Dreams, aspirations, hard work and hopes– Proto.in was a witness to all this and more on 25th of July, 2009, the sixth edition of the event in Pune. The major question in the mind of all the participants was the reason behind holding this edition of proto.in in Pune. The answer, as explained by the authorities, was public demand and the results of a poll done on Twitter six months prior to the event date where Pune won hands down in competition with Mumbai.
The first session of the event dealt with the issue of IP, its importance in any start up business and its agenda. In an active discussion between Dr, Prabuddha Ganguli, an IP expert and Vishal Gondal, CEO Indiagames different ideas were put forward. On one hand Dr Ganguly emphasised upon the importance of safeguarding one’s business from the very start by putting patents on each innovation of start up ventures. On the other hand though Mr. Vishal accepted the importance of IP in all businesses, he was of the opinion that every start up business has to deal with a lot of problems and should leave IP for a later stage.
This was followed by a session which dealt with exploring the government’s role in the startup ecosystem. The keynote speaker for this session was Mr. Ganesh Natarajan, CEO Zensar; ex-Chairman NASSCOM. He explored the current policies and schemes from government agencies which assist start ups.
Next came the most awaited session of the day – Proto.in showcase, India’s fifteen most exciting product innovations from various business domains. These included Verdenche in the Automotive sector, English Seekho and Vrixx in the Education sector, Pebble talk in the Software sector and HyCa and TouchMagix in the Outliers sector. Dazzling the audience with their innovative products, they put the investors in a tight spot.
A press conference, where previous showcasers of Proto.in shared their experiences about the start up businesses followed the morning sessions. The post lunch session was opened with a discussion, an open conversation on angel investments by the Mumbai Angels. Discussing the pros and cons of investments and the agendas of the Angels for any start up investment they provided mentorship to the entrepreneurs in the audience. Impressed by the showcase of product innovations the Mumbai Angels decided to give two of the start ups a chance to take their business a step further. These two start ups were Vrixx and TouchMagix.
The awards ceremony for the event was followed by a discussion on Business to business model selling and Business to Customer model selling. The pros and cons of the B2B model were presented by Mr. Rajeev Vij from Microsoft. This was contradicted by Mr. Mahesh Murthy, Managing partner at Seedfund telling the audience more about making your first revenue as a start up.
The last session of the day, which attracted the youth present in the audience was about the Facebook Developer Garage. The key note speaker in this session was Ms. Ruchi Sangvi, Senior product Manager at Facebook. She led her audience through an active discussion on leveraging the vast Indian market on Facebook in order to build successful business applications.
This brought the day’s event to a close. Enlightened and refreshed from the day’s sessions the start up entrepreneurs in the audience left with renewed determination and a dream to make it big and achieve success in their dream, even if it takes time. They went home with the thought firmly etched in their minds that “Success does not come to cowards”.