Last Saturday I went for Proto.in’s 6th edition conference. In case you don’t happen to know what it is, it is a platform for entrepreneurs and start-ups to showcase their ideas and products. The conference is filled with entrepreneurs, start-ups, angel investors, VCs, sales and marketing guys. This was the first time I attended something as fantastic as this.
There were 15 companies who presented their products. One way or the other, each one is trying to fill an empty gap in the market. Some ideas were really innovative, some were good business models rather than exceptional products. Here is a summary:
Internet and Mobile category
Under this category, I personally liked the solution from Vigyaapan Technologies which was to do mobile marketing based on user’s talking trends. I guess it should be already present, but to what level that I am not sure. But yes, that should be lot of data mining and BI stuff! They guy at their stall wasn’t ready to give me a single detail about it, so I left it there itself. Interestingly, they brought their client during the presentation. Quite innovative, I must say!
This category is now under the scanner of many businesses. 4 of them presented. While there are lots of untapped areas in this domain, guys were still using the same old formula! Sad! Online test, publish your coaching content…I mean we seriously need to come up with better ideas in this domain! A product called English Seekho was a real innovation! You can learn English via mobile! The online audio tutor will help you do just that. They were preparing to engage RJs for it and this could turn out to be real business in future if they handle it well. My wishes to you guys! Last was a college management solution from Vrixx. I had a discussion with those guys on their stall and they are charging quite an amount for the same! They have also been selected for angel investment by Mumbai Angels for screening. Same old formula, but loads of money!
It was extremely unfortunate to see only 2 entries in this category! Both entries were pathetic and I could not see anything great in that! Come on guys, creating an outlook connector to show RSS feed isn’t innovation! Indian IT companies, or for that matter start-ups, are really lacking innovation in this!
This was probably one of the best looking category, only because it was related to bikes and cars. Vardenchi Motorcycles introduced the concept of custom bikes and boy, two bikes they showcased on stage was rocking! Honestly, I am not eligible to comment on its details.
The best of all was TouchMagix Media product. It was quite like Microsoft Surface, which has already created lot of excitement in the market. They gave a live demo of using a surface for an interactive experience. Their solution (which also has custom hardware) recognize patterns and based on that displays graphics on the screen. You can play football virtually on a floor! Amazing stuff! That’s called real product. Because of that, they attracted attention of Mumbai Angels as well who have now called them for screening! I was also quite impressed by HyCa Technologies and Intsolvers Technologies products. Quite a mechanical stuff but I guess they are doing a good job in their fields!
It happened throughout the day. I particularly liked one by Mr. Mahesh Murthy! Have a look at it..its really worth…
I also had a small personal discussion with him! Yes, I had that :) He gave me a simple advice… “If you want to really market your product, give your technical seat to someone else! A programmer can’t be a businessman!” And considering my current situation, I think that was the most valuable advice for me in some immediate times to come!
He also emphasized the importance of Disruptive Price marketing and how you can use the price of your product as a weapon! Price should be something that should really drag the concentration of your customer towards you. “Greatest products or businesses in the world don’t need to be cheap always!”
I also liked the talk by Zensar CEO, Mr. Ganesh Natarajan. He explained how government of India can help a start-up. So he mentioned, “If you are doing anything that is helpful in the growth of the country, you can be funded easily.” Though I know what our reactions are when we think of government getting involved in this, but looking at current allocated fund for start-ups, it is giving quite a positive sign.
Then there were Mumbai Angels who explained how you could get an Angel investor. Surprisingly, angel investment in India is still at an infantry stage! So, getting it funded is no child’s play. But yes, you can contact them directly if you think you have a good business model or product. Make sure you are ready with your business plan!
And at last, it was none other than Microsoft! The experienced sales guy went on and I didn’t expected it to be so informative as it was! Bizspark program by Microsoft rocks! If you are a start-up looking to build using Microsoft tools and technologies, do visit Bizspark! Its free!
It was an extremely wonderful experience! The energy, enthusiasm, the will to do something…was awesome! People are so pumped up to do something in their lives and don’t have that going-with-the-tide attitude! The energy has really touched me! Congrats to all the organizers!