July 23, 2007

Proto.in - my itinerary

Event : Proto.in
Venue : IC & Sr Auditorium , IIT Madras
Dates : July 21/22, 2007

[This post mentions "what-i-did" during the event and some of my comments. It does not explain the events and the participants in its entirety. I hope to post more on the individual presenters(participating companies) and some interesting startups that i stumbled upon]

I had wondered on how this event would benefit startups and for audiences like me, who are just going to be meek spectators and see the companies present and the VCs talk. The event was supposed to span 2 days :
Day 1 -- the first day being the day of speakers (sessions) - Tracks on Business and Technology
Day 2 -- the main event - the companies (startups) presenting their product.

Day-1 (Saturday July 21, 2007)
Managed to reach the venue on time despite the traffic jam near Gandhi Mandapam.

Quickly registered and headed off to the conference room wherein the Business track was scheduled. There was one more conference room with the Technology Track. After the initial introduction and the India Poised video(ToI) ,the talk by Shankar Vembu (Vembu technologies Pvt Ltd) commenced. It was a beautiful talk, and the speaker stressed on 8 points that Startups should abide by when they want to bootstrap without a venture capital ; the first being - "Dont attend these kind of events if you are serious about your startup" - which i found perfectly right , both at the beginning of the event and also on the closing day :)

After this talk , i moved to the Tech track where Rajiv Mangla and Prayank Swaroop (Adobe) were about to speak on "RIA using Flex,AIR and Ajax". I was curious to attend this session and look at some demos and the framework. The talk wasn't much impressive (but am sure that the framework is kewl), some of the demos were nice. I am sure that the Flex consulting marketing is going to very lucrative in India. Sample AIR cds were given at the end - thanks for that - i was planning to get my hands dirty this week before BCB4 - am yet to explore the CD.

Then i again shifted to the Business Track wherein Rohit Agarwal(TechTribe) was supposed to talk on PR - again a _no-nullshit _ talk which i liked. After this, time for some networking [ time for tea:) ] and meeting some aspiring enthusiasts and interesting startups.

Later moved on to the talk by Alok Mittal(Canaan Partners) , and later moved to the Tech track where Sanjay Swami(myChek) had to elucidate on 'Opportunities in the Mobile Space". I being a noodlehead in the mobile industry, this was a nice talk to listen to. Sanjay spoke 0n some alluring spaces in the Mobile segment which had the potential to grow and some more gyaan.

The best of the talks was that by Atul Chitnis(VP - Geodesic and a FOSS evangelist). Atul spoke on how startups should take up free and Open-source as their platform for their businesses to succeed. His claims were supported by very valid arguments and it was an excellent talk. I did not feel the 30mins whisk away. I wish if this talk could last for a few 15mins more so that startups could have benefited more.

Then, Ganesh Rengaswamy(Greylock Partners and CoFounder of TravelGuru) spoke on the challenges and the opportunities in the Internet space. It was a very informal talk with very formal and good content. I liked the way Ganesh carried himself all throughout the talk - it was again a _no-bullshit_ talk :) . He did not use a powerpoint presentation and managed to engage the audience with good content.

Day-2 (Sunday July 22, 2007)
It was supposed to be the MAIN EVENT. The startups were supposed to present their company and the product (demo , if possible) in a short duration of 6 minutes. Almost all the presenters felt that 6 minutes was too short a time for presenting a product; but i totally second the organizers for choosing the 6-minte deadline, as i feel that i a product can easily be dissected in less than 6 minutes - with all its merits and demerits identified. One of the presenters commented that "it takes atleast 7 minutes for an orgasm and 6 minutes is too less".

A comprehensive analysis of the companies will be done in the forthcoming posts.
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