SuperBowl of Startup Saturday

Congratulations to the entire Headstarters team for an amazing Startup Saturday event on 13th November! The theme for the Startup Saturday was “Social Media”, yes, everyone’s favourite child 🙂 The stage was already set by the impressive line-up of speakers, @Gauravonomics, @dina , @MaheshMurthy, @rajivdingra; each, a known name in the Social Media space. This was definitely shaping up to be the Super Bowl of Startup Saturday (title courtesy tweet by @akisaxena)

Vinay introduced the Startup Saturday format, by comparing it to the much needed boost up for all; Chai / TEA; standing for Total Entrepreneurial Activity!

The first speaker up was Gaurav Mishra (@gauravonomics). Gaurav focused on the “Made in India, Made for the World” products. Gaurav made a great case on how it’s the right time for start-ups in India to focus on “Invention” rather than “Tweaks”.  You’ll find his manifesto at a must read. Also look it up to discover interesting new start-ups in the social media space.

Next up was Rajiv Dingra (@rajivdingra) . He presented a crisp methodology, TODO, for Social Media for start-ups. Rajiv also made quite an impression on the audience by saying “Startups should not go to Social Media Consultants like me”. It’s easy to see why Rajiv has been successful in hiring and motivating a lot of youngsters for his company WATMedia!

This Startup Saturday Mumbai was also the unveiling of the StartingUp at Startup Saturday Segment,, telecast on ETNow.

Three start-ups introduced their products, in 90 seconds each, Rakesh Deshmukh presented MoTrade, a mobile trading platform with secure transaction as its USP. Avinash Anandan introduced Qureka, to help discover people around your interests and finally, Samir Palnitkar pitched his start-up ShopSocially, a social shopping experience site.

@Sudhirsyal of StartingUp moderated a fun Q&A session with the 3 founders answering audience questions. The highlight of the session was Aditya Palnitkar, a 9th standard student who asked Qureka the most pertinent question for all start-ups, “How do you plan to make money?”! Aditya works on Social Media for ShopSocially. And I believe Rajiv Dingra has offered him a job too! 😀

The audience had a great time tossing squishy balls handed out earlier to show their approval of an idea by tossing it at the presenter! Samir of ShopSocially got knocked out by the most balls, giving him the honour of the best start-up pitch of the day!

A quick break later, Naman Sarawgi, Head of Product at gave a very candid and open talk on the problems faced and solved by them using Social Media (Presentation Here). Kudos to him for being so frank about how in the pursuit of increasing their reach, Freecharge fell in for the scam of buying Fans (yes, apparently it exists!) and their learnings from these mistakes.

Next speaker, Dina Mehta (@dina), put forth 10 tips on establishing “Personal vs Professional Brands on Social Media”. I completely agree with her “Build it before you need it” and “Claim your name and your brand” points. For more, read up at, .

Rohit Varma of Interskale Digital Marketing, spoke next about how Social Media is a great tool for start-ups to reach out to targeted groups interested in their products rather than reach out to everyone, quality over quantity! Rohit noted, however, that this strategy didn’t seem to work well for larger corporates in a diverse and heterogeneous country like India where an “English-only” social media reach isn’t viable enough, .

Finally, Mahesh Murthy (@maheshmurthy),  stepped up to the plate. He pointed out how, now mammoth companies, Google, Amazon, Yahoo took off solely through word of mouth and not much advertising at all. Social Media gives start-ups the access to reach customers through WOM and a small budget! Mahesh, also being the managing partner at Seedfund, was not let go till he answered questions on how start-ups can approach investors! To quote him, “Be Remark-worthy”, and you’ll stand out from the 1000 business plans they receive monthly.

I’ve been attending Startup Saturdays for about a year now, I have to say this Saturday will be remembered by all. Great job Vinay, Venkat and Arun in handling and hosting the crowded event!

I want to end with something Naman Sarawgi mentioned “If you can speak, talk, type: you know social media!” So true!! The point is, it’s not rocket science, so start-ups, make the effort, take the step and connect with your customers through Twitter/Facebook and the ROI will follow!

This is a Guest Post by Ruchika Abbi. Ruchika, apart from being one of the regular entrepreneurs who attend Startup Saturday 🙂 , she is also the  co-founder of – The Matrimonial Social Network. You can follow her on twitter @chicalit

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