Startup Weekend along with ENTRE club, IIMA, conducted the first chapter of Startup Weekend, the global entrepreneurship event, in Ahmedabad from March 1- 3. True to its motto, the event was “No Talk. All Action” throughout the 54 hours. The Ahmedabad chapter turned out to be the biggest one in India till date, with participation in excess of 120, with 25 enthusiastic female entrepreneurs also in the midst. It saw a balanced mix of working professionals, freelancers and students from various backgrounds.
Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. It is a 54-hour event where developers, designers, product managers, marketers, and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, and launch startups.
The event kicked off with each participant given a single minute duration to pitch their ideas to the audience. Around 40 teams came up with innovative ideas. While many of them were tech-related, there were a few related to social causes as well. After the participants poured in their ideas, the participants voted their preferred ideas in order to select the top ideas which would be further improvised upon. After the voting, an overall of 17 teams were formed which had unique and innovative ideas. In response to each selected idea, a team comprising of developers, marketers and designers were formed.
The next day saw the 17 teams work from dawn till dusk, working upon their ideas, improvising them, making them implementable. Each team was also provided a mentor to guide them through the whole process and help them understand the dynamics of forming a startup.
The final day required the teams to make a 7-minute presentation in front of the judges, comprising of industry stalwarts like Infibeam founder Vishal Mehta, Founding Curator of World Economic Forum, Sunil Parekh, Founding member of India Internet Group, Anirudh Suri, DEV ITPL founder Jaimin Shah and MICA Incubator Head, UT Rao. After the round of final presentations, 7 out of the 17 teams were given awards, ranging from the best idea to the most researched idea. “Areysun.com”, a social gossiping platform, won the best idea award while “Nationroots”, a social initiative to track the progress of political promises, won the prize for the best idea for a social cause. An event management idea also managed to get on the spot seed funding too. All the winners availed themselves of free domain hosting for a year to help them launch their startup.
At the end of the first chapter of the Ahmedabad Startup Weekend, Harshad Shrikhande, the ENTRE club coordinator focused on the need to build an entrepreneurship ecosystem in IIM Ahmedabad to give the students the best platform to make their ideas come true.