Attended TechSparks 2014

I have been at  TechSparks 2014 from the first edition ( or second edition?).  Today I was at the fifth edition of the event at Leela Palace.  From a small event for less than 8 hours in a day, the event duration has grown to 2 days and multiple cities. There were large number of  participants and the Leela palace capacity to support events with  best service was being challenged by TechSparks.  There were large number of sessions and with fast succession of session, I was losing attention span for good sessions also and then have to bring the focus back.

Nandan Nilekani shared the below  5 points and  I can connect with my experience. Being Indian citizen first, I do not agree with the need of  Aadhaar card for larger population and do not agree comparison of internet platform and Aadhaar platform. The internet platform does not require identity by default. People can be anonymous and business can choose to identify users and internet offers freedom of choice. Aadhaar  wants to provide  identity for every Indian.  It  might be helpful to IT business. Will Aadhaar  offer freedom of choice? Will it really help Indian citizens?  I am sure time will answer.

  1. Think Big and Look forward
  2. Subordinate their ego for large purpose. Build a company is long term assignment.
  3. When a company grows big, the boundaries created for effectiveness might not support innovation and it is more easier in small setup.
  4. Build global brand – company that was talked about
  5. Delayed gratification – Think of institution building, patience and hard-work, sustainable way of doing things, have compelling vision to attract talent, mentor people to develop skills.

Shailendra Singh of Sequoia Capital talked about two different style of start-up business. He talked of  mu-sigma and pine labs from the perspective that they are new ideas and their journey was long misunderstood.

 Global Themes New or Contrary Ideas
  • Easy to understand
  • Easy to raise capital
  • Hyper Competitive
  • Gaining Market share is very important
  • Easy to recruit
  • The ecosystem is already there
  • You are one more in category
  • Often misunderstood
  • Difficult to raise capital
  • There might be no competition as there is no category.
  • Requires patience and Long term thinking
  • Under radar until it scales.
  • Do not expect appreciation and start thinking how to create ecosystem
  • Finally success creates a category. 

Category creation requires patience and the burden of defining your market is the responsibility of the start-up. You need to have ability to persist and go forward, when you are misunderstood by everyone.  If you are in this area, there is need to have a great user experience in the product, create better product, reconnects dots differently and tweak business model, think first principles and find opportunities to develop software. He talked of mu-sigma and Pine Labs as examples of what he described above. I have not heard of pine labs earlier and they looked interesting.

Ramesh Srivats talked about brand and how brands are flooding the social media networks. Some quotes are “Money cannot buy my love.”, “People are the media” and “Your product is your message” and also emphasized the need to move away from the old style of “Buy audience and push the message”.

Ravi Venkatesan  shared publish of his book “Conquering the Chaos” and also shared 5 pointers useful for  life and for start-up experience. Good.

  • Purpose : who would care if you do not exist?
  • Team : mutually exclusive and inclusive.
  • Mentor : Show what you are cable of and kick you when wrong, show way forward
  • Tenacity : Resilience/We simply do not give up
  • Gratitude : relates to optimism

There were 30 start-ups that showcased in Techsparks and you find more information of the same in article. There were 5 awards awarded by yourstory.(one award for 2 lakhs, 2 awards of one lakh and 2 awards of Rs 50000 for hackathon) and a new model of recognition of start-up in product ecosystem.Some of the startups that remined in my memory are

  • GoSales training
  • LoveCycles mobile Smartest menstrual tracker from Plackal
  • Illustrate the Video dictionary from mocept
  • LogiNext, Taking logistics to the next level.
  • AirLoyal  Ensure guaranteed engagement for every mobile ad campaign
  • df3d – a design factory for 3d printing.
  • ChloroEarth – trying to scale solution that would replace wood that can be developed from waste. Curious to watch.

Good job, Shradha Sharma and yourstory team. would look forward for TechSparks 2015.