The Open Source Entrepreneurship Forum in Hyderabad last Saturday was a unique event that targeted people who ran or planned to start companies in the open source software (OSS) space. Organized by the Twincling Society for Open Source, the annual event aims to provide entrepreneurs insights into the open source model and help with the right selection of licensing, marketing and resources while building a company.

The session topics included open source business models, licensing policies, getting venture capital funding for start-ups, challenges faced in the process and the latest industry trends. About 63 entrepreneurs presented their views on open source at the forum. Technetra chief executive and a board member of the Open Source Initiative, Alolita Sharma, presided over the event, and cleared several myths regarding OSS. This led to a discussion on software patents and licensing policies. Later, D.D. Ganguly, founder and CEO of Web conferencing start-up DimDim Inc., spoke on how start-ups can attract venture capital and explained the concept of exit policies and the importance of the right kind of financial institution for a company.

Another interesting session was Sharma’s post-tea discussion on the process of building a company based on open source elements and the various business models relating to it. She explained how the ecosystem works and how start-ups can benefit from it. Krishna E., CEO of Synovel Software Solutions, a Hyderabad-based start-up in the open source domain, and I later gave talks on the challenges we had faced as entrepreneurs. The event concluded on a high note with strong feedback from the attendees.

Saurabh Bhatia is founder and CEO of Safew Technology Labs Pvt. Ltd, an open source start-up based in Hyderabad.