New Delhi: The fourth edition of Proto.in, a twice-a-year event that showcases the most promising start-ups in the country took off in New Delhi on Friday amid talks of market slowdown and inflation.
Kick-start: Kiran Karnik speaks at the opening ceremony of Proto.in. Photograph: Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
The standalone event, which attracted the attention of venture capital (VC) firms and other funders at its earlier editions held at its homebase Chennai, is being held away for the first time.
About 400 people attended the first day, a majority of them start-ups, aspiring entrepreneurs and VCs. The day’s events focused on talks by successful entrepreneurs and VCs, a precursor to the actual showcase on the following day.
Opening the event, in his keynote address, Kiran Karnik, formerly the chairman of National Association of Software and Services Companies or Nasscom, said, instead of adding big firms as customers for their offerings, small and medium firms may be better off catering to niche firms in, for example, Japan and Europe who have needs for specialist products.
On Saturday, 16 shortlisted firms will demonstrate their products and services to an open audience. This edition’s start-ups include firms in sectors such as e-commerce, food processing, recruiting, enterprise sol-utions and consumer Internet firms.
“Compared to last time, we haven’t seen too many mobile services start-ups this time,” Vijay Anand, chief organizer at Proto.in, said.
One reason for this is that software application companies catering to mobile phone service businesses may be waiting for the iPhone, a hugely successful phone handset from Apple Inc., due to be launched in India, before they finalize their business strategy.