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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Startup Saturday: IIT alumni pinging with next-gen tech solutions

This year, organisers are featuring startups that are leading the frontiers of technology with their business

pune Updated: Sep 28, 2019 16:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Harshit Gupta, founder, NSDM
Harshit Gupta, founder, NSDM(HT PHOTO)

The alumni association of IIT Kanpur and IIT Delhi will bring their 12th edition of the very popular StartUp Master Class to the city on Sunday.

This year, organisers are featuring startups that are leading the frontiers of technology with their business.

Says Nitin Parab, managing committee member of SMC 2019, “We have several sessions that are targeted to helping startups. Chief among them is the event where we will help startup founders find a compatible co-founder. One of the biggest problems faced by startups is to find the right team and often a co-founder who will complement you. To that end we have roped in Dr Subbalaxmi Acharya of Mind Elements who has devised a specific test that will help map the mind and determine founders’ strengths and weaknesses. Based on this Mind Mapping founders will be able to tie up with compatible co-founders.”

Startups will also be able to pitch to 15 companies in the country.

Says Parab, “We have shared the profiles of our participating startups with the corporate head honchos. They will be able to pitch before these companies to build mutually beneficial relationships.”

Among the presenting startups are some, that are leading the way with new technologies like IoT, AI, and growth hacking.

Says Harshit Gupta, founder of NSDM, a company that was set up three years ago to train growth hackers. “Though digital marketing is now fairly well understood by most people, growth hacking is not.”

Explaining the difference between digital marketing and growth hacking, Harshit says “DM is about gaining acquisition (of customers) while GH is about retaining them. GH is about full funnel marketing that basically covers six stages known as the A3R3 funnel. The 3 As are: awareness, acquisition and activation of a customer on your website. Then follow the 3Rs, that stand for retention, revenue and referral of customers. Our challenges initially were to make people aware of the possibilities and benefits of DM and GH. At the SMC 2019 we are looking for investors and to connect with the strong ecosystem of the IIT Alumni who have a hypergrowth mindset.”

Dynamind is the other startup operating in the new technologies arena.

Dynamind aims to help ed- tech startups leverage the benefits of AI.

Says Steven Fernandes, communications consultant of the company, “Data powered by AI can alter the way schools teach and support students. It can automate basic activities like grading and point to areas that need improvement by giving valuable feedback. It is an invaluable tool that will, in time, come to be the way students will learn.”

Dynamind aims to network with investors and other people in the AI industry “as such an event is a rich environment for cross fertilisation of ideas.”

To give the 60-plus participating startups the opportunity to meet investors SMC 2019 has a strong venture capitalist (V)C panel of 12 investors led by Alacrity.

Says Parab “Our investors have evaluated the applicants beforehand so that they will be in a better position to cash in on the final day.”

The event is also peppered with the presence of the international community. A panel of speakers will include Annie Dube, counsel general of Canada; Girish Bhagat of India Nivesh; who will share their views on the synergies that exist between startups in Pune andother countries.

Large scale acquisitions (RainCan by Big Basket and Torqus by Times Internet) and the emergence of local SaaS-based startups like Dhruva technologies, MindTickle and Icertis, all heading to Unicorn status, has positioned Pune as a startup hub today. Stand by for Sunday when all the action begins.

What: StartUp Master Class 2019

When: Sunday, September 29

Where: IISER, Pune

Time: 9 am

First Published: Sep 27, 2019 19:57 IST

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