The month of October was a glorious one for Startup Saturday, which spread its entrepreneurial wings over two new cities and sparked the spirit of entrepreneurship in Chennai and Chandigarh. Fueled by the joy of having achieved this significant goal, the Startup Saturday events took off successfully.
Startup Saturday is now the only localized entrepreneurial event in India happening in 8 cities on the 2nd Saturday of every month. Click here to register for the November Startup Saturdays .
Mumbai Startup Saturday
Mumbai Startup Saturday was based on the theme “Design Entrepreneurs”. The first speaker was R. Sridhar who spoke about his journey from being an advertising executive to the founder of IdeazRS. Dr. Aditya Dev Sood of Centre for Knowledge Societies (CKS) gave the next talk. CKS works with several organizations and helps them design products and solutions for Indian markets, especially rural areas. Dr. Sood spoke about his entrepreneurial journey and shared some interesting cases that the company has worked on. Manik Kinra came next and spoke about his startup Jade Magnet, which is one of Asia’s largest creative market place with close to 3000 listed service providers.
The event saw many interesting lightning pitches. Madhav Sawant of Indra Technologies presented a novel product called the Night Glow Wallpaper, Faizal Thakur spoke about pro9 Bicycle Studio, Priyank Dahanukar presented his company Faith Designs, while Ritika Bajaj and Meghna Shah spoke about their company, MeritC2.
This was followed by an informative talk by Neha Modgil of Techved Design on the importance of usability in the design of websites. The session enlightened the audience about various techniques used in user research and usability studies.
Bangalore Startup Saturday
The theme of the Startup Saturday Bangalore was “Generating Revenue through Intellectual Property Licensing”. The first talk was by Muthukrishnan Chinnasamy, the director of Sonic Chips and a serial entrepreneur, with vast experience as an angel investor in many IP-centric companies. Muthukrishnan gave us insights into the field of IP and monetizing from IP. He stressed on the significance of having a plan to monetize the IP, before going ahead with it. He also discussed the factors we must consider while identifying the value of an IP like its development cost, potential, longevity and uniqueness. If after evaluating these factors, the results are not quite satisfactory, then we must be ready to temporarily abandon the IP and go ahead with it when the market need arises.
Kartik Puttaiah, founder Invn-Tree spoke next, about the different types of IP, the patent process and the strategies startups can adopt for patenting. He discussed in detail about the different kinds of IPs like Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Design patents and Trade secrets that can be used by the companies.
Kartik’s talk was followed by the brand new open discussion session. Here the members in the audience were divided into 3 groups. One person from each group had to put across a particular startup challenge that they were facing, to the other members in the group. The members, after a quick brainstorming session, provided the person with some practical solutions to their startup problems. The groups came up with various interesting questions like “What are the parameters we must consider before starting up?”, “Should we think of passion or profits before going ahead with a new venture?”, “When to look out for a co-founder?”. The session encouraged exchange of ideas between the speakers and the audience.
Hyderabad Startup Saturday
Learning from brave startup failures – this was the theme of Startup Saturday Hyderabad. The event had few serial entrepreneurs come and talk about their failures and how they handled them and moved ahead on the entrepreneurial path.
The first talk was by Deva Prakash, an entrepreneur in the healthcare sector. In his engaging talk, Deva Prakash spoke about how he successful established his company, set up a good team, secured funding and identified the captive market for his business. Even though the journey was smooth-sailing in the beginning, he was posed with a big challenge, when the principal healthcare services company he was working with got acquired and the PE investors in that company put a stop to their engagement with the company. By quoting his personal experiences on how he handled this challenge, Deva Prakash answered many questions looming in the minds of the audience.
The next talk was by Lakshmi Kodali, an entrepreneur and the principal coordinator of Hyderabad Angels. In his talk, Lakshmi shared his story of starting up and his encounter with failures. He also gave us insight into the funding cycle and some guidelines on the amount of equity to let go in each stage. This was followed by lightning pitches by Shantanu, founder of DocSuggest and Tarun, founder of KrypSys.
Startup Saturday Kolkata
Startup Saturday in Kolkata has entered a new phase of enthusiasm and growth. Entrepreneurs are familiar with the cycles of hard work, despair, success and euphoria. The experience at SSKolkata has been somewhat similar over the one year that it is being conducted. There are new ideas conceptualized every month – and some implemented to provide a better platform for the entrepreneurs of the city to find idea, inspiration, clients or even a co-founder!
In the October event, Rakesh Dalal from Army Institute of Management presented a community development initiative, entrepreneurship with a social twist. A project of theirs that deal with “Solar Lamps for Sunderbans” has been selected by Nottingham University for presentation and has created curiosity among investors for further funding. He also talked about a project known as Honey for Money: The aim is to simply cut the middlemen and give the honey harvesters’ maximum profit by directly selling it to the big organization.
The SS crowd asked a lot of questions which helped the students make their initiatives even more effective.
The next speaker was Abhinaba Dey from the Avow groups, who spoke about the secret of starting up in the real estate industry. The audience throughly enjoyed his friendly style of presentation as he shared some of the inside stories from the real estate industry. He introduced the concept of SMB, Small and Medium Size builders. The whole session was amazing as it covered the practical aspect of his intiatives.
Then there were presentors who took 5 mins and did a quick speech, we had Aji Issac, Founder of TechShu Digital Marketing Agency who shared some of the Digital Marketing Knowledge. We had others who talked about Stem cells which led to a big debate in the house.
Overall, it was enriching for everyone who attended it, and the networking session as usual allowed few more business dates for entrepreneurs.
Inaugural Chennai Startup Saturday
Chennai’s inaugural Startup Saturday event went extremely well. The event started with a talk by Suresh Sambandam, founder of OrangeScape. Suresh spoke about the challenges he faced as an entrepreneur and the learning he gained. This was followed by an inspiring talk by Dr.V.M Periyasamy, the registrar of B. S Abdur Rahman University.
Lightning pitches were presented by Karthik, founder of Twenty19, that helps students find the right place to start their internship. Shrikrishna, founder of Sarukai gave the talk next on his product Sarukai that deals with the student–employer problems.
Inaugural Chandigarh Startup Saturday
In Chandigarh, the event started with a talk by Harbir Khurana, CEO of WiZiQ. He spoke about what to do and what not to do while starting up. The next talk was by Jasmit Juneja, founder of Karman Infotech, one of the first companies to offer affordable WiFi services in North India.
The co-founders of eMagzin (an online magazine) spoke in the lightning pitches session. This was followed by a talk by Sidharth, the founder of the startup ‘FRiEnDz’, an online magazine for teenagers.
The October Startup Saturday events were a major hit, creating palpable enthusiasm and excitement among all. Kudos to all the spectacular speakers, the ardent audience and, the vigorous volunteers for, putting up such a great show.
Startup Saturday happens at eight cities (Chennai and Chandigarh joined the family this month) every second Saturday of the month. Join us there if you have the faintest inclination of starting up your own business (and any business) or if you have already started up!! We can assure you that you will meet a lot of your ilk and will takeaway a few many inspiring ideas.
Contributed by Arun Venkatesh, Gurudutt, Mohit, Ramanuj, Aji Issac Mathew, Priyanka, Swati (editor) and SS content team.