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Exploring Entrepreneurship @ E-Summit ’09

Esummit 2009It was yet another eventful weekend, where I got to be a part of another interesting meet, the ESummit ’09, conducted by Ecell@IIT-Bombay. It was a third in the row making a hat-trick of events, preceded by Techfest ’09 and barcamp5.

I got to know about it by an unexpected email (spam??) from the organizers, on Friday, and it immediately got me into it with the details of the event, and a chance to be part of another interesting meet. I am always all-in for any or all sort of events which may give me a chance to meet new people, learn new things and widen my horizon.

“E-Summit is an initiative by The Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Bombay, to motivate and educate people about entrepreneurship and serve as a meeting ground for Corporate and young budding entrepreneurs from distinguished institutions across the country”

I reached the venue and registered at 11:30 (yes! i was late, as i overslept as usual), and had already missed the first talk. I went ahead digging the schedule and found that i can still make up for it, there were still 3 more sessions to come, not including the ‘Networking Lunch’ and ‘Networking tea’, which were meant to justify their names.

I began with the Lunch, and had a chance to talk to and meet many nice people, including some budding owners of startups, representatives of VCs looking out for good plans to seed in the investments and even some college students who did not want to be spoon-fed the already chewed up food and wanted to begin their own trail. Its always great to meet and talk with new people, because they give you insights to a million new things you were never aware of, and many of these people left indelible impressions on me.

The Sermons

It was then followed by sessions including a Panel Discussion on ‘Sustaining a Startup‘ in these tough days of economic recession, and ‘Aspects of Funding‘ for your startup by VCs.

They were both very interesting talks and the insights were just beautifully delivered by the speakers throwing light on how can one actually maneuver the deals to continue making profit and ensuring QoS to the customer at the same time. The talk on Aspects on funding was also a great learning about the aspects of VC funding and what do they look for, straight from the horses mouth. And, yeah met someone really interesting there as well, because I had to (fortunately) ask my way to reach the venue.

Personally, i felt amused to hear Bootstrapping as a major methodology for growing a startup. For all I knew, it is how all compilers (or computer languages) evolved. Its always interesting to see that a complex (IMHO) computing technique like it can be so simply explained and applied to business evolution. But then i explored its wiki to feed my ignorance, and came to know that it simply means “a self-sustaining process that proceeds without external help”

Apart from the sessions, there were many startups and small scale entrepreneurs presenting (and promoting) themselves at SOM Foyer, in kiosks. There I got an exposure to many new emerging technologies and concepts including Asset tracking using RFIDs, MS BizSpark, a Prosperity Consultant  and yeah Sperm Banks too(!).

Tete-a-Tete with the versatile hero

In the late evening, there was the Eureka ’09 Award ceremony, where they presented a whooping 50 lakh prize to the best business plan. Whoa, I envy those lucky guys and hope they bring us some great new concept with it. Following it was a tete-a-tete with Rahul Bose, The actor, director and a professional Rugby Player (It was a news to me). Well, I had initially stayed for the session only because of his stardom, but the talk actually turned out to be the most interesting talk of the day.

He talked about leadership, and how he deals with it in the three facets of his life as a director, an actor and a rugby player. His views and answers were as close to reality as they could be. Honest and unadulterated. The talk ended, leaving me, with the hope to be ‘greaceful under pressure‘ and always keep a ‘hot heart and a cool mind‘.

Overall, it was a day worth spent making me more worldly-aware and with fresh thought-processes.

P.S : And yeah, in a surprise encounter I even met one of my schoolmates there, after almost 6 years, which again reinstates the fact – “It’s a small world!” 🙂