How's this for an offline 'Like' button? Toss a yellow, sponge ball at a speaker whose comments you like. Howzzat? Well, the participants at SmashUp 2.0 - Tech Edition sure had fun at a 'no-gyan', peer-to-peer start-up un-conference was organised by TiE Mumbai at VMCC IIT Bombay on September 7-8, 2012.
How It Began
"The idea of SmashUp came from the ever-increasing demand from various early-stage companies that have engaged and continue to engage with TiE," reveals Lavin Mirchandani, Associate Director, TiE Mumbai. "So we created a platform where start-ups could speak, seek, share and spark while being themselves."
The first edition of SmashUp was hosted in April, 2012. This was followed by another edition, hosted by TiE Ahmadabad in August, and then the third edition in Mumbai, which represented 200 a staggering start-ups.
"Two years ago, you could barely find a start-up tech event. Today, the start-up ecosystem in India is way beyond infancy," says Indus Khaitan, Co-Founder, Bitzermobile, a speaker at the meet 'for start-ups and by start-ups'.
List of Speakers
Discussing Consumer Internet, Mobile and Cloud', the theme of the unconference, the speakers included:
Robin Moses, Founder, ReachAccountant
Indus Khaitan, Co-Founder, Bitzermobile
Deepak Ravindran, Founder & CEO, Innoz
Narayan Babu, CEO, Dexetra
Neetu Bhatia, Co-Founder, KyaZoonga
Paras Chopra, Founder & CEO, Wingify
Rabi Gupta, Co-Founder, iDubba
Rudhir Sharan, Founder, SecPanel
Rohit Gupta, Founder, Rolocule
Peeyush Rai, CTO, Canvera
Faisal Farooqui, Founder mouthShut and dealface
The high-energy meet featured panel discussions on each of the following topics - Consumer Internet Track, Mobile Track and Cloud Track. "The panel discussion moderated by Indus involving Deepak Ravindran and Narayan Babu was amazing," says Shalin Tejpal Jain, Founder, MetisMe.com.
But the Mob app panel was the biggest draw and Khaitan, Ravindran and Jain entertained the participants with an interesting discussion on what their company does. For instance, Narayan Babu, creator of a mobile suit called 'Friday', which remembers everything for you, said, "Business is a pond and you need to choose your pond correctly." Ravindram, Founder, Innoz Tech, which deals in rich mobile and web applications, talked about the app, saying, "I am not trying to build a smart phone. Instead, I am trying to make a phone smart!" And a poignant question from Khaitan: "Why do very few quality products come out of India?"
The meet hosted four parallel workshops which were held simultaneously - 'Unlearning User Interface And User Experience', Use Of Metrics And Analytics To Design A Zero-Budget Marketing Campaign', 'Fortify Your Mobile/Web Business - Security Workshop' and 'Bootstrapping Your Tech Start-up'. "The session was good but I wish we had more time for the workshops," remarks Ruchit Patel, Co-Founder, Amitech Business Solutions.
Peer-to-peer sharing also found a place at SmashUp 2.0, where start-ups had the chance to meet other start-ups, share their stories, learn from fellow founders, find co-founders, find investors and grow. "I am whatever I am because of the TIE events I used to attend in Delhi. Here, I met some amazing people and learnt from their stories and also shared mine. Change the world, that's what I learnt after attending this event," says Divyanshu Asopa, Co-Founder, 21Fools.
To pep up the proceedings, there was a Smashers Award, a reality pitch show, where 6 out of 25 start-ups were chosen by early-stage investors. Each one was given 5 minutes to make a quick-fire elevator pitch, which was followed by a round of cross-questioning. The best among them, Hatim Baheranwala, founder, Idfy.com, received the Smasher Award while Anirvandam, Founder, Joognu.com, took away the runner-up award.
Summing up the event, Faisal Farooqui, Founder and CEO, MouthShut.com, remarks, "Loved every minute of the fun-filled tech meet and loved their offline 'Like' idea!"