Swaroop C H

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Smart Techie Startup City

25 May 2008

Yesterday, I attended The Smart Techie Startup City event. It was intended as a showcase of startups as well as for learning/sharing/mentoring.

I had taken some notes during the day. As I was expanding it into a blog post, I realized I was just adding filler words which was a waste of bits, so here it is as-is:

Smart Techie Startup City 01 Smart Techie Startup City 02 Smart Techie Startup City 03 Smart Techie Startup City 05

Smart Techie Startup City 06

Smart Techie Startup City 07 Smart Techie Startup City 08 Smart Techie Startup City 09 Smart Techie Startup City 10 Smart Techie Startup City 11 Smart Techie Startup City 12

Smart Techie Startup City 14

Smart Techie Startup City 16

Overall, I think it was a good event, at least it was better than my expectations. There were some things they could've done better as I've already mentioned, especially bringing in people who are out there doing it today and succeeding instead of big company people. I wished to see people with their scars, not only people who are old and seasoned!

At the end of the day, I felt a little jaded. I guess what we need are more success stories and discussion on their stories. Yes, there are startups which are doing great such as Sloka Telecom, they are the kind of people who should be highlighted, rather than regurgitating buzzwords and spiel.

With all these events like Startup City, Startup Disco, and even an entire Indian magazine dedicated to entrepreneurship happening, I wonder if entrepreneurship is overhyped in India?


Lalit says:

Thanks a lot for the kind words for Mobisy.

Rashmi Ranjan Padhy says:

Thanks dude for the elaborate summary.

Would like to talk to you. Let me know your availability.


Vijay says:

"..I wonder if entrepreneurship is overhyped in India?"

My question to myself, everyday lately :)

Lokesh says:

Wow ! You have captured just like "Smart Techie". Great job!!

It was thrilling to see several stalls.But who will sustain in the Market is a question?. I appreciate Dr.Vivek ( DELL )'s perspectives to work on the basics like Food,Health,Education - Even peter drucker had mentioned in Challenges for 21st Century the same.

To be frank in Bangalore - You can get Pizza in 30 Min but Do we get ambulance or Medical help in 30 Min ?.

One of area,I expected something in this budding cos is Medical Domain. I could not find anything. To question myself, Will we able to overtake China,Tiwan, S Korea in a big way ?

Research based innovation are taking back seat in India. Even though India is known world over for Software & MBA graduates (IIM's). India does not have IP protection for Software and for business models. I could not see any stalls quoting outside Wow ! FIRST IN THE WORLD "Patent Pending". Is these companies have anything big in mind for technology transfers & licensing to make the ideas even bigger or to attract the VC's.

In CEO's conclave - What's happening in high level innovation?. I agree that the basic approach for innovation be the ethnography ( understanding the customer by being with him and observing his lifestyle and usage. Could they help out their own employees to build up a startup like ancillary units that were helped by biggies Public Sectors like BEL in Bangalore.

My question here is : Are we happy for what we are?. In a year India produces around 27 PHD's in Computer Science in Contrast US produces 1000 ( 275 are Indians) & China produces 2000 in the same field.Is the Innovative ideas of these startups - How much time is required for rest of the world to copy ?

As you rightly said. The experience of biggies and CEO's were old stories which worked for them 25 years ago-Pre Global Computing Age (That could also be before the new CEO of Startup Company born) The young and recently successful guys should have been projected like "Sloka" & "M Chek" on the stage.That would have been helpful for aspiring youngsters to start. The good & bad side.

How the Universities & Government can support these start ups could have been a good topic to discuss. If anyone from Technical University & Government ( Like STPI / NASSCOM representatives would have been much helpful too)

R K Mishra's Noon Session was a refreshing one ! I think some the participants would have change the Mind from StartUp to ChargeUp to form a NGO. He rightly pressed the issue of Middle Class (PVR fancy People)not voting leading to no growth in the state.

It was a good attempt by the Smart Techie guys. They could have done it much better. I appreciate their amazing efforts ( they too a startup !!two years young in India) to bringing all these people under one umbralla for a day.

Thank you

Swaroop says:

@Rashmi I have emailed you.

@Lalit I hope you guys get some wide distribution ASAP. All the best!

@Vijay Glad I'm not the only one who thinks that way :)

@Lokesh Yeah, most startups fail, this won't be any different, but it was good to see people out there and doing new stuff (except for the me-too social networks).

Medical domain is a hard thing to do. Even Google has taken ages to get Google Health off the ground.

I agree with you, taking research to products is a huge thing waiting to be tapped. I will write more about this in future posts.

Regarding PhDs, enough has been said, it is a chicken-and-egg problem. But I see lot of people in University of Mysore, IITM, etc. doing really neat work. The problem is that universities tend to be or are government institutions, and all the related problems follow.

Yep, let's hope SmartTechie and others take this feedback and work on showcasing the successful startups on stage. In any case, there's always the next proto.in to look forward to :)

Soham Das says:

Hi Swaroop,

Its a pleasant surprise to find this good a minutiae of the entire event... I was there and my thoughts resonated very strongly with the marketing panel discussion and especially with Mr. Murthy's view - "Marketing is too serious a stuff to leave it to Marketing professors or professionals..."


Nice job keep it up...

In fact I would like to put up some of the event photographs on Jump Up! [of course with proper accreditation]
Looking forward to your green signal.. :)

Nice Job keep it up!

Rani Sowmya says:

Thanks a ton for this! Refreshed my memory of the event and relieved me from reconstructing my notes. :-)

Swaroop says:

@Soham Heh, yeah, Moorthi sir was very candid and insightful!

Thanks for reminding me about the photos, I've made them public and under a Creative Commons license, so feel free to repost them.

@Rani You are welcome :)

SmartTechie Startup City in Bangalore « A Mirror of My Thoughts! says:

[...] in Bangalore. I was about to collect my notes, but a little bit of googling helped me land up at Swaroop’s notes on the event which captured the essence of the event in a remarkable [...]

SmartTechie’s StartupCity: Event Coverage |Technology and Business Startups in India says:

[...] from Ashish: Swaroop has a good post on startupcity. Check it out. Related Articles:Indian Startup Ecosystem and Mobile MondayEvent Coverage: MoMo Bangalore (March [...]

K. Srikrishna says:

I was out of the country during this event, but here are two tidbits that shed some light. One of my colleagues dropped me a note about the event asking if it would be worth attending. A quick scan of the event, gave me the feeling that the "startups" the website spoke of were all several years old and I wasn't sure they could be termed startups and the speakers were all from large companies. Also I must be honest about my own bias, of suspecting that SmartTechie was trying to jump on a "hot" area of interest and pull together an event.

Just today upon my return, at least two people who's inputs I value, commented very positively on Mobisy and Injoos as interesting startups and Yodlee's (founded circa '99, and one of the original companies I wondered if they could still be termed a startup?)MoneyCenter as interesting application.

Your summary provides an excellent overview of the events and as always there are lessons worth being reminded off, even if they aren't new.

Swaroop says:


The stalls were for both sponsors and startups, and Yodlee can definitely not be called a startup :)

Also, publication-backed events are generally more conservative and un-clued-in compared to, say, unconferences.

fruhling says:

About research and phds, it is a very sad state in india. When a professor in IIT asks his student without shame to produce one more paper, even if for his selfish interests, before he would process the synopsis of the phd thesis, you get the idea. Much to further dismay of the entire sleeping nation, the government finds no better person than such an unethical professor to be the director of an IIT, one can only feel sorry for the nation.

I think events like these definitely play a role in creating awareness and possibly the need to encourage the research oriented tech startups.


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