Celebrating the culmination of a year of amazing work, HeadStarters welcomed 2011, resolving to nurture more startups and inspire more entrepreneurs with the Startup Saturday events.

Starting Up @ Startup Saturday Bangalore

The January edition of Startup Saturday Bangalore was being telecast by ET Now on its show Starting Up and was based on the theme “Products vs. Services”.

The event kicked off with interesting presentations from four entrepreneurs- two with a perspective on products, and two from a services background.

Audience at Startup Saturday Bangalore, enjoying the spectacular show

Sujay Karampuri from Sloka Telecom, a radio access network solution provider, was the first speaker of the day. With vivid examples and anecdotes about his experiences creating and selling base station products, Sujay talked about the inherent struggles associated with product businesses. He also stressed on simplicity for the user and complexity for the engineer as being the key elements to making a good product.

Continuing the product viewpoint, Narasimha Suresh from TELiBrahma, talked about success in business being not just about playing the game, but shaping the game, and determining what customers want not just before your competitors do, but before the customers themselves do.

As the first speaker from a services standpoint, Karthick Purushotaman from Chimera Technologies spoke about being prepared for a battle whether one chooses to work with products or services, cautioning entrepreneurs from attempting product businesses too early in their organization’s lifespan.

Vinoth from VINJEY Software Systems, a leading multimedia solutions provider, spoke next. He talked about the business behind products and services, clearly differentiating between the two in terms of the cash conversion cycle.

Entrepreneur’s Huddle, hosted by Sudhir Syal from ET Now

Keeping up with the momentum and bringing a new thrill to Startup Saturday, ET Now hosted an ‘Entrepreneur’s Huddle’. Along with the enterprising host Sudhir Syal, the stage was set for three entrepreneurs who were presenting a unique business challenge. To add a fun twist to the game, yellow smiling balls were handed out to the audience- to quickly throw at irrelevant suggestions.

Sean from Babajobs, a job site focused on people in India making less that Rs. 10,000 per month presented his challenge of making mobile services effectively reach the common man in India.

Kumar from OoBI made a quick presentation on their new multi touch interactive surface display table and presented his challenging questions on what type of business model they should follow (product or service) and what kind of apps could be developed on it.

Varun from LifeMojo, a wellness company that provides Nutrition and Diet consultation services on the Phone, and allows people to track their health and well-being online, presented his problem- of getting enough users to sign up for their paid services.

The entrepreneurs’ huddle turned out to be an interactive and entertaining session for the participating entrepreneurs and the audience.

Startup Saturday Pune

Startup Saturday Pune started with a presentation by Asif Upadhye, founder of Never Grow Up. The company is into employee engagement, fun at work concepts offering cool workshops and quirky merchandise to corporates.

Asif speaking to the audience at Pune Startup Saturday

Manish Kumar, founder of IncuCapital and Surojit (COO of Incucapital) then shared their thoughts on entrepreneurship, incubation, mentorship and funding. The session ended with a lightening pitch by Sandeep Saxena about his startup DoctorBabu, providing a single platform to connect the entire healthcare industry using print, web, mobile and social media.

Startup Saturday Chennai

Audience at Startup Saturday Chennai

The Startup Saturday event at Chennai started with a talk by one of the Teach For India volunteers, about the noble deeds undertaken by the organization.

Rajasekhar Mamillapalli, founder of Ananafit spoke next. Ananafit is an organization that makes eco-friendly clothes from banana plantain’s outer stem, which is otherwise considered a waste. Rajasekhar spoke about the production glitch that Ananafit had been experiencing because of unavailability of machinery to automate the entire production process.

The session ended with a talk by Rammohan, founder of NRC Agro that specializes in wholesale, frozen and packed vegetables. Rammohan elaborated on every component of the vegetable business starting from sharing knowledge with the farmers to sorting, grading and packaging techniques used.

Startup Saturday Kolkata

Shilpa Srivastava, speaking about Twitsnaps

The Startup Saturday Kolkata was based on the theme “Social Media”. Sumit Dutta, founder of Pixlie,  started the event with a general discussion on the theme. Aji Issac Mathew, founder of TechShu, a social media service provider then shared some of his views on social media.

This was followed by a presentation of ContextMine by Nitesh Ambuj. ContextMine gives a context to the brands and people in the social media space.

Kamanashish Roy and Bibhas Chandra Debnath spoke about Social Mandi, a startup that encourages group buying of software products using social media as a tool. Mr Simarpreet Singh, founder of Compare Infobase, then spoke about his entrepreneurial experiences and shared tips on retaining employees and chasing clients.

This was followed by a presentation on Twitsnaps by Shilpa Srivastava. Rajesh Rana spoke next about his experience in the social media world. The event ended with a talk by Krishnendu Paul on how to generate leads using social media.

Startup Saturday Hyderabad

Startup Saturday Hyderabad

The theme of the Hyderabad Startup Saturday this time was ‘Elevator Pitches’.

Raghu Batta from Ojas Ventures was the first speaker. He demystified the common myths that entrepreneurs hold with respect to what investors look for, by quoting examples from the industry and from his personal experiences.

Dr. Baba Prasad, CEO of Vivekin Group then gave a talk on innovation and ideation and what entrepreneurs and leaders could and should do to lead from the front.

The session ended with lightening pitches by Nava Saini, founder of EDEDAA (an interesting startup that promotes art in the corporate sector), Meher Vijaya, founder of Artjini(an online store for art products) and Manish from IncuCapital, offering incubation centres to startups.

Startup Saturday Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad had its first Startup Saturday  in January. The event started with a brief talk on Headstart and Startup Saturday by Nagashri. This was followed by a talk by Manu Midha, VP Planning and Operations, Infibeam about retail businesses, monetization strategies, gaining traffic, closing deals, and various other things. There was also an interactive Q&A where the   audience fired questions at the speaker. The session ended with a series of lightening pitches.

Startup Saturday happens at eight cities every second Saturday of the month. Join us there if you have the faintest inclination towards entrepreneurship and startups. We can assure you that these sessions will leave you inspired. The audience comprises of entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, academicians, corporates, students including the curious passerby.

Signing off folks, lets create more startups and make existing ones more productive.

Contributed by Ramya Rajan, Ramesh Loganathan, Vishwa Vivek, Swaminathan Kannan, Ramanuj Mukherjee, Paresh Mathur, Swati (editor)