Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

Posts Tagged ‘Delhi

This is a wonderful time to be starting up. You will come across very few people who will give comparisons to all the benefits they get working for big corporates. Its one such time. Hiring will be slightly easier, and retaining them will be even more easier.

Even in the midst of all that, it does seem that a lot of the Startup Companies are hardpressed for resources here in India. Here’s a solution.

A few of us have been talking about putting together a centre that trains people (as blank slated as freshers) on the common technologies that people use while building products – the usual PHP, Python, AJAX, MySQL, etc etc and getting them upto speed on mashups, APIs, documentation, and moving forward. That is the level of skill that most of the startup community folks are looking for it seems. Or am I wrong here?

If I am right, then there is a simple way around it. Every chapter of OCC in the country is doing quite well. I heard from Santhosh that Pune is a 300 people group now (though I do suspect that the turn out ratio would be still less), but who knew Pune had 300 people who would be open to being part of a community right? And the same case has gone on with Bangalore, Kolkatta, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, and even now and then with Mumbai.

Here’s the thought. What if in one of the OCCs a dozen of the startup companies, especially the folks who can code and code really well, commit that they will run a two month training program for people in these languages? It is going to take a bit of time and commitment, but there are a lot of resources already on the web, and with a couple of screencasts, and proper documentation, you could essentially also use it as training material for the next batch of people that you hire in your company later on.

What I am proposing is that a batch of technology entrepreneurs, each taking a week to cover different aspects of the course, could put their hands together to collaboratively solve an issue which is haunting a great many of them. Read the rest of this entry »

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There are only a whole total of 14 tasks that need to be done before the event,and given the capable team that we have this time, and the sheer level of enthusiasm flowing, I dont see that to be a problem. The core team from Chennai, Bangalore, and other places are starting to fly in into Delhi starting tomorrow – Our flight leaves in exactly another four hours. The team is busy getting their laptops on datacards so that we can still remain effective, even on the go. We are prepped, geared and all ready for it.

What did didn’t expect is the sheer push of some magical moment that has happened within the community to attend the event. we are nearing 400 attendees for the event, and that’s a “significant” jump from the 250 that we had last time – and trust me when I say that I am genuinely surprised. I always thought that the southern states were more entrepreneur-centric. I suppose it takes a good shot to really prove and debunk theories and myths as well.

In the following two days I am going to be writing to you to prep you to help set some expectations and in terms of some of the activities that we are planning at the event. The Innovation brainjam on the second day is something I am personally looking forward to. The credit goes to Amit Somani of Google, who threw open this open-ended way of brainstorming that they practice at google and as we pondered over the possibility of doing that in a conference. It should be loads of fun.

If you are a blogger by any means are a little rusty, this is the time to sharpen your skills. It’s going to be a liveblogging marathon this time, and we even have a surprise for the best live-blogged summary of the event. If you are the logical, knowledgeable one, well take heed. The quizzes are there to die for. I’m sure you’ve enjoyed the quizzes on the blog, and you’ll see more of it live in action, and as random teams come together to compete.

We are still looking for folks to take up various activities (If you are a good photographer, do let us know). So if you would like to help volunteer, the mailing list for the same is the first place to start, Have fun, keep your heads up high, and as we get together, let the voice that we always echo, echo once more – may the startups win!

PS: We’ll mostly be lurking around the venue starting tommorrow. Feel free to drop by and say hello. We do take encouragement in terms of homemade cookies too 😛 – Just kidding.

I hate to discriminate, but if you really inject me with truth serum and ask me which was my favorite edition of Proto.in, there is a chance that I’d say it was the second edition. It was memorable cause we tried out a whole lot of stuff and all of them just clicked and became runaway successes. Proto.in, July edition, is an inspiration of that. It promises to spin your world into a realm of possibilities that you never thought were possible in the Indian Startup Community.

Nope, this is certainly not the mail where I disclose what all is happening. This is the email where I give you a headstart to register.

So just to recap, the dates are finalized on the 18th and 19th, and the venue is tentatively fixed at IIT Delhi. We still haven’t had a confirmation from them yet, and it seems to be going on as long as the middle east peace process, but It should get solidified in a day or two and I shall update you on that. In the meantime, the information holds true.

Whether you are a VC, a student, an entrepreneur or a blogger, we aren’t discriminating this time. We’ve brought down the entry fees to Rs. 500 so that everyone could afford. There are a few entrepreneurship related blogs and sites which will be soon announcing some contest to give away entries, so do keep a close eye here to watch out for those.

As of today, and Now, you could logon to the website and register to reserve a seat for you. As usual we do have limited seats and the sheer number of partners and supporters have gone up significantly, so to ensure that I don’t get a call from you at the last minute asking for a seat to spare, I do urge you to go register as soon as possible. You can register here.

Once registered, you should be getting a confirmation mail, which will tell you all that you need to do. It’s quite straight forward.

For those of you who don’t have a credit card handy, and would not be able to make a payment online, we have identified means of disbursing Entry tickets (Same Price) in the cities of Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune. I will announce the list by the 30th of this month.

With that, Wishing you the best, go ahead register and hope to see you at the event. I am dying to see you all again!

It’s hard to believe that the core team behind Proto.in has been at it for more than two years now. It was in 2005 that the team came together to figure out what we want to do for the budding entrepreneurial space here in India, and help facilitate the growth of the startup community. We’ve come quite a long way since then.

All that knowledge, experience and interaction has been slowly translating into the finer details that go into the planning for the Proto.in event, and for the continuous interactions that happen over community initiatives like Open Coffee Club, Startup Lunch etc.

So Coming back to the question of what One can Expect out of the upcoming edition of Proto.in. Well for one, we can most certainly use the “bigger and better” theme, as cliched as that phrase is. The Venue for the upcoming edition of Proto.in is finalized in the halls of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, for the dates of 18th and 19th (Friday, Saturday). We are expecting a participating audience of close to 600+ for this edition of Proto.in.

The First day as usual will be the Startup School sessions. We are scraping the technology tracks this time, and focusing purely on the business tracks. I suppose and we agreed that there are plenty of ways to pick up on technology and the such, but very few places where a startup entrepreneur gets to hear, learn and experience the business of bootstrapping. There will be a few big names, but mostly the rule is always the same – Unless they are an entrepreneur, Proto.in offers no exceptions, no matter who they are. You can rest assured that the speakers, and content you hear will be relevant to you – especially if you are a startup founder – than some MBA gyaan right out of the textbook. That’s the standard we’ve set for the startup school sessions and we will continue to deliver on that.

The second day will be the showcase of India’s most promising 20 technology startups. The nominations are already open and the deadlines are on the end of this month. So do hurry and submit your nominations if you are a company which has a product that you are looking to launch to an elite audience, gain market traction, looking for strategic alliances, or looking to plan your exit and gain visibility in the eyes of acquisition and exit partners, then the stage is something to aim for. You MUST have a working prototype, a serious team backing it, and the basic corporate structure (read, Website, brand, identity etc) in place. We have raised the standards quite high that if you are a company in the web space, and do make it to the stage, I would consider you very very very very unique and promising. Do keep that in mind.

Crucial Dates to Follow:

Nominations Open: Now.

Nominations Close: 30th May ’08

Shortlist Announcement (to companies): 20th June ’08

Press Conference in Delhi: 11th July ’08.

Entry Fee per Company (once shortlisted) Rs. 10,000.

Registration for Attendees:

So Let’s say that you are not a company looking to capture the stage, but want to keep a pulse on whats happening in India, network with the top shots who come for an event like this, and want to tap into the startup community here in India, well for starters you are absolutely in the right place. You wont be finding a better place to scout for the best upcoming breed of entrepreneurs anywhere in the country.

So this is the way you could register for the event.

On the eve of May 15th, the registrations for folks who want to attend the event will open. You can directly visit the site, http://www.proto.in, enter your name and other related information, enter your credit card details via Paypal, and immediately be confirmed with a seat, with your name on it for the big day.

Since we also want to encourage the student and upcoming startup community to participate and dont want the lack of a credit card to hold them up, you will soon see a list of startups in the cities of Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Mumbai who will be issuing entry tickets for the event. You could go visit their office, pay the cash and pick up your entry tickets. We will announce these addresses by the end of May.

Dates Regarding Registrations:

Online Registrations: May 15th

City-wide Entry Ticket Outlets: May 31st.

Entry Fee per Attendee: Rs. 500.
keep an eye on this blog, or subscribe to the mailing list for more such updates. We’ll be filling you in on the details as the date closes in.

You can also follow the updates from the team subscribing to the twitter feed at www.twitter.com/protodotin

Looking forward for a culture, mindset and ecosystem, where the startups win!

Regards,

Vijay

Once a while I actually go on crazy cruise mode and just randomly search for keywords that strike my fancy, hoping to come across a blog or a news article that catches my interest. Its an excercise to get out of the “echo cloud” which happens quite often when you keep listening to the same set of bloggers and writers. I don’t blame them. When all of Paulo Coelho’s book start to sound the same after reading two of his series, I am not surprised that it becomes a case with most bloggers.

So coming back to the point.

While one such exercise, I am across a post from a blog that I used to follow once: Venture Explorer. There was a post on how in this day and age, every startup from day one has to focus on the global market place and do competitive analysis, and potential market analysis of the globe as a whole from day one. That was a pretty interesting read to say the least.

While my trip to delhi this weekend, I met up with quite a bit of folks, and some old time friends that I haven’t had a chance to catch up with lately. So while during one of the dinner meets with someone who is running a fairly successful – actually very successful – internet service, he mentioned how for the past four days his service is under DDoS attacks from China, because them not liking some content which is up on the site. The attacks are apparently causing some slight issues and troubles with the hosting provider who is just plain simply confused at the scale and frequency of the attack which doesnt seem to stop.

Now I am wondering as to what is the solution for such a thing. Globally speaking, the likes of Microsoft, Yahoo and Google have succumbed to the demands of the Chinese government and have let them have their say in whatever these guys do. The Indian government repeatedly gets hacked by chinese hackers who deface government sites, and we are still working on the security protocols to keep them out. And to effectively fight back against these attacks, you need some pretty heavy weight hardware to defend yourself – something that startups don’t have. I mean, if MS, and Google who do have the muscle in terms of popularity, their stance, and technology don’t stand up, what chance does a startup have?

This is a troubling question though, and one that needs to be answered somehow. Maybe we need to put together our elite squad of hackers to fight back, should the need arise. Maybe. Maybe there are better and less complicated solutions.

As planned, there is a team of folks from Chennai who are heading to Delhi to meet up with some folks, and get some logistics in place for the upcoming edition of Proto.in. The agenda is essentially to be able to answer the question “Where in Delhi is Proto.in happening?” and also to freeze on the dates. I am hoping that I wouldnt have to move the tentative dates, but if we are finding a venue not available during the dates, might move it a week before or after. That’s the plan.

In any case, a bunch of us are meeting up for breakfast tomorrow. If you are interested to join us, do feel free to drop by. Would love to catch up and say hello.

I’ll be in Delhi till Sunday eve. So in case, you want to meet up, you know how to reach me.

A set of core team members will be in Delhi on the weekend of the 19th (Saturday) to meet with the group in Delhi, and finalize on the venue and work out the logistics of the upcoming edition of Proto.in.

It’s usually a lot of fun having that first meet, since thats when dreams and aspirations run wild, and this is where the initial expectations and deliverables of the event are set and met. I am sure looking forward to catching up with the folks there, and am even moreso looking forward to the fact of working with a fresh new team with fresh faces, experiences and perspectives.

We are catching up for breakfast at around 10am in South Delhi at Barista Cafe at the The Basant Lok/Priya Cinema complex. The agenda of the meet is to basically meet and greet, and then perhaps run over some of the tasks that we need to cover for the event. Anyone who would like to join and volunteer is most certainly welcome.

Do leave a comment, if you’d like to meet. I’d love to catch up, if you are from the startup scene in Delhi. I most certainly would love to hear of how things are in Delhi, how we could help and change things for the better.