10 May, Mumbai
The first Startup Saturday in Mumbai was held last week at the Kohinoor Hotel. An initiative by start-up support group KickStart, the event aims to provide a forum for entrepreneurs to network and learn from peers, prospective customers and investors. The first Startup Saturday was held in Bangalore in February.
About 25 people turned up on Saturday afternoon, a mix of regular BarCampers and new faces. The first thing I noticed was that unlike BarCamps, which are more informal, this was a planned conference with two pre-decided sessions of one hour each and an additional hour for networking. The objective was to allow entrepreneurs to meet a specific closed-door audience, such as investors and customers who can help with feedback and introductions, rather than openly share ideas and plans with everyone.
The two planned talks this time were on “video-enabled social networking” by Preetam Mukherjee, CEO, Marcellus.tv and “Adobe platforms” by Brajeshwar Oinam, blogger and senior Adobe evangelist. Marcellus offers online video hosting in a software as a service model, which lets users upload and embed videos on their own websites, and allows them to monetize the content by serving ads on the page. An audience member suggested that the company should offer audio services as well, while another questioned the storage model being used. Both sessions turned out to be interactive, with questions flying 10 minutes into the first presentation.
Such interaction and knowledge-sharing between entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals is important for forums to succeed. Startup Saturday is scheduled for the second Saturday of next month as well.
Details will be up on the site http://kickstart.in/
Kunal Sheth runs Web IT Hub, a Web consultancy service and works for a corporate in Mumbai.