Startup Festival Bangalore

The Startup Festival held at Bangalore from 7-10 March 2013, was an interesting peek into a lot of the startup companies based at Bangalore. Here’s what I saw.

The Good

I wasn’t expecting to see such a big turnout! A shoutout to the organisers (Vlad, Shashidharan, and the volunteers) for the well-organised event. It was a great place for entrepreneurs to meetup and know how the startup scene is shaping up, and possibly collaborate on each others’ skill-set. Met some interesting people. There’s so much effort people are putting, I hope the government starts embracing small private companies and entrepreneurs.

Though, the best part was that it set my expectations around the idea of starting up in India correctly. It was nice to get a sneak peek into business practicals and to size up the number of people involved.

The Bad

It’s sad that the Indian market just doesn’t have the kind of funds that SF, London or Berlin have. Many companies are self funded, which considering the low PPP in India means having to cut down on the basic infrastructure i.e. home offices and no Macs. Bootstrapping might have a potential advantage but I still feel that there has to be more funding to have world class innovations, especially at an early stage, and the government needs to pitch in.

Also the network effect of the IITs is rather overwhelming. The funding is very unevenly spread within a small set of colleges. 

It was also a bit overwhelming to see so many people running after the same ideas. Of course, execution differs and matters a lot. It would be cool if people addressed the right market gaps. I was a bit disgruntled by the cockiness of a few founders.

The Ugh

There was a stage for presentations: During presentations, Some pitches/presentations were quite lousy. This was an opportunity to highlight your company! At least prepare a good pitch. Oh, and the run down questions “how should I start?” or “what’s the risk in starting a business?”


Here’s a small personal log of the 4 days:

Day 1: at Indranagar, Bangalore

Attended talks at Exotel, Red Bus and Collaborative Community and few of the Powerhouse sessions at the main auditorium.

Day 2: at Jayanagar, Bangalore

The biggest takeaway of the day was that I figured out Jayanagar and JP Nagar’s roads. Both companies I attended delivered very flat talks.

Day 3: at Koramangala, Bangalore

Beard Design’s founder gave a good talk. The 7 person company is located at Goa! The Unreasonable at Sea team was in India, and they came up to Bangalore for the event; it was cool to hear their stories.

Day 4: at Pebbles, Bangalore

A nice closing party at Pebbles and Kitsch Mandi.

It was an interesting peek into the startup community. There’re talented folks out there, hope the scene stays bouyant and more funding flows into the market.




Leave a Reply