Startup Saturday Pune’s  May 2015 edition saw a whooping 150 people, a mix of early stage startups, aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned entrepreneurs, who attended the session on a Saturday Morning, to get to know the When, How, Why and Why Not of Starting a Startup!

Rakesh and Jitendra, our newest volunteers, the first ones to arrive!

Packed House

Packed House


Rishabh Gupta, Co-Founder Letsintern, Co-founder & CEO Yinkapp kickstarted the session.

Rishabh shared his journey from zero to one and how they got initial team in place, experimented different concepts and ideas to leverage the team’s strength and network, how some of the things at the initial phases went drastically wrong in spite of all the planning and how he coped up with his initial fears and how they rejoiced when someone appreciated their work.

 Some of the takeaways from Rishabh’s talk:

– No matter how foolproof your plan is, how awesome your team is, things will go drastically wrong and you got to be mentally prepared for this more than anything. No matter how much you plan, there will be a variable changing factor which you have no idea or control on.

– There will be days when you feel “this idea sucks, why am I doing this, it’s never going to pull off” and there will be days when you manage to solve a problem and someone says, this is awesome and you feel “This is why we started this!”

– It doesn’t matter what you know or don’t know right now, carry the best part of your experiences and go with an attitude of self teaching yourself, learn and do it.

Rishabh concluded the session by quoting Genius = Weird. “Where is your will to be Weird?” – Jim Morrison, Door.

Our next speaker for the session was Dr. Anupam Saraph – Future Designer & Thought Leader, former CTO of Pune City. Dr. Anupam talked about “Secrets that make startups succeed” in a very interactive discussion with the participants by interrogating on some very basic and critical aspects of a startup.

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 – What will your startup do and for whom? It’s not about your idea or how you implement the idea. Its about who your customer is and what is the need of that customer.

– What is the value you are creating, how do you create it and deliver it to the customer?
Customers pay for what value they get. Money is the end product which enables survival.

– Depending on how you measure, 95% of startups do not accomplish revenues or even break even. It’s not easy to ensure that your startup will be a success. Failure needs to be celebrated.

– Are you going to have a startup which is going to continue to exist beyond your lifetime, as your children would and your grand children would?

– What will I be doing and for whom? If you don’t like your customers, you should not be in a startup business. Your customer should be your purpose; you want to be able to change the life of your customer for better.

– Successful startups are out there to change the world. If you are starting up to make money, you need to rethink.

– What is the business model that will create and deliver the value that you promise to the customer?

Dr. Anupam concluded by saying, “If you can answer above questions and ensure you don’t go out of pocket but actaully earn some money during the process, you will be able to make a successful and enduring startup.”

Our third and last speaker was Shachin Bharadwaj – CEO & Founder TastyKhana (now acquired by FoodPanda), who needed no introduction!

The participants and especially the food startups got excited and were all ears to know the secret recipe of TastyKhana’s success!

 Shachin was very frank in sharing the realities of the business and how he had put in his heart and soul into his venture, without taking a single leave for 2 years!

– Common excuses for not starting up – No Funding, Need Experience, Loans / EMIs, getting out of the cycle of monthly paycheck etc. Some of the ways to mitigate these and follow your passion – Start Young, Save Salary, build a business. (add value = make money)

– Ideas are worth ZERO unless executed. The fear of not having money to pay your monthly bills helps in achieving miracles! Startup is always a chicken and egg game, there are no preconditions for starting up and executing.

– Make sure you attend events that add value. If you planning to start a business, attend and network at such events. If you are already running a business, focus on building the business and use your time effectively.

– Starting up is an extremely lonely journey, don’t do it for the glamour, the urge to change the status quo must be extreme, Perseverance and execution are the keys.

Shachin concluded by sharing that equity was the only thing he had which he shared with those who trusted him in the initial phases. TastyKhana got acquired by FoodPanda in 2015 and 6 new millionaires got added in India, including him 🙂

Post the speaker sessions, we had some startup pitches from early stage startups, who got some quality insights from the speaker panel and audience.


 Towards the end, we had an Open House, where participants were encouraged to clarify their doubts from the expert speakers’ panel. 

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 The session continued to an open networking in the amazing venture center campus, with lots of inspirations, connections and value additions.


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Thanks to our partners, Nasscom 10000 Startups, and Yourstory. Thanks to Venture Center for making prompt arrangements to accommodate the large crowd.

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Last but not the least, the rocking #SSPUNE team who made it possible! 🙂

The theme for the upcoming June Edition of #SSPUNE is “Basics of Startup Funding” where we will cover the life cycle of funding, how to summarize your business in two sentences and how and what to pitch to an investor! For more help on Startup Saturday or any Headstart Initiatives, you may reach

 Written and compiled by:

Arti Agarwal

National Ecosystem Lead

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Headstart is India’s largest early stage startups community. It is a nonprofit, purely driven by passionate entrepreneurs across over 16 Indian Cities touching over 18000 lives a year! Startup Saturday is our flagship event, where entrepreneurs’ get to listen from successful entrepreneurs, talk about their startups, get inspired, and network every second Saturday of the month across India.

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