Headstart Startup Saturday – Kolkata Reporting | July 2014 Edition

Kolkata’s startup ecosystem is changing and changing fast. Many experienced professionals are shifting back to their hometown Kolkata, to start their ventures and they are bringing in new venture ideas and execution techniques to overcome many local challenges. Also exciting to see that many students and recent pass-outs are thinking out-of-regular-jobs and boldly trying out ideas they think has huge potential and global appeal. Startup Saturday Kolkata, since 2009, is focussed to help such early-stage individuals, mid-level pre-funded companies and many more, through its events and networks. We just concluded our July 2014 edition of Startup Saturday. For people who unfortunately missed the event, here is the story.

The venue this time was ICCR, the same place where we have conducted numerous previous meetups. It is fully-loaded with central AC, cushy chairs, lecture setup which accommodates 50+ attendees and 3 speakers, apart from a Dolby audio system, cordless microphone and nice wall-mounted projector. Not to mention the spacious lobby in-front of the room where you can walk around in Brownian motion without disturbing others. Everything we need to conduct a cozy weekend event.

The event started with the simple registration process. ‘Write your name, email, phone number on a sheet and get a Headstart Name-sticker in return’. Two of our volunteers worked responsibly to make the registration process smooth and less cumbersome. Once registered, there was a brief networking session. At 4:30pm, it was time to launch the Event. Mr Abhinaba Dey, our volunteer and mentor, opened the event with a brief about Headstart Network Foundation and Startup Saturday Kolkata. After introducing ourselves, it was time to know the people attending the event. Everyone present where given a minute to Introduce themselves, brief about their venture and a little about their expectations from Startup Saturday. We found a lot of new-faces, some company representatives and students in the mix. Nasscom 10,000Startup video was the next on our agenda and it received a lot of curiosity.

The dias was now open for our first guest speaker for the evening. Mr Rajiv Mukherjee, who has come down all the way from Bangalore, is the Mentor of a company called First100Sales.com. He highlighted some basic ground rules that one needs to consider before one could shape an idea into a business. He introduced us to a platform where you can put all the different aspects of your idea, and the platform evaluates and scores your idea, suggests sections where improvement is necessary etc. The platform also connects ideas to potential evangelists and investors. A wholesome platform which surely would help ones idea get converted into a funded business. Rajiv’s talk was very exciting and nicely planned. He paused to take questions, he paused to ask questions.

We next saw a company showcasing by Mr Kumar Chandan. He spoke to us regarding his startup ExamVeda, how he is providing a solution to teachers, students, schools & colleges to connect & network.
The final activity of the evening was a talk on Cyber Law by Adv. Shanky Gupta. Greeted by Subham, Shanky made his way to the dias and within minutes he impressed with his oratory skills (just like any advocate seen in some hindi cinema). He is someone who consults Cyber Law with Kolkata Police & CID, promotes research in Cyber Law at CFSL Kolkata and manages litigations in High Court for around 6yrs. He started off sharing his experiences to which the attendees broke out in laughter. In one of his experiences, he mentioned how a police constable confiscated a computer monitor (instead of CPU) as crime evidence. He went on to highlight that IT Act, IPC and other various laws together is merged to form what we call “Cyber Law”. He highlighted the various sections of Law and their amendments till date. He nicely explained what each section would mean to IT Startups, he paused and took many question, never did he miss sharing his experience. He concluded his speech with a loud round of applause.
As always, it was now open for networking. People got introduced to each other, exchanged business cards, discussed new ideas, potential partnerships and tie-ups. We bid adieu at around 8:30pm.

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Subham Das

Special Thanks to:-
Mr Rajiv Mukherjee, Mentor at First100Sales.com
Adv. Shanku Gupta, Advocate at Kolkata High Court
Startup Saturday Volunteer Team

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