Vibrant, Inspiring & Energetic 7 days; 39/40 Hot Tech Start-ups of India; 70 eminent speakers from across the globe; and more than 150 top notch delegates – all together at Silicon Valley. Yes! InnoTrek 2015, held from 11-17th May, got a big thumbs up from the ‘Who’s Who’ of the global startup space and concluded with a big bang. The platform gave the best tech start-ups from India an opportunity to meet and grab the attention of global Investors, attend a slew of mentoring sessions and visit top tech companies of the world.
PS – The energy that was palpable at the event and amongst our startups, would put the ‘bournvita’ advert to shame
Day 1 kicked off at Plug & Play Tech Center at Sunnyvale with the mission to help entrepreneurs understand how to accelerate their startup. Founders of various startups shared their experiences – both inspiring and nerve wracking, received mentoring on various “must know” aspects such as making a crisp business model, product development, branding and PR strategies, localization for building a global startup, building a great team, familiarization with laws for setting up a US incorporated company efficiently, building alliances etc. After soaking in the inputs received from the industry leaders, the entrepreneurs were excited to end the daylong workshop with a visit to 500Startups, the Y-Combinator, Intel Museum, and a networking session with Spinta Accelerator.
The motivation & energy of the entrepreneurs on Day 2 was skyrocketing at Rocket Space Studios, SFO, which was a follow-up to Day 1 and presented a more granular perspective of the technology space from industry leaders and startup advisors. Startups were given a low down on the hottest trends across the consumer web landscape and tips on Silicon Valley Style Marketing – Dos and Don’ts, the Art and Science of Fundraising and Understanding Silicon Valley’s Angels & Angel Networks.
The brightest and sharpest minds of the valley met the hottest techies from India on Day 3. At SAP Campus, Palo Alto, top Silicon Valley investors, including Raju Reddy, Sunil Errabelli, founder of Brocade – Kumar Malavalli and a prominent investor from New York, Jack Hidary were present amongst others. The ‘accidental’ product expert – Shishir Mehrotra of YouTube/Google spoke on ‘A World Without Gatekeepers’. Then there were mentoring sessions from Rob Schram, Scott Coleman, Karl Mehta, BV Jagadeesh, Aiaz Kazi etc. that went on in full swing. Special guest Shri K.T. Rama Rao, the Hon’le Minister of IT, State of Telangana, India, also addressed the delegation.
On Day 4, the entrepreneurs got to tour Googleplex, Facebook and Linkedin campuses, where they got to interact with the product team of these technology giants and gathered insightful information on platform capabilities of these companies. The tour was followed by a Shark Tank Pitch Event at San Francisco for early-stage startups. It turned out to be a memorable day for WagMob, a learning solution for sales professionals, they bagged $25,000 in funding, outpacing many other SV startups in the fray.
Day 5 and 6 were dedicated to TiECon in Santa Clara, one of the top 10 conferences for entrepreneurship globally. Further, the entrepreneurs were given an opportunity to exclusively pitch before renowned investors like Kanwal Rekhi of Inventus Capital Partners, Vishal Gondal, Founder of GoQii, PK Gulati, Founder & Maker-in-Chief at The Assembly and Rajan Anandan, Angel Investor and MD, Google India.
On Day 7, the startups attended Maker Faire, an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, engineers, science clubs, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors, drawing the curtain on an action- packed week at the ‘Valley of Dreams’.
The feedback from the startups & the advisors couldn’t have been better. Here’s what some of them had to say:
“We got the greatest haul of visiting cards ever collected in one week, in my career” – Vipul Arora, CEO, Solaran
“Tano Capital and Khosla Ventures have shown interest and (I have) got a meeting scheduled to pitch for Pre-Series A investment. We are deciding to be a Delaware C Corp,” – Saurabh Singla, CEO, LazyLad
I got a lead into a growth-hacking ecosystem here, just because somebody introduced me to it. I now have a chance to go from 3 million to 30 million downloads,” – Sunil Patro, CEO, SignEasy
“The time is ripe for Indian startups to start thinking about going global. NASSCOM’s InnoTrek mission is a great way for the Indian founders to get first hand exposure to the Silicon Valley ecosystem.”– Anil Advani, Managing Partner, Inventus Law, Silicon Valley
“We enjoyed meeting the attendees, who were largely Indian entrepreneurs and startups, from India & across the globe” – Aiaz Kazi, SVP, Platform Strategy and Adoption, SAP.
With 2:1 mentor to startup ratio at the 2nd edition of InnoTrek, the startups got ample pitch opportunities while investors got appropriate time to spend with the brightest tech minds from India, who will be the tech leaders of tomorrow.
Launched with a mission to provide a great platform to startups, InnoTrek at Silicon Valley, the Mecca for tech startups from across the world, is sure to help these startups hit their next milestones sooner than they expected. Be it the startups, investors, or large tech giants, InnoTrek opened up endless opportunities for all stakeholders at the event. They really couldn’t have asked for more!
A big ‘thank you’ to the startups, sponsors and amazing delegates for making this event a huge success!
And yes, shout out to the startups – do share your success stories with us