Entrepreneurs, wannabes get marketing tips

The May edition of Startup Saturday Bangalore saw a full house with around 130 people attending it. This is one of the highest number of turnouts in all Startup Saturdays ever. It is held on every second Saturdays of every month at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore since March 2008.

Startup Saturday is a monthly networking hub for entrepreneurs. It provides a monthly platform where local entrepreneurs, professionals and students get together around engaging talks from veterans in the startup industry. The audience plays an active role in shaping the discussions and brain storming sessions are to be found aplenty.

The event is held under the umbrella of the Headstart Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers to create and promote innovative environment in India.  “Marketing” was the theme. Rashmi Vallabhajosyula of Altius Consulting engaged the audience with three parables that startups can reflect on and apply in real life as well as their marketing efforts. Her stories emphasised the importance of competitive advantage, the use of right information at the right time, and establishing coherence between what one  does  and what one requires.

The next speaker was Kaushal Sarda, consultant and Bangalore head at 2020 Social, a social business strategy firm. He spoke about the importance of customer interactions and dialog to help create a strong support community online. He also shared tips on utilising various online platforms that can help companies listen to their customers and help connect with them.

This edition also featured the regular Lightning Pitches, a five minute quick presentation on startups, products, services or ideas by new entrepreneurs. It helps them gain valuable feedback from the community and can even act as a sounding board. Praveen Babu Devabhaktuni demo-ed his idea for PopABook, an online book store for new and used books. They also allow customers to sell their
books online.

Another startup is Green Mart launched by Sougandh Pavithran, Arvind B M and Tavish Porval. It is meant to reduce cooking time and to connect rural production directly to markets. Green Mart is a venture that will source fresh fruits and vegetables from villages and supply to city homes and businesses. The vegetables will be cut and processed and ready to cook. The founders are planning a profitable venture with a social cause.  The venture will also manage bio-degradable waste generated in households.

There was also a session called Startup Buddie, a community initiative where newbie entrepreneurs meet up in small groups, once a month to take their businesses to the next level.

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