HeadStart, the three-day product innovation showcase, concluded on 20 January at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. It was a unique experience to have witnessed India’s first platform where academicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, marketers, large companies, venture capitalists and customers participated.
The quality of shortlisted companies and their demonstrations were truly global and indeed reinforced the faith that India can soon be an innovation hub. Keynotes by Sherpalo Ventures Llc. founder Ram Sriram and Peter Hofstee from International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) and workshops by Srini Vudayagiri of LightSpeed Venture Partners were among the highlights at the conference.
Day 3, which was a Sunday, saw intense workshops on start-up funding, identifying and validating business opportunities, product management and alternative start-up funding. I loved the last two workshops, which offered a great deal of insight into how important it is to manage a product and the various sources of funding available apart from the usual venture capital funding.
The networking dinner on Day 1 (18 January) allowed for pleasant interaction and networking. There was a ‘VC Connect’ arranged on the evening of the second day (19 January). This was pretty interesting as each of the companies could pitch to venture capitalists during this session.
Events such as Headstart greatly impact the ecosystem and encourage innovation across all verticals. I hope we see them often at all levels of innovation.
Aashish Solanki is co-founder and Web lead at Yulop, a local space start-up.