Mobile start-ups tune into problems

Mobile start-ups tune into problems

New Delhi’s fourth Mobile Monday meet chose Saturday 18 August, over the usual Monday format—Saturday worked out best for most New Delhi enthusiasts. The idea behind the get-together was to bring together everyone from the mobile fraternity—entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, developers, content providers—all in one place and do what everyone enjoys—rip apart each others’ ideas.

The Capital’s start-up circuit, which is usually known to trail fellow tech hubs such as Bangalore and Hyderabad, was in full attendance this time. The agenda was an open forum for mobile start-ups to make elevator pitches showcasing their new products. Most start-ups ended up sticking to the ‘no PowerPoint, only live demo’ diktat.

As one looked across the auditorium where the demos were happening, one noticed how most people in the room were busy fiddling around with their smart phones. By the time each founder was done presenting a live demo, the audience had already checked out the service and started shooting all sorts of questions. Audiences can be very unforgiving, by clinically attacking each of the assumptions that could impact the product’s adoption.

Some of the promising mobile start-ups worth noting at this MoMo were Zook (search engine), (movie tracking application), Routeguru (maps/directions application), Bankaro (anti-spam filtering application), Geodesic (music radio, instant messaging application) and Buzzworks (voice search engine application). On a closer look, most of these start-ups are addressing some very apparent consumer problems such as local information gaps, content aggregation, etc. Of course, the real challenge will come in getting the attention of advertisers when it comes to making money.

Aditya Khanna is business head at New Delhi-based online advertising start-up Tyroo Media?Pvt.?Ltd.?An undisclosed stake in the firm was picked up by Yahoo Inc. last month.