Proto.in Delhi – 18-19 July 2008

Author’s Note: This post and accompanying photographs are copyrighted by the author; and any unauthorized replication, storage or publishing of this material without the author’s express written (and signed on paper) permission is prohibited.
The author has been in the High Tech industry for over a decade; and can be reached on nsnsns(at)gmail(dot)com or mobile: 9811109407 and is happy to attend and blog about technology events and technology news; please feel free to contact him with your questions, comments, opinions and info about tech events in delhi.

Also, before everything else, my heartiest compliments and thanks for a great job done— to Vijay and team (Sudhir, Divya, Kiruba, many others whose name I wasnt exposed to)– my only complaint :-) )) — u cud do it bigger!!! 10 times bigger next time guys!!! :-) ))

Also, the main reason I’m posting is because I googled around; but couldnt find any articles that did justice to the awesome event that proto.in 2008 at IIT-Del was…

This article will also be posted on my DelhiVoice Blog… http://delhivoice.blogspot.com –> and I encourage you to visit that blog too…

Hi Folks…
I was there at proto.in at IIT Delhi on 18-19 July 2008.

This was my first time at Proto.in- as earlier I wasnt sure if it’d be worth it- since I’m not actually looking for any funding from VCs nor do I have a product idea for which I need to create a buzz- but anyways, some college buddies who’re also ex-Trilogy God programmers were here in Delhi showcasing their startup’s concept and I took the liberty of hanging around them, feasting my eyes and ears on the intense startup and ideation action around me.

It was a amazing, awesome, mind-expanding experience- to understate it and to put it mildly. It was something everyone in the tech industry should check out– even if you’re not even remotely looking to interact with VCs and even if you have no entrepreneurship thoughts even from a distance.

Here’s a bit of what I saw that inspired me to make the above statement.

(1) You heard “Allah ke bande has de” from the Movie Waisa bhi hota hai ?
You seen the Quick Gun Murugan commercials on your fave music channel ?
—> Shashanka Ghosh… the guy who conceived and executed both of the above was there talking about his filmmaking experiences and on the perspectives he got to hear from folks like Ram Gopal Verma when he presented his ideas to them. Furthermore, beyond any book on writing business plans, he shared his thoughts on getting funding; interacting with financiers and why he took some of his ideas only as far as he did– and not as far as they could have gone.

And he did it all in a talk that was peppered with humour and a projector showing rushes from some of the movies/commercials he has done and some which are upcoming…

(2) There was Kiruba Shankar… one of India’s premier podcasters competing with everyone else in the quiz and taking his shot at running the ideation session… a idea jam… where people would grab the mike and spout forth on ideas; as others expanded them and took things forward…. a lively entertaining session; which incidentally was surprisingly fruitful in generating some ideas on changing the shape of Indian society and indian politics… which kept the audience on it’s feet and entertained throughout and which (surprisingly!) gave out prizes to ideas that generated the maximum momentum – and momentum was judged and measured in a surprisingly objective way.

(3) There were startups too; with loads of great ideas, presenting their concepts… and pushing their buttons and there was a session where all the startups were asked to sit on different tables in the luncheon area and attendees were encouraged to stroll by and talk to whoever they wanted to and see whichever demo they fancied seeing…

I personally had a pleasant surprise learning that one of the hot idea start-ups had as it’s CTO a guy who was once one half of a team whose other half… it’s chief marketting officer & CEO I had interacted extensively with over Ryze and over yahoo messenger… always great to learn it’s a small world… and the world is round too!!!

(4) Food and coffee flowed freely and the ambience of IIT-D added to the atmosphere… but for me atleast, what really brightened up the atmosphere was the pleasure of running into and meeting a whole bunch of hot-shot techie faces I had heard or read about…

There were indeed a whole bunch of interesting people. There were folks who’re agewise kids compared to me but who I respect as upcoming God programmers. And there were people I have heard and read about in techie circles but have never met. And then there were individuals I knew at college years back as God-programmers who are now senior technologists. And many others whose acquaintaince I will cherish… there was everybody… a electric mix but in a very civil garb… and a pleasure to rub shoulders with and interact with…

I’m sure the startups presenting their products must have got their mileage too; for I saw people wearing badges of various incubators and every Seed-stage and mid-stage funding company I could think of and a few I had never heard of and I saw lots of interesting potentially lucrative products being presented… but yeah, I thought I’d share my take on stuff as a attendee– so that folks that wonder abt the value of buying a pass to proto.in and attending– but who are doubtful about showing up or doubtful about spending money see the value and do show up next time.

Some of the startups / attendees / people I met at proto.in 2008 included: (I hope my posting your names is ok- if any comments for additions/deletions, please mail me)

LifeBlob http://www.lifeblob.com
ApnaBill http://www.apnabill.com
SocialWebFactory http://www.socialwebfactory.com
iStrait http://www.istrait.com
Eko – Mobile Financial Azadi http://eko.co.in
WebEx http://www.webex.co.in
Mustseeindia http://www.mustseeindia.com
Inkfruit (a t-shirt publishing company!) www.inkfruit.com
Muziboo http://www.muziboo.com
Lords of the odds http://www.lordsoftheodds.com Correction: Lords of Odds http://www.lordsofodds.com
Pureplay Media
Medianama http://www.medianama.com
2i Capital India Pvt Ltd

… and many more… this was just a sampling from the names I remembered and the visiting cards I collected…

Posted below are some photos I shot at the Proto.in Delhi 18-19 July 2008… I hope ya like them… reach me on nsnsns(at)gmail(dot)com or on 9811109407… and I’d be happy to hear your comments…

Also, Lets make a flickr photo-pool of Proto.in snaps or if there is; please do inform me…

Proto.in 2008

Pranav Bhasin

Vikas of MustseeIndia.com and Rohan and Vishal of socialwebfactory.com

Shashanka Ghosh (Bollywood and ad-film director) talking…

Startup FOlks answering to the openhouse

QuizTime @ Proto.in

Also, finally, my thanks to Mr.Bakshish Dutta (dbakshish@hotmail.com), General Manager – Startups and Emerging Markets (Web 2.0) at sun microsystems; who when I phoned him and asked him if proto was worth it and if he had a extra pass for me; strongly advised me to show-up and check out the atmosphere– even if I showed up for a few hours…
A plug for Sun: Guys if your startup needs servers or if your web application uses a database; chances are you will be using MySQL- which while still free; is now owned and supported by Sun– and I strongly advise you to atleast talk Sun Microsystems; enquire about their offerings and their prices– they are doing a lot of interesting work to encourage startups… and a lot of their offerings beat the grey market/nehru place offerings fair and square; and their price includes the extremely valuable advice/information they share about servers, technology and technology options!!!

4 Responses to “Proto.in Delhi – 18-19 July 2008”

  1. Nalin says:

    Thanks Vikas for your kind words;
    and yes, even I really enjoyed the energy and the high quality of attendees and I totally also feel the same as you- that it’s great to be among people all of who want to do big stuff.

  2. makuchaku says:

    @Vikas,

    I totally agree with your viewpoint. When you get out and see the ecosystem and more folks who are equally (or even more crazier than you) – one feels even more enthusiastic about the startup.

    Moreover, when you meet like minded people, more ideas get generated than just the one that co-founders envision.

    We actually ended up collecting a ton of new ideas, bug reports and new feature requests which we totally overlooked :)

    And ofcourse – networking always helps!


    Mayank
    CoFounder – http://www.ApnaBill.com

  3. makuchaku says:

    This is a pretty interesting writeup. While everyone was
    concentrating more on the startups, your description of the event is
    good.

    I have some more blog entries… thought you might want to link them up…
    http://www.makuchaku.info/blog/apnabillcom-team-at-protoin
    http://www.makuchaku.info/blog/protoin-july-08-edition

    Keep up the good work :)


    Mayank
    CoFounder – http://www.ApnaBill.com

  4. Vikas Rana says:

    Great post and pics!

    I was subscribed to VW for quite long and enjoyed all the discussion on your previous article on cities – Business is Local, but didn’t knew you were the author when I met you at Proto this weekend. The world is indeed small!

    And that’s one of the beauties of such events – you get to meet people face to face and interact in a way which is so very different from the world of messenger/mail/facebook. You get to learn so much.

    One thing I liked about Proto was the high quality of people that attended, the energy they brought in, the enthusiasm they had about their ideas and companies. Otherwise, sitting at my home working on my startup alone sometimes makes me feel if I am alien! Good to see that they are so many people out there trying to change the world.

    Keep in touch.

    Vikas

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