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May - 2008 - issue > Editor's Desk
Have we arrived?
Pradeep Shankar
Sunday, May 4, 2008
When we organized a VC Summit in Bangalore way back in 2004, we had a tough time convincing VC firms in the U.S. to come to India and meet the entrepreneurs here. Today, the story is quite different. Many of the VC firms, whom we could persuade only with a lot of difficulty, have now set up shop in India! To top our endeavor, when we invited the VCs to the SmartTechie StartupCity (see page 32 for details) we had more than 20 VCs agreeing to come and meet the entrepreneurs.

The change that has taken place in just a matter of three years is phenomenal by any standards. We see several senior executives quit their well-paying jobs to start on their own in India. The good news is that most of the entrepreneurs are not looking at the U.S. as their initial market. They are trying to address problems relevant to India, which surely calls for innovation. Communities like TiE, Nasscom, NEN, Proto.in, Kickstart, Startup Saturdays, Open Coffee Clubs and Barcamps have actively contributed to the vibrancy we see today.

In this issue we bring to you the Top 25 Emerging Technology Companies listing. The merit roll with no ranking has been arrived at after three months of incisive deliberations by the selection panel, comprising of analysts, venture capitalists, industry experts, and our editorial team. The criteria to make it to this exclusive listing depended on the exciting technologies the companies here are working on, the ingeniousness of the leadership team, and its investors. And of course the number of nominations we received was really gratifying.

During the process, we also looked at some of the similar listings by media firms in the U.S. Surprisingly very few of the top startups mentioned in the U.S. media have engineering centers in India. This, probably, is one indicator that there is something missing in our ecosystem. The day when more than 50 percent of the top startups in the world have their R&D setups in India we can proudly say that we have arrived. It should be noted that the R&D centers of the U.S. based startups also contribute to the product ecosystem that thrives here today.

Before we sign off, we invite you to attend the SmartTechie StartupCity on May 24th in Banaglore. This event would truly capture the energy, enthusiasm, and diversity of everything that is going on in the startup world.

Pradeep Shankar

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