The San-Francisco bay area of the US is popularly known as ‘Silicon Valley’. Its wealth generation story is well known, where it created umpteen numbers of billionaires over the past three decades. Companies started from the valley literally rewritten the technology entrepreneurship, thereby creating history. The amount of contributions by valley based technology entrepreneurs to the bigger world is unbelievable. Starting from Hewlett-Packard to latest Google every other company has changed the world to a larger extent. These valley based world class product companies, literally created the term Multi National Company (MNC), which is a house-hold name today. It was mainly due to the valley entrepreneurs and their ability to take risk, identifying the opportunity and tapping the correct market had made all the difference. Added to that, world class universities, access to venture capital and world class minds created the ideal ecosystem for entrepreneurship.
India is in the similar growth trajectory what US was in the 1960s and 1970s. It needs more and more technologists to take become entrepreneurs. As known to all of us, the first wave of tech entrepreneurship came in the form of software service companies like Infosys, Wipro and HCL. These companies showed that there is a country called India exist in the world map and high quality, low cost software can be delivered from there. The second wave of tech entrepreneurship is been emerging in the past four years, where young technologists primarily based out of Bangalore are joining the entrepreneurial bandwagon. Many of these emerging entrepreneurial ventures are mainly focusing on Mobility, Software as a service (Saas), Social networking, Web based services and education. With having more technology professionals than Silicon Valley, Bangalore is catching up well with entrepreneurship.
However the entrepreneurial system has got a long way to go in India. To start with these ventures would be limited by the size of the local market, which happens to be a huge challenge. Added to that access to venture capital, mature mentorship and incubation facilities are still growing up in a reasonable phase. This ecosystem plays a very critical part in nurturing ecosystem for entrepreneurship. Apart from the points mentioned above, there needs to be a set of forums where entrepreneurs, investors and technology enthusiasts can meet up and exchange their thoughts. This story talks about such entrepreneurial events and forums in Bangalore
Inspired by the popular ‘unconference’ concept, Barcamps are very informal, vibrant and contagious. Any individual can nominate to provide a talk about his interested topic. These ideas may or may not have any business aspects associated with it. In facts typical topics in Barcamp can be starting from IEEE specifications to Kama Sutra. This forum is conveived, moderated and run by volunteers without any financials associated with it. However many big corporatations, like Yahoo, Google, sponsor the event management expenses.
This event acts as a platform to bring the geek community in a common forum. In Bangalore it typically happens over a weekend in IIM-B. These sessions are organized under multiple tracks, where an individual can choose depending on his interest. There is no cost associated with attending the event and happens across multiple cities in India. If you are interested in latest technology happenings, review the latest gizmo in the town or interested in meeting some energetic individuals, Barcamp is the place to go.
Web link: http://www.barcampbangalore.org
Group’s link: email@example.com
Mobile Mondays (MoMo)
The Mobile Mondays are typically are knowledge sharing sessions, focused mainly on mobile industry. Majority of discussions happens around the mobile Value Added Services (VAS), which are driven by individuals running entrepreneurial ventures to big corporations. Many mobile industry leaders like Nokia sponsor the event. This typically happens once in a month in one of the IT company premises in Bangalore, which keeps changing depending on the availability. This is an ideal forum to network with mobile industry folks and keep updated with happenings in the industry. This event is volunteer driven, with participation at free of cost. In order to keep up with the name, the discussions are organized on Mondays to break Monday blues. This is a worldwide forum, happens multiple cities in India.
Web link: http://www.momobangalore.org
Group’s link: firstname.lastname@example.org
This Proto is a more mature forum with more focus on business, which operates out of IIT-Madras campus. This forum is primarily aimed at creating the startup ecosystem in India by bringing in entrepreneurs and investors in a common platform. This forum organizes road-shows in multiple cities, where entrepreneurial ventures can showcase its product or service to prospective investors. In order to participate in the forum, one has to pay a nominal amount and register their organization. This forum is operating in a non-profit mode, where the membership fee is spent towards organizing the events. The audience brings in good amount of experience in the technology business. Some companies got funded by participating in the forum.
Web link: http://www.proto.in
Group’s link: email@example.com
Kick start is initiated by the spirit of MoMo and Barcamps, by having tie-up with IIM-Bangalore’s NSRCEL. This forum typically organizes Startup saturdays, where companies need to nominate themselves to present their plan to a set of panel. Not much information is available about the list of companies that got funded thro’ this platform.
Web link: http://www.kickstart.in
The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE): Bangalore chapter
This is the oldest forum created to promote entrepreneurship in India, started by Indian origin entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley. In order to participate, there is a paid membership. Very senior members from the industry offer mentorship under this umbrella to prospective entrepreneurs. For members, the TiE organizes regular sessions, where stalwarts share their experiences with entrepreneurship. Unlike Barcamps and MoMo, it is more Formal forum.
Web link: http://bangalore.tie.org/