Jet, set, spark: What to expect on the opening day of TechSparks 2023

TechSparks, India’s most influential startup-tech summit hosted by YourStory, is back with its 14th edition from September 21-23 at Taj Yeshwantpur in Bengaluru.

Jet, set, spark: What to expect on the opening day of TechSparks 2023

Thursday September 21, 2023,

4 min Read

TechSparks is back—bigger, better, and bolder than ever before.

The 2023 instalment of YourStory’s flagship three-day conference holds a lot of promise. Featuring the who’s who of India’s startup, investing, and innovation ecosystems, TechSparks 2023 brings a meticulous curation of keynotes, fireside chats, panel discussions, masterclasses, workshops, and product installations that will set the ball rolling for ‘The Great Indian Techade’.

On the opening day, you can treat yourself to conversations with the crème de la crème of India’s founders, investors, bankers, policymakers, and thought leaders. Hear one of the poster boys of the ecosystem Bhavish Aggarwal outline the country’s big electric future in mobility, as Ola embarks on a long journey—not only as a product manufacturer but also as a last-mile service provider (with the recent relaunch of its bike taxis). 

Among other pre-lunch sessions, you can work up an appetite by listening to one of Bengaluru’s most iconic restaurateurs talk about winning the hearts (and stomachs) of the city. Divya Raghavendra Rao, Co-founder and MD of the beloved Rameshwaram Cafe, will share how an unassuming Udupi joint became a socio-cultural phenomenon like no other. 

Millennial and Gen-Z audiences can get up, close, and personal with their favourite content creator Ankur Warikoo, who’s back at TechSparks with more ‘epic shit’. His keynote will cover the dos and don’ts of content creation and the pros and cons of the influencer economy in India, even as the calls to regulate the sector grow louder by the day.

If you’re an emerging tech enthusiast, you don’t want to miss out on the sessions on ‘Generative AI’ and how this cutting-edge technology is changing the world around us. Listen to Subram Natrajan, Director and Customer Engineering at Google Cloud India, and Vaishali Kasture, Director and Country Head, AWS Commercial Business India and South Asia, in separate conversations as they talk about the growing correlation between cloud and artificial intelligence.

Meanwhile, trading and money enthusiasts can seek value in a panel discussion on new-age wealth creation. While FDs and mutual funds will never go out of vogue, India’s young and restless working population is lapping up alternative assets, from gold to stocks and more. Also, hear industry veteran Anshu Kapoor, President and Head of Nuvama Asset Management, deliver a keynote address on ‘where and how to find big money’.

Then, there’s the comeback story of WeWork. Hear Karan Virwani, CEO of WeWork India, as he talks about the once-darling-of-Silicon-Valley’s journey of resilience and recovery in the Indian market amidst chaos elsewhere.

There’s also some investor-speak to look forward to. Vani Kola, MD of Kalaari Capital (one of the oldest homegrown VC funds), will throw light on ‘India’s Techade Playbook’ in her keynote, while other prominent venture capitalists from Accel India, Premji Invest, Bessemer Venture Partners, and 3One4 Capital will discuss and debate the ‘seed to scale’ journey for startups. If you’re just starting out as a founder, you don’t want to miss this. 

Beyond the plain VC speak, there’s also a session outlining the jugalbandi between founders and investors that go on to build enduring companies. Tune into the success story of Urban Company—featuring Founder-CEO Abhiraj Singh and Mridul Arora, Partner at Elevation Capital—and how it made a dent in India’s cluttered home services economy. 

TechSparks 2023 will also host ‘The Great Startup Debate’ between Bengaluru and Mumbai. Even as the former retains its crown as India’s startup capital, the latter has grown rapidly in the last few years to emerge as a startup hub to reckon with. 

Also on the cards is the launch of YourStory’s flagship Tech30 report—a compelling list of disruptive startups to watch out for. 

We are ending the day with the continuation of YourStory’s Pitch Fest, where some of the most innovative and inspiring startups will gather to showcase their game-changing ideas in front of a panel of esteemed judges. 

All in all, it promises to be quite a gala!

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta