Techstars Startup Weekend (TGSW) is a global grassroots movement for entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It has held 2900+ events in 149+ countries around the world. Participants pitch an idea in a minute, form teams, and then build a prototype ready for the market. They also get to meet mentors who guide on various aspects of business.
One of the editions of TGSW was held at IISER Pune from 10-12 November, 2017. TGSW Pune ‘17 started on the evening of November 10 and was anchored by the Facilitator from Techstars, Mr Arun Philips. The event got off to a fantastic beginning with a talk by Mr Kapil Shelke, CEO of Tork Motorcycles and creator of India’s first electric motorbike, who narrated his start-up story.
Forty-seven people attended (with two coming all the way from Mumbai!) and pitched a whopping 31 ideas. A variety of products like news services, travelling apps and smart wardrobes were pitched. The top 9 ideas elected by voting, went on to form teams and build their prototypes.
The work started on Friday night itself, and each team went home with a solid idea to build upon. From Saturday onwards, founders and CEOs of successful start-ups from varied fields like Digital Media to Agritech, interacted with teams as Mentors.
The participants thoroughly enjoyed fruitful discussions with mentors as their ideas were moulded and refined. Whole of Saturday was spent building up prototypes using online platforms such as Canva, Ionic Creator and WordPress, for the final pitch on Sunday. After a brief break with a game of football, the participants unpacked the Startup Weekend stickers from StickerGiant. The hard work was then resumed and went on late into the night, with some participants even staying back at IISER.
After a few hours of feverish activity on Sunday morning, it was time for the final presentations. Mr. Akash Sureka, Mr. Amol Chaphekar and Mr. Satyendra Gupta were judges for the event. After two hours of pitching by the nine finalists, the top four teams – MeTime, U, News for Me and iDresser – were announced. iDresser: the Smart Wardrobe bagged the first prize and will go on to compete at the next round of Techstars Global Startup Weekend.
Start-up Weekend Pune ‘17 was a great experience, with a lot of close bonding over 54 hrs of the event and high levels of energy and excitement. Everyone involved returned with lots of memories to cherish!
– by Tanayaa Bhagdikar with inputs from Apurva Barve. Photos: Mayur Dhawale