Startup Weekend – Bangalore

Its about time that I forced myself to throw in another post specially right after the Startup Weekend in Bangalore, India. Yeah, I was there. flew to Bangalore just for the event over the weekend with Chandika. I have to admit, it was worth every bit.

What is this Startup Weekend you ask? it is an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. The weekend brings together people with different skill sets – primarily software developers, graphics designers and business people – to build applications and develop a commercial case around them. The Bangalore event was at the Microsoft office.

Despite the reputation Startup Weekend had, initially when myself and chandika set out to the event I was quite skeptical about if there was going to be enough participants or if the caliber of the crowd was going to make it challenging enough. I was worried if it was going to be a waste of a weekend than an eventful one. For us it was a weekend to break away from the post startup life we are in with Creately (still awesome!) and to re-experience the exuberant rush and energy produced in the early days of a startup.

So on thursday we went in and as the event started it was a promising crowed with the organizers making way to get started on a very busy weekend. I was stunned by the informality and counter-culture nature of the event. Even-though initially it all seemed unstructured and rebellious, it set the right spirit in the environment and among the participants. As the pitching session began I realized that almost everyone in the room had something they wanted to pitch. I was impressed by the quality of ideas that were being pitched. Even-though not many of them were very internet/cloud focused, I found quite a few interesting idea’s that I wanted to be involved in. I had initially gone in prepared to pitch an idea of mine, but by this time given the number of ideas that were being pitched I was convinced that I wanted slide into a much more executing/hacking role than my usual planning/managing role during this event.

Within few hours teams had formed and ideas had come together and people were already in intense conversations about their respective startups. The day had extended and I was too in a battle for balance in getting our startup towards victory. I was working with a energetic bunch lead by Jagat Iyer a smart, articulate and very passionate entrepreneur. Enjoyed every moment of being with the team working towards perfecting the idea of Shasthra (thats the product we were working on). This continued along with more planning and executing towards the five minute pitch that had to be done on Sunday evening. It was pressure blended with excitement and motivation amongst very little eating and sleeping. The next two days were spent meeting new peers and mentors talking and validating all aspects of the business at the meantime preparing for the final pitch. Having built a globally successful product, I was very familiar with the situations and problems we were coming across and was able to enjoy and work with the team on solving and overcoming all of it.

I was very impressed with the committed organizing team namely Pankaj, Chidambar, Gaurav and many others who were sticking along at all times making sure everything was taken care of in a timely fashion. There were talks about possibly having a Startup Weekend in Colombo this year as well. However there is nothing firm so far on this and we are looking forward to make it happen if Startup Weekend is willing to. All in all it was a splendid weekend full of energy and I can’t think of anything that was not right about it.

Startups forever!!

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