The Year 2015 was a promising one for Headstart. We restarted the Chennai Chapter of Startup Saturday and launched new initiatives such as  ‘Headstart Inturn’ and  ‘WE’. Thanks to the relentless effort of all the volunteers, and to the unconditional support of our audience, for helping us work towards the mission of making India one of the leading startup ecosystems of the world.

Here’s a look at Headstart’s January 2016 initiatives:

Chennai

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After a grand re-launch of Startup Saturday in November 2015, Headstart’s Chennai Chapter hosted its January edition of Startup Saturday on the theme “Age of Aggregators”. Attended by 100+ people, the event featured a talk by Sachit Singhi(Cofounder and Head of Finance & Partnerships, Stayzilla) and a session on ‘Decoding Startup India Action Plan’ by Divakar Vijayasarathy( Cofounder, MeetUrPro). The Panel Discussion moderated by Ashwin Shankar(Cofounder,TheWorks) featured panelists: Arun Athiappan(Cofounder & CEO, Ticketgoose); Vasister Arun( Cofounder & CEO, GoGo Truck) and Sachit Singhi(Cofounder and Head of Finance & Partnerships, Stayzilla). There were also startup pitches by Xobin, Eventshigh, Merrytrips; and startup stalls by AriveLM Insights, GoBumpr, and Shopskipper.

Some Interesting Insights from the event :

  • An aggregator is an ecosystem. Demand network is as important as supply network. – Sachit Singhi
  • Take customer feedback, and mine the data to help increase the “stickiness” of your product – Sachit Singhi
  • Focus on the unit economics of your business – Sachit Singhi
  • Why seek tax benefit when you’re not making profits – Divakar Vijayasarathi, while decoding Startup India Action Plan

Testimonials from the participating startups:

“It was really good to network with a bunch of enthusiastic entrepreneurs from around the city.” – Sathik Khan, AriveLM Insights

“The event was a great opportunity for us to showcase our product and connect with fellow startuppers around the city. We wish more such events happen in the city frequently. Looking forward to it. – Team GoBumpr

Kochi

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Hosted on the theme “Startup Equity Management”, Startup Saturday Kochi was attended by 20 people that included a mix of early stage start-ups, professionals, and corporates. The event started with a talk by Vimal Gopal (CEO, Caspo Energy), who shared his experience of financing his startup. CA George Korah (Partner, Korah & Korah Chartered Accountants) spoke next on the fundamentals of business entities, financial statements and investment term sheets.

Some Interesting Insights from the event :

  • Ensure that when you give an equity stake to an investor that it comes with a vesting period. It is good to allocate 15 – 20% of the equity into options pool for employees; equity should be given based on the value the employee brings. 2 – 4 % equity with a vesting period is good figure for valuable employees. – Vimal Gopal

  • First time entrepreneurs are better off looking for investors who can bring more than just money to the table – like Management Expertise, Distribution Chain or Strategic Partners. –  Vimal Gopal

  • When you’re looking to hire somebody to handle your finances, get the candidates screened by your Chartered Accountant. This will ensure that they are qualified to handle the required work. – CA George Korah

  • Before signing on the term sheet, ensure that you have read all the clauses, especially the ones related to control and operational independence. – CA George Korah

Bangalore

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Startup Saturday Bangalore kickstarted the new year on a positive note. Despite the last minute logistics emergency, where we had to find a new venue in a day, the volunteer team managed to pull off the event quite successfully.It was hosted on the theme “Age of Aggregators” and featured an insightful talk by Gautam Mago( MD, Sequoia Capital) and startup demos by Satej Sirur(Founder, Rocketium); Harsha Vardhan(Co-founder, Carista and Volunteer, Headstart); and Abhishek Kumar(Co-founder, Frogo). There was also a Panel Discussion, moderated by Malini Gowrishankar(Founder, F5 Escapes and Volunteer, Headstart), and featuring panelists: Abey Zachariah( CEO, Goodbox),Aditya Rao( Founder, LocalOye) and Chandramouli Gopalakrishnan(Director, Products atGoibibo). The Headstart team also conducted a quick session based on the ‘Co-founder Search’ initiative, for those in search of co-founders for their startups, and those interested to join startups as co-founders.

Some Interesting Insights from the event :

  • For aggregators vendors/suppliers need to be the first priority

  • It’s hard for aggregators to sustain in a monogamous sector. More frequency of consumer usage is important.

  • Focus on doing one thing better than the way it is being done, or known to be done. Become a master at it and expand from there.

For a detailed account of Startup Saturday Bangalore January 2016 edition, visit: http://goo.gl/0dbwJU

Hyderabad

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Attended by 100+ people that included an interesting mix of startup founders, IT professionals and students, the January edition of Startup Saturday Hyderabad was on the theme “Startup Hiring – Making it a cake walk”. The event featured talks by Rajat Shahi( Founder, HackMania), Vikas Jagetiya(Founder,OMitra), Praveen(Founder, ZenithPlus) and Rahul Sachdev(Founder, Wich Please). There was also a Panel Discussion, moderated by Srikanth Soni(Volunteer, Headstart) and featuring panelists: Max Kinoshita(Founder, Skyland Ventures), Subbaraju Pericherla( Founder, Realshoppe) and Bharath Lingam( Founder, [X]cube LABS).

Some Interesting Insights from the event :

  • When hiring, look in immediate circles first. – Max

  • Skill based exams and hackathons plays pivotal role to get the best technical hire. – Rajat

  • Employees will work for the Company’s vision and not live for the vision and hence they need to be rewarded. – Subbaraju

Pune

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Startup Saturday Pune’s January edition was on the theme “Bootstrapping to Funding – Entrepreneur’s Journey”. The event featured talks by Vishwesh Jirgale(Principal Engineering Manager R&D, Accompli – Microsoft Ventures) and Rohan Dighe((Founder, Viralmint). There were also startup pitches by Chentil Iyer(Founder, Horus Consultants) and Harshal Varkhedkar(Founder, LearnEasyTraining).

Some Interesting Insights from the event :

  • Get your idea validated as many people from within the ecosystem. – Rohan
  • If you believe in your idea, never give up. – Rohan
  • Share your idea with like minded people. – Rohan
  • Value proposition and competitive edge should get you ahead in the game. – Vishwesh

Kolkata

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The January edition of Startup Saturday Kolkata was on the theme “Marketing for Startup”. The event was attended by 80+ people, and featured talks by Keshav Gupta ( City Head, Grofers), Nipun Kochar ( Founder, PlanMyAd), Prasun Chaudhary ( Head – East & North East at OYO), and Sampark Sachdeva ( Marketing Manager – East India, Ola Cabs).

Ahmedabad

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Team Ahmedabad hosted the first Startup Saturday of the year on the theme “Think Big, Think Big Data”. The event started off with a talk by Dhruv Gohil, an Analyst at Ishi Systems Ahmedabad, who has over 8 years of professional experience in the area of software technologies, having worked at the likes of Huawei and IBM and also taught the students of esteemed universities such as CEPT University and Gujarat University. Shukla and Vishal Shukla (Co-founders, Brevitaz Systems) came next, sharing the story of their startup that provides innovative Big Data analytics, visualisations and solutions to others. The event concluded with a talk by Yash Badiani(Lead – Big Data Practice, Cignex Datamatics). Yash spoke about the ways in which big data and its analysis can help startups understand the data they are receiving and how they can efficiently use this data to fuel their growth.

Navi Mumbai

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Attended by aspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders, corporate professionals and students, Navi Mumbai hosted its first Startup Saturday of the year on the theme “Basics of Starting up”. The event kicked off with a talk by Gaurav Prakash( Founder – WLS Solutions Pvt.Ltd, author, social media consultant). Gaurav shared his insights on the path of entrepreneurship and gave a new perspective and vision to the audience. He unleashed the power of LinkedIn as a branding and strategy tool, and spoke about its overall impact in the current scenario.

The next speaker of the day was Rutavi Mehta, an award winning travel blogger, and one of the ‘Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs’ and  ‘Top 20 Twitter Woman Influencers’ of India. She highlighted the importance of Twitter and Blogs as platforms to connect with the right people. The etiquettes and essentials for Twitter were touched base perfectly. Her vision for women empowerment through social media and travel was very inspiring.

The event also featured startup pitch by Nishat Mukkadam(Founder/CEO of WedLista.com) and a fun-filled interactive session by Tejinder Singh( Founder, M3 Mentors business Pvt. Ltd), where he excellently decoded and summarized the real aspects of entrepreneurship.

Other Happenings at Headstart

 

Headstart is happy to announce the launch of  ‘Headstart Hackerzone’ its first co-working space, powered by IKP.  With around 40 seats, the space is open to startups of all types and at any stages, although more suited for Hardware-based or Biotech startups. In addition to the working space, the meeting rooms and other basic amenities, Headstart Hackerzone will provide the startups access to biotech equipments and labs, dark room for photo experiments, electronics lab, 3D printers et al. The resident startups will also be offered mentorship in the form of workshops.

To apply for Headstart Hackerzone, interested startups can write to Headstart at bangalore@headstart.in

Volunteer Heroes of the Month

 

Naman Jaiswal

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“Super energetic and a great paced learner. Excellent at people management and executing all tasks proficiently. He has made Headstart Jaipur a very popular name in the city. Great working with him and proud to have him as a part of our team.”

– Paresh Gupta

Written by: GL Narayanan, Monica Movva, Praveena Bavanari, Anish Shankar, Smedha Sarkar, Harshal Gupta, Annupreeti Verma, Amit Rawat

Designed by: Apoorva Pandey

Edited by: Swati Ramnath