Recharging the Entrepreneurial Passion
Date: Thursday , July 31, 2008
"Hey, I’m Abijith, I run a startup, how about you…"—Warm exchanges like this echoed in the lush green Delhi IIT campus, which witnessed a vibrancy of its own kind as the fourth edition of Proto.in, a two-day startup event, unveiled on second week of July. The sultry summer might have made attendees wipe their sweat the whole day but it could not deter the passion, enthusiasm, and exuberance exhibited by these young and bright folks bit by entrepreneurial bug.
Influx of inspirational waves made over 300 attendees stick to the Gyan sessions held on the first day. When opportunity knocks your door, it’s your responsibility to recognize it to pursue your dreams. It’s the time to take your call, said Kiran Karnik, former Chairman of NASSCOM, during his inaugural keynote. "Developed markets like Japan and Europe have needs for highly specialist products and services which can be a good prospectus for a tiny organization. Certainly it’s the time to witness the transformation of tiny niche firms contributing to the growth of the ecosystem," he added.
Though it was a usual ‘Believe in yourself…’ kind of session, first day’s ‘Startup School’ comprised numerous motivating classes including the closed-door mentorship session meant exclusively for showcasing startups. Many victorious and bombed entrepreneurs and VCs shared cerebrations on startup challenges. Murugavel Janakiram of BharatMatrimony spoke on the art of pricing, while Bhavi Takia of Directi talked on challenges of fast growing business. Sameer Guglani of Morpheus Partners, Mahesh Murthy of Pinstorm, Kiruba Shankar of F5ive, Amith Rajan of Slideshare, Sanjay Anandaram of Jumpstartup, and Gaurav Bhatnagar of Tekriti aired thoughts to spring up the quality of entrepreneurship among the attendees. The ‘Innovation BrainJam’ held during the second day was pretty successful in involving the young minds to pour in ideas to excel in what we do.
This time around ‘Startup Showcase’, the most exciting session in Proto events, was fairly impressive as many startup ideas had little differentiation and were hovering around similar existing concepts. “All startups had good ideas. But they really didn’t have the imperative focus on execution,” opined Tejus M Sati, Co-founder, Axon Ventures, who was present at the event.
This edition of Proto had 16 startups showcasing from diverse genres. It had hardware manufacturing firms like Soliton, a maker of machine vision cameras, Blink, a maker of intelligent shopping cart, and NextBit Computing, maker of gCoSign that enables centralized Web interface to control the out-of-home installations remotely.
The showcased startups included - From the Web 2.0 genre, Lifeblob, an intelligent photo organizing solution for websites; The Hiring Tool, a software maker for recruiting agencies; Muziboo, an online community that enables one to create and upload music and review it; from the consumer Software category, Picporta, an image searching tool based on face recognition; from the prediction and gaming segment, Lords Of Odds, a virtual betting site; from the IT enabled services category, Eko, a simplified banking solutions provider; from the eCommerce genre, Apnabill, a utility bill payment site and Storrz, an eBay like, but group of online shopping malls on the Web; and Lootstreet, an Amazon like but one-to-one bargaining platform on the Web.
From the miscellaneous segment, of which Proto calls as ‘out of box’, comprised a food processing company Ferox Foods, Regional language typing software maker Lipikaar, automated credentials match software maker Tiriyo, and Crederity, a software maker for risk mitigation purposes.
"It is a good platform to exhibit to the world what we do and to scout for possible funding, says Chandan Maruthi, CEO, Storrz. Proto is proud to say that growth of the companies like Ixigo, Tyroo, and many others who made presentations during previous editions testify to the success of the event. Many startups that showcased in the present and previous events, felt the money (the fee of Rs.10, 000 for showcasing) spent was indeed worth it.
From now on, Proto.in, a twice-a-year event which is reminiscent of Demo event in the U.S., doesn’t want itself to be branded as a ‘Madrasi event’. Hence, for the first time Proto was held away from Chennai. Vijay Anand, the organizer, says, "In keeping with its mantra of being a platform for startups, Proto has moved to a different level altogether in this edition."