03 Jan The Story of Jalsa 2017
At 2017 Jalsa, the theme ran across startups getting funding ready which is a common pain-point for the startups of the Indian ecosystem. On a journey to hunt for India’s top startup, we went to 8 cities pan India in November to select and mentor the best ideas for the finale pitching in Chandigarh. The cities part of our roadshow were Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Delhi where a variety of startups from all stages and sectors came forward.
For the longest of time, Tier 1 cities have been the dictum for startup conferences. But, the delegates there are hasty to finish and leave. So, we moved to remote location at Lake Club in Chandigarh for the finale which has the benefit of undistracted attention for full 2 days.
Silence isn’t empty, it’s full of answers! Taking cue from that, a silent conference was organized this year, the impact of which was loud for the Indian ecosystem. That culminated to more engaging conversations.
Our focus is always to help startups connect better with the investors and mentors the key to which is opening up to each other. A budding founder seeks just a few minutes on the calendar of an investor. That’s where Khopchas play the hero of the conference.
Arvind R Vohra, Executive Director, Gionee India talked to aspiring founders about the qualification to become an entrepreneur – which is not to wait for that salary cheque at the end of the month. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate, he rightly said.
Bollywood singer Rabbi Shergill & Sahil Khattar, host of BeingIndian, talked about the virality of content due to technology. Many startups are making this technology work for us. Pradeep Gidwani of The Pint Room, Anuj Aggarwal of Altruist Technologies, Gaurav Kachru of 5ideas Startup Superfuel led interesting panels.
Families and spouses are the first bouncing board over a cup of tea to test a new idea. Sumit Jain of CommonFloor had a defining quip that, “Your spouse is like your co-founder.” A significant section this year was a panel with the spouses of entrepreneurs entailing the back-story of the success of some of the big ventures that we know today. Monica Vohra, HR with Reliance & wife of Arvind R Vohra, Pallavi Rao Narvekar, Group Head- CSR of Radio Mirchi & wife of Rahul Narvekar of The India Network, Shivani Gupta, HR with Paytm & wife of Annu Grover of Nurturing Green, Aditi Gupta, Architect & wife of Sumit Jain of CommonFloor became part of this panel.
Food brings people together on different levels and so does play. A few minutes of unplugging is what the recreational zone at Startup Jalsa aimed at. Sunil Grover, the Indian actor and stand-up comedian, gave an engaging performance at the networking dinner held at Marriott in Chandigarh. Founders had ample time with speakers and investors in an informal setting to talk about their ideas.
50+ startups registered with us for funding this year out of which Zwing won Rs 1 crore funding, a phone app for shopping and Hexpressions won Rs 10 lac funding, providing ready to assemble green homes.
In addition, Ecell IIT Madras co-presented an E-cell MasterClass at Startup Jalsa fusing mentorship with competitive spirit to provide E-cells with the necessary skills. It was held with support from Ecell IIT madras, EDC IIT Roorkee, Ecell IIT Delhi, Ecell IIT Kanpur, Ecell Bits Pilani.
Having a successful run for over 3 years now, we have our eyes set on Dharamshala for the next big conference.