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Startups live and die based on their ability to acquire customers. They are often cash-strapped, time- crunched, and swamped with responsibilities. Under extreme resource constraints, they need to figure out how to break through the noise, and let their target customers know they have a superior solution for the critical problem.

How can you, as a business, convince people to start using your amazing product? When should you start marketing your business? The August edition of Startup Saturday Bangalore answered these and many other questions related to Startup marketing.

The session started with a quick round of introduction by the audience, and a brief insight into their marketing challenges and areas of interest. This was followed by the first demo presented by Pradeep Kumar, co-founder of HireNodes, a hyperlocal freelance marketplace, which helps businesses find freelancers near them. The HireNodes mobile app allows freelancers to receive and respond quickly to relevant job notifications; and allows startups to chat with the candidates before hiring them, to quickly close the deals. The demo received positive feedback, with the audience curious to explore the app and know more about the services offered by HireNodes.

The first demo was followed by an insightful talk by Aprameya, Founder and Director of TaxiForSure. Aprameya spoke about his entrepreneurial journey of starting TaxiforSure, and growing it to a team of more than 1800 people, to solve the commute problem.  Stressing upon the value of customer feedback,  Aprameya explained how speaking to drivers and customers helped the team in understanding the commute inefficiency problem better. “Consumers drive the business direction and growth. You should identify what your customers want and then define the user experience,” he suggested.

Talking about funding and pitching the business idea to investors, Aprameya stated, “You should never build business for investors. Instead build the revenue model based on the market you are working on.” “If you are not able to put your life on your idea, nobody will put their money on the idea,” he further added.

Aprameya’s talk was followed by a second demo by Dharma Life Sciences. The startup explained how it leverages technological tools to accomplish its goal of helping people overcome their weaknesses.

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The next talk of the day was by Ameen Haque, Co-founder of Storywallahs. “Great stories happen to those who tell them,” said Ameen, explaining the role of storytelling in business marketing.  “No matter what business you are in, you are in the business of storytelling,” he added.

Shedding light on the elements of great stories, Ameen said that the body language of the storyteller (or the entrepreneur) is as important as the content of the story, when it comes to delivering successful presentation or pitch. “Biggest decisions are made based on instinct, not on data,” he said, explaining the thought process of investors, and stating the example of Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, receiving funding from Softbank, based on instincts, rather than the facts.  Ameen ended his entertaining talk with a story about Sachin Tendulkar and how the “Mei Khelega” incident gave rise to his greatness.

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The talk was followed by the day’s most awaited session – the Panel Discussion moderated by Pravin Jadhav (Product & Growth Driver at Freecharge) and featuring panel speakers: Suresh Babu (Founder & CEO of Web Marketing Academy), Vedanarayanan Vedantham (Head of Marketing at Stayzilla), Ameen Haque (Founder of Storywallahs) and Vipul Jain (CMO and Cofounder, BidStalk). Below are some of the insights shared by the panelists as they answered the marketing – related questions fired at them by the inquisitive audience:

  • Find ways to keep in touch with your customers.
  • Product/Company Name should be category appropriate, easy to remember and relevant.
  • Identify innovative and new marketing channels to reach to your customers.
  • Educate and build trust through content
  • Marketing is a timely and innovative field.
  • Make sure your first customers get wow experience. They will act as your brand ambassador.
  • Measure user metrics and plan the marketing.
  • Measure transactions, usage, and user acquisition, instead of app downloads. App download is vanity metrics.
  • Role of the metrics is to help you in making good decision.

The August 2015 edition of Startup Saturday Bangalore was an insightful one, attended by 300+ people that included a mix of entrepreneurs, early-stage startups, and marketing enthusiasts. A huge thank you to the amazing audience who attended and participated actively in the event; and to our long list of event partners: MediaTek Labs, CMRIT, Bangalore Alpha Labs, TiE Bangalore, Wow Labz   and Yourstory, amongst others, for their generous support and contribution. If you missed attending this Startup Saturday Bangalore, then make sure you block your calendar for the next event. To listen to what our attendees have to say about the SS events, you can check out the Headstart Youtube Channel .

About HeadStart Bangalore:

Established in the year 2008 with the vision to ‘Change the World through Entrepreneurship’, Headstart Network Foundation (headstart.in) is the largest network of early stage startups in India. A non-profit, volunteer-driven organization, HeadStart Bangalore facilitates entrepreneurial learning, hiring and peer mentoring amongst the startups and addresses their issues through various initiatives such as: Startup Saturday Bangalore, Headstart Clubs, Headstart Higher, Headstart Cofounder Search Program and Headstart Inturn.

Written by:

Apoorva Pandey