DSC_1981 (1)  Imagine a world where your prescription bottles turn into devices that automatically notify you to take your medication or your fridge orders the food for you? This utopian world is a possibility owing to the technological marvel ‘Internet of Things’. With the wave of technology at its peak, IoT is the most trending phenomenon which has started to revolutionize the world. With the easy availability of internet, and with more and more devices like computers, smart phones, smart wearable devices etc, being made with Wi-Fi functionalities, the network of internet connected devices is increasing rapidly. This connection of devices will be through the use of the unique Internet protocol address that permits things for communicating with each other without any human intervention. Soon, there will be an era of IoT where communication will not be restricted to ‘people to people’ or ‘people to things’, but one step ahead, with a worthwhile communication from ‘things to things’. At Startup Saturday Kolkata on 19th September, the major focus was to explore the IoT space.

The event started with a stupendous session by the IoT experts, Sumantro Mukherjee and Tanmoy Khanra, from Mozilla Foundation. The tech evangelists laid emphasis on the Fundamentals of  IoT and the Internet of Things Risks. They also dealt in-depth with IoT protocols, architecture, working, and applications of  IoT. Their ability to simplify the intricate concept to the general audience was awe-inspiring. The audience even shared a few laughs on some witty real life examples shared by them. The show was extremely appealing to the audience, especially the software programmers. By the end of the speech everyone was mesmerized by the vision of a future where every comfort, fitness, pleasure, leisure item will be linked together, and will be interacting with people. The speakers also provided the link to their presentation, which you can check out here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bzphf6h7upukc3k3SE1uaVgyQjQ/view

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Following the first session, were demonstrations from four startups based in Kolkata. The first Startup Pitch was by Meghna Bhutoria, Founder of MakersLoft. MakersLoft is Kolkata’s first ‘makerspace’ where designers, Techies, Tinkerers, Hobbyists and Artisans come together to create amazing products and projects that they could not have done by themselves. A ‘makerspace’ is a combination of an enabling community, physical community and physical space where professionals, students, hobbyists get access to professional tools, learn how to use those tools, meet and collaborate with other talented individuals, to make things that matter to them and society. Makers Loft, being launched on 1st October, already got a winning response from the audience. With her unique concept and charming personality, Meghna Bhutoria made a long lasting impact on the audience.

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With equivalent zeal and ardour, another entrepreneur Priyanka Bajaj, made a marvelous presentation of her startup Mera Tiffin. Amidst the dominating food sector startups like Foodpanda and Zomato, Mera Tiffin goes an extra mile to provide home-based quality food at your doorstep. MERA TIFFIN- Uber for Food, has created a niche for itself in the food tech space. Mera Tiffin’s strength lies in its additional impressive features. It promises to notify the status of the ordered food at every step and provides a referral program system which helps you to earn extra points.  The audience were impressed when they tested the Mera Tiffin app instantly, and found decent food joints near the spot of the event.

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To boost the healthcare sector in India, we need more doctors to choose the path of entrepreneurship. Dr Gaurav Chakrabarty, founder of Medical Emergency came in with an endearing smile and charismatic persona. His startup seems familiar with Just Dial, but his focus is exclusively on emergency healthcare service with enhanced features and efficient response. His startup will give hospital options categorized on the basis of location, which can provide emergency medical service within a time span of 30 minutes. He also shared his plan to develop a BPO system for doctors. He stressed upon his futuristic vision of providing exemplary emergency healthcare support just like 911 in U.S.A. His ideas garnered massive support from the audience.

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The fourth demonstration was by Anurag Prajapat, Founder of Astrik, a startup that deals with the manufacture of IoT devices and provides a platform for preventive healthcare. Asterik provides healthcare premium discounts on the basis of health, and has tie-ups with Fitbit, Runkeepr etc. Anurag’s talk was thought-provoking and appreciated greatly by the audience.

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The event concluded with another informative session on Internet of Things by experts from IBM, which plans to invest $3 billion over the next four years in a new ‘Internet of Things’ unit, aiming to sell its expertise in gathering and making sense of the surge in real-time data.  IBM Internet of Things Foundation is a fully managed, cloud-hosted service that makes it simple to derive value from Internet of Things (IoT) devices.  IBM is working on a prestigious project to create a chip which will be integrated in human body, and will take control of diverse health factors concerning human body. As stated by the speakers, IoT is shaping into Internet of Everything. By 2020, 50 billion devices working on IoT will lead the way for plethora of connected possibility. The speakers also mentioned their initiative to transform New Town, Kolkata into a smart area.

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The September 2015 edition of Startup Saturday Kolkata was attended by 100+ people who belonged to multifarious backgrounds. The audience was a mix of early-stage startups, entrepreneurs, software programmers, students, managers and doctors. A heartfelt thanks to the audience for their active participation, and to our list of event partners: MediaTek Labs, IBM, Wow Labz, and Yourstory, amongst others, for their benevolent contribution. The event ended on a successful note.

About Headstart  Kolkata:

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 Kolkata facilitates entrepreneurial learning and peer mentoring amongst the startups and addresses their issues through various initiatives. We just concluded our September 2015 edition of Startup Saturday. If you missed the opportunity to attend the September edition, do keep your October calendar free to attend our upcoming event.

Written by Annupreeti Verma