Entrepreneurship witnessed a new bloom this Valentines Day with a large number of entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs turning up for Startup Saturdays, held across 5 Indian cities namely: Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi and now Kolkata. Held on the 2nd Saturday of every month, Startup Saturdays are events organized by the HeadStart Foundation, to facilitate networking among entrepreneurs and promote entrepreneurship at the grassroots in India.
Kolkata became the 6th Indian city to host a Startup Saturday. Anurup Singhal gave a talk on “Opportunities for Product Sales among SMEs in India”. “The audience feedback was very enthusiastic and detailed in nature. The Kolkata crowd is really excited about it.” says Mitesh Ashar, the chief organizer of the event. The event was well received with a good first time attendance of 20 people, which included 5 startups and Rajat Aggarwala of Scrabulous fame.
Startup Saturday Bangalore celebrated its Anniversary edition with a cake cutting ceremony. Over 80 people gathered at NSRCEL, IIMB to participate in the event. Kreeo.com was the first company to demo their knowledge management platform. The founder and CEO of Kreeo, Sumeet Anand educated the audience about the concept of collective intelligence and how their purely Ajax based web platform harnesses the same. Then Jyotsna Pattabiraman demoed Moovie Shoovie, which aims to be the worlds largest community of Indian films and the people who love them. The last demo was on VoicePhP, by Yusuf Motiwala, CEO of TringMe.
Startup Saturday Mumbai had about 50 people in the crowd and presented two concepts in User Generated Content (UGC)/Web2.0 – oCricket by Brajeshwar Oinam and Inkfruit by Kashyap Dalal. There was also a talk on “Aspects and Future of UGC based business models in India”. There was a discussion on how the entrepreneurs built their product and numerous examples by Eklavya of Contest2Win to monetize UGC. The senior entrepreneurs / technologists in the community took extra time out for helping a few queries from newbies on their issues related to choice of technology/platform. It was held at SJSOM, IITB.
The American Center in Delhi hosted the 2nd Startup Saturday in the city. Attended by about 40 people, the event got started with Vishal Chandra speaking about “The Art of Bootstrapping”. Next was a demo on HelpDesk 2.0, a software-as-a-service application by Shishir Jain of Netcellence Technologies. Nikhil Pahwa of Medianama then initiated a discussion on “The Indian IT act and its Implication on Technology Companies.”
Last but not the least Startup Saturday Hyderabad was hosted by IIITH. Led by Ramesh Loganathan and Kavita Vemuri of CIE, IIITH, the event had a variety of talks on diverse topics ranging from “How we won our first customer and beyond” to “Creating Support Networks, Databases and Portals for small NGOs and social organization”. The event had a characteristic “social” flavor with Nitin Rao of SKS Microfinance talking on Social Entrepreneurship and their fellowship program. It was attended by about 30 entrepreneurs, industry professionals and 15 students.