 — our specially curated list of India’s top 30 early-stage tech startups. This year, our Tech30 were presented online — playing out on thousands of screens as TechSparks went all-virtual in keeping with the new normal.

Unveiling Tech30: YourStory’s list of high-potential tech startups in India

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-yourstory-tech30-2020

Get to know these passionate entrepreneurs because clearly some of them will go on to define the narrative of new India.

Healthtech startup Arintra aims to free up doctors’ time and improve patient outcomes

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-healthtech-startup-arintra-clinical-data

This Bengaluru startup wants to help Swiggy, Zomato, Dunzo set up seamless drone deliveries

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-startup-avianco-drone-delivery-swiggy-zomato

How 2 college friends built a startup that became profitable in under a year

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/09/tech30-bikayi-ycombinator-whatsapp-startup-hyderabad

How Manipal-based Blackfrog Technologies’ patented tech enables safe last-mile transport of vaccines

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-cold-supply-chain-startup-blackfrog-technologies-vaccines

How Gurugram-based CogniAble is using ML for early detection of autism spectrum disorder

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-gurugram-startup-cogniable-machine-learning-autism

Drona Maps’ drone tech collects and digests data to provide decision-makers with usable insights

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-drone-tech-startup-drona-maps

How a small-town boy from Bihar built a product used at NASA, Uber, and Intel

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-deepsource-ycombinator-sanket-saurav

How marine robotics startup EyeROV is improving inspection of offshore assets

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-marine-robotics-startup-eyerov-offshore-assets

AI-driven startup Fountain9 analyses demand patterns to make inventory management efficient

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-ai-startup-fountain9-inventory-management

How IDENTY is making identity verification touchless, contactless, and convenient

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-touchless-mobile-biometric-technology-identy

Meet the Bengaluru startup that’s helping enterprises optimise their cloud spends

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech-30-bengaluru-cloud-management-startup-lightwing

Chennai-based Megara Robotics is using AI to make coconut harvesting risk free

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-startup-chennai-megara-robotics-ai

How Niral Networks is solving vendor lock-in issue for mobile operators

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-niral-networks-vendor-lock-issue

How this SaaS startup is giving banks an edge over consumer tech companies

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-saas-startup-fintech-banks-merchant-marketplace

This Techstars-backed startup aims to optimise the warehousing industry in India

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-techstars-startup-odwen-optimise-warehouse

This B2B2C healthtech startup is helping organisations take care of employee health

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-b2b2c-healthtech-startup-onsurity-technologies

Spacetech startup Pixxel is set to put India on global space map; to launch constellation of satellites in March

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-spacetech-startup-pixxel-india-global-space-map

Bengaluru startup Rephrase.ai is simplifying video creation using AI

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-startup-rephraseai-b2b-saas-lightspeed

How virtual event platform Samaaro managed 100 pc CRR within five months of its launch

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-startup-virtual-event-platform-samaaro

This blockchain startup rewards you for sharing your personal data with businesses

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-blockchain-startup-senderment-data-application

How edtech startup Spayee turned profitable during the pandemic, generated Rs 200 Cr revenue for customers

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-edtech-startup-spayee-pandemic-saas

How Bengaluru-based Sprinkle Data is helping businesses optimise their data

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-techsparks-2020-bengaluru-sprinkle-data-saas

Stackby enables businesses to simplify their workflow and increases collaboration among teams

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-stackby-smb-businesses-workflow-saas-surat-startup

This IoT startup is building a smart public network to connect EV owners to charging stations

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-ev-charging-network-statiq-delhi-startup-iot

This healthtech startup from Bharat saves lives with its lightweight and affordable ECG device

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-healthtech-startup-bharat-ecg-device-sunfox-technologies

This agritech startup is helping farmers reduce the cost and effort of removing weeds

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-agritech-startup-farmers-weeds-robot-tartansense

How Taskmonk is helping AI/ML enterprises optimise human efforts and control data labelling budget

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-taskmonk-ai-ml-enterprises-data-labelling-bengaluru-startup

This startup offers a powerful, no-code platform for bug-fixing and making software projects successful

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-startup-workduck-fixing-bug-automation

How these brothers and techies are taking workplaces to the cloud

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-workplaces-cloud-platform-yaoe-startup

Mumbai startup Zeuva Automotive's batteries can reduce cost and increase life cycles of EVs

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/tech30-startup-zeuva-automotive-batteries-reduce-cost-ev

John Chambers, Cisco Chairman Emeritus, and Founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures

John Chambers delivers an insight-packed masterclass on being a leader in a tough dynamic

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-john-chambers-leadership

Want to found startups across India to create 1.2M jobs every month, says ex-Cisco CEO John Chambers

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-john-chambers-cisco-indian-startups

Sridhar Vembu, Founder and CEO of Zoho

Zoho's Sridhar Vembu on batting for a 'mindset that's global, but rooted in tradition'

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-zoho-sridhar-vembu-rural-india-global-mindset

Create a unique culture, unique products will come from it, says Sridhar Vembu of Zoho

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-zoho-sridhar-vembu-masterclass

1,000 Zoho heroes, 1,000 new startups: Sridhar Vembu on growing the ecosystem and creating jobs

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-1000-zoho-sridhar-vembu-startups-jobs

Bhavish Aggarwal during a conversation with Shradha Sharma during TechSparks 2020

Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Ola Cabs

We want to build a world-class company that is profitable and sustainable, says Ola's Bhavish Aggarwal

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-ola-mobility-electric-vehicle-bhavish-aggarwal

If we can build for our community, we can build for the world, says Ola’s Bhavish Aggarwal

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-ola-bhavish-aggarwal-startup-entrepreneurs

Ola's Bhavish Aggarwal launches book for entrepreneurs by startup founders

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/ola-bhavish-aggarwal-book-launch-harpreet-grover-vibhore-goyal

Nithin Kamath, Co-founder and CEO, Zerodha

If there was a book on my journey, I would name it ‘Zero to Zerodha’, says Nithin Kamath

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-book-on-my-journey-zero-to-zerodha-nithin-kamath

India can become a real superpower by creating more entrepreneurs, says Nithin Kamath of Zerodha

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-india-superpower-entrepreneurs-nithin-kamath-zerodha

Gaurav Munjal, Co-founder and CEO, Unacademy

Our audacious goal is to compete with Netflix: Unacademy's Gaurav Munjal

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-vss-investing-unacademy-gaurav-munjal

Blume Ventures Co-founders Sanjay Nath and Karthik Reddy in a virtual fireside chat with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma

Karthik Reddy and Sanjay Nath, Co-founders and Managing Partners, Blume Ventures

Market wasn't ready to absorb $3-5 million cheques then: Blume Ventures on its ‘micro VC’ origins

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-market-cheques-blume-ventures-vc

Byju Raveendran, Founder & CEO of BYJU'S

There has never been a better time to enter edtech, says Byju Raveendran

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-byju-raveendran-edtech-market-startups

Byju Raveendran reveals the three pillars on which partnerships are made

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-byju-raveendran-byjus-acqusition

Byju Raveendran says will ensure messaging about company is right; real message is "love for learning"

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/byju-raveendran-whitehat-jr-campaign-edtech-techsparks2020

BYJU’s and WhiteHat Jr. hired over 20,000 employees amid COVID-19; more than 11,000 women are teaching from home

Read more: https://yourstory.com/herstory/2020/10/techsparks-2020-byjus-and-whitehat-jr-hired-over-2

Jobs For All

A discussion on formalising gig workforce, building digital identity, and more

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-jobs-creation-awign-workex-blowhorn

Gaurav Gandhi, Director and Country General Manager, Amazon Prime Video, India

Direct-to-digital releases watched in 4,000 Indian cities in first week: Amazon Prime Video's Gaurav Gandhi

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-amazon-prime-video-india-gaurav-gandhi

Aatmanirbhar Bharat does not mean isolating India from the world, but reimagining the country’s ecosystem to create global impact.

Ajai Garg, Director of MeitY, and Rajan Anandan, Managing Director - India and SEA, Sequoia Capital

Sequoia's Rajan Anandan and MeitY’s Ajai Garg discuss how India can truly become Aatmanirbhar

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-rajan-anandan-ajai-garg-discuss-aatmanirbhar-bharat

Anand Sanwal, Co-founder and CEO of CB Insights

Anand Sanwal, Co-founder of CB Insights

Lessons in starting up, loving the mess, and not dying, by CB Insights’ Anand Sanwal

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-anand-sanwal-cb-insights-lessons-session-takeaways

Kunal Shah, Founder of CRED

Remove toxicity and hate from within the system: Kunal Shah on the dark side of entrepreneurship

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-remove-toxicity-hate-from-startup-ecoystem-kunal-shah

Ritu Anand, Chief Diversity Officer of Tata Consultancy Services

Ritu Anand speaks on empathy, humility, passion, gratitude as fabrics of diversity of the mind

Read more: https://yourstory.com/herstory/2020/10/techsparks2020-ritu-anand-diversity-inclusion-equity

Varsha Tagare, Managing Director at Qualcomm Ventures in conversation with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory at TechSparks 2020

Varsha Tagare, Managing Director of Qualcomm Ventures

Launch of 5G will open up opportunities for new services, says Qualcomm Ventures MD Varsha Tagare

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-launch-5g-qualcomm-ventures-varsha-tagare

Dilip Asbe, Managing Director and CEO, NPCI

Dream is for India to hit a billion digital transactions a day, says NPCI's Dilip Asbe

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/dilip-asbe-npci-ceo-md-upi-transactions-techsparks-2020

Caesar Sengupta, VP-Payments and NBU, Google

Google’s Caesar Sengupta on understanding India’s next 500 million internet users

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-google-caesar-sengupta-internet-users

Ashish Hemrajani, Co-founder and CEO of BookMyShow, in conversation with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory during TechSparks 2020

Ashish Hemrajani, Co-founder, BookMyShow

OTT, cinema theatres will coexist in a post-COVID world, says BookMyShow’s Ashish Hemrajani

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-ott-cinema-theatres-bookmyshow

Sequoia Capital MD Shailendra Singh in conversation with Shradha Sharma at TechSparks 2020

Shailendra Singh, MD, Sequoia Capital

Sequoia's Shailendra Singh says, 'Christmas came in early; pandemic led to multi-year acceleration in tech adoption'

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-sequoia-shailendra-singh-acceleration-tech

'Sequoia Capital sees itself as a startup and is living founders' dreams vicariously': Shailendra Singh

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-sequoia-capital-startup-founder-shailendra-singh

Amit Somani, Managing Director of Prime Ventures

Put a lot of thinking around consumer empathy, says Amit Somani of Prime Venture Partners

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-amit-somani-product-building-prime-venture-partners

Archana Vohra, Director, Small and Medium Business, Facebook India

How Facebook is enabling the success of Indian SMBs amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Read more: https://yourstory.com/smbstory/techsparks-2020-facebook-india-smbs

Anu Hariharan, Partner at Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund

YC’s Anu Hariharan on powering the next billion-dollar businesses from India

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks2020-yc-anu-hariharan

Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande

Gururaj Deshpande on turning complainers into entrepreneurs, and other tenets of building an innovation ecosystem

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-gururaj-deshpande-entrepreneurs-innovation-ecosystem

Kunal Kapoor, actor-turned-entrepreneur, Co-founder of Ketto.org

Lights, camera, entrepreneurship: how Kunal Kapoor translated his dream of a social-tech startup into reality

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-lights-camera-entrepreneurship-kunal-kapoor-ketto

Puneet Chandok, President, India and South Asia, at Amazon Web Services

Puneet Chandok, President, India and South Asia, at Amazon Web Services, said, now is a good time for starting up because consumers are willing to try new products and services due to changes in our lives amid the pandemic.

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-consumers-open-change-puneet-chandok-aws

VCs discuss the power of gross margins to build profitable startups

During a roundtable at TechSparks 2020, venture capitalists were of the opinion that startup founders need to deploy capital in a judicious manner to build a sustainable business in the long run.

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-venture-capitalists-power-of-gross-margins-startups

Sapna Chadha, Senior Marketing Drector, Google India and Southeast Asia

How Google India is empowering SMBs, women entrepreneurs with technology to support economic recovery

Read morehttps://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-google-india-make-small-strong

Sameer Nigam, CEO of PhonePe

Sameer Nigam, Founder and CEO, PhonePe

If there are Parle G and telco connection, there should be digital payments: Sameer Nigam on conquering the heartland

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/11/techsparks-2020-sameer-nigam-phonepe-digital-payments-startup

Rajashree R, Chief Marketing Officer, TCS

In tough times, not giving up is all it takes: Rajashree R, Chief Marketing Officer, TCS

Read more: https://yourstory.com/herstory/2020/11/techsparks-2020-tcs-pandemic-communication-marketing-storytelling

Abhishek Singh, CEO, MyGov.

Image credit: YS Design

Abhishek Singh, CEO, MyGov

MyGov’s Abhishek Singh on leveraging technology, engaging with citizens, and paving the way for Indian startups

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-mygov-abhishek-singh-citizens-technology

Sonu Sood, Humanitarian, Actor, and Founder of Pravasi Rojgar

Actor and humanitarian Sonu Sood says his journey hasn't been easy; it has been riddled with self-doubt and cynics. But, he tells entrepreneurs it's 'important to persevere and not lose sight of your dreams'.

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-actor-sonu-sood-destined-to-help-people

Vikas Khanna, Michelin Star Chef

When you're the first to break the code, you also become the reference: Chef Vikas Khanna

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-chef-vikas-khanna-india-global-stage

Day 1 highlights: Sridhar Vembu, Anu Hariharan, Pieter Kemps, Anup Jain, and more

A vivifying conversation with Zoho’s Sridhar Vembu flagged off TechSparks 2020, followed by WhiteHat Jr’s Karan Bajaj and Y Combinator’s Anu Hariharan

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/building-world-rural-india-punched-entrepreneurship-techsparks-2020

Day 2 highlights: Amit Somani, Gaurav Arora, Madan Padaki, and more

On Day 2 of TechSparks 2020, Amit Somani of Prime Venture Partners demystified product building, making it clear that startups today don’t just have to build for the world, or for India — but ‘Bharat’.

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-amit-somani-madan-padaki

Day 3 highlights: Ravi Shankar Prasad, Nirmala Sitharaman, Byju Raveendran, and more

Day 3 of TechSparks 2020 began with an exclusive keynote by Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, followed by an important message by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-ravi-shankar-prasad-nirmala-sitharaman

Day 4 highlights: NPCI's Dilip Asbe, CB Insights' Anand Sanwal, Google's Caesar Sengupta, and more

Day 4 of TechSparks 2020 had a star-studded line-up, including NPCI's Dilip Asbe, Google's Caesar Sengupta, CB Insights' Anand Sanwal, and more.

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-npci-dilip-asbe-cb-insights-anand-sanwal-google

Day 5 highlights: Ratan Tata, Bhavish Aggarwal, Gaurav Munjal, John Chambers, Nithin Kamath, and more

After five days, TechSparks 2020 ended with a bang as some of the world's most influential speakers talked entrepreneurship, leadership, and more.

Read more: https://yourstory.com/2020/10/techsparks-2020-ratan-tata-bhavish-aggarwal-john-chambers

TechSparks - YourStory's annual flagship event - has been India's largest and most important technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship summit for over a decade, bringing together entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, investors, mentors, and business leaders for stories, conversations, collaborations, and connections that matter. As TechSparks 2020 goes all virtual and global in its 11th edition, we want to thank you for the tremendous support we've received from all of you throughout our journey and give a huge shoutout to our sponsors of TechSparks 2020.


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