The second day of the i5 Summit opened to a packed audience listening keenly to Mr Sharad Sharma, co-founder and governing council member of iSPIRT, who delivered the keynote address. He started off by reflecting upon his life as a student – how an electrical engineer ended up contributing significantly to the UNIX operating system, which he termed as ‘riding a wave’, something he deemed important for everyone to do in order to outperform others. He went on to talk about the digital revolution taking place in India and the potential India Stack possesses and highlighted the progress being made towards a paperless, cashless society. His final message was about the need to scrap the archaic definitions of leisure and work and redefine them in ways that can benefit society.
The flagship event of the i5 Summit, Get Funded saw around 15 start ups pitching for funds. Investors from various firms participated, like Matrix Partners, Ah! Ventures, Artha Ventures etc. Some great ideas were presented which was followed by an engaging Q&A session with the investors. Ideas ranging from second hand book selling to 3D maps, across various domains impressed the audience and investors alike.
Bollywoo, which delivers official Bollywood accessories and apparel, grasped the attention of the investors for providing a unique shopping experience. Another venture, Shantha Farms is in the business of providing 100% pure and clean milk in Madhya Pradesh. Cutting Edge Medical Devices is another start up that’s working on a device that provides accurate pathology test reports has a projected valuation of ₹500 Cr. Four outstanding startups received special recognition – DronaMaps, Shantha Farms, Dream World and Cutting Edge Medical Devices.
Manish Advani, Head of Marketing & PR at Mahindra SSG, also a TEDx speaker and award-winning story-teller and song writer, spoke about the 3 important lessons for entrepreneurs. He started with an interaction with students and asked them about how to go beyond I, Me and Mine which was the first golden rule according to him. He emphasized upon the importance of being Baahubali in real life and move towards a team attitude and working towards the well-being of a group eventually leading to personal development in the long-run. The second lesson was regarding learning to share and care. Mr. Advani stressed upon the need of sharing learnings, knowledge, service and eventually a life towards solving problems for your peers and kith and kin. He also demonstrated through a video, the importance of doing small things in a big way. He said, “Figure out not what you are going to do, but who you’re going to be, rest will follow.” The third lesson which was imparted to the audience was, being out of comfort zone at all times.Mr. Advani stressed upon the significance of not being complacent in life and striving effortlessly at all times towards a vibrant future. Finally, at the end of the session, Mr. Advani talked about being grateful in life and having that gratitude towards people who have been the pillars of your life. The talk was appreciated a lot by the audience and it closed with a thunderous applause and a memento presented to Mr. Advani.
Arun Thukral, MD and CEO of Axis Securities Ltd. delivered a powerful talk. He highlighted the importance of catching hold of important opportunities that “Knock softly”. He emphasised that seizing opportunities regularly is what would lead to bigger changes in the world. He then narrated his journey of how he began to adapt to changes and derive results from chances that he got. He substantiated his motivational words with stories that called for an action from the aspiring entrepreneurs in the audience.
Anubhav Modi, the Head of Strategy of Bira91, invigorated students with his inspirational words. He was assertive on the need to take risks and exploring zones that are miles apart from one’s comfort area. He then highlighted that failure has been a part of all the successful journeys. He added that persistence and passion to drive a change in the society is the first step to actually bring about a change and addition of value to the world. Along with risk, innovation is an integral part of any idea that has materialised and is creating value for the people today.
Startup Expo hosted over 30 startups from all across India, with highly innovative solutions to critical problems or value propositions to cater to changing aspirations. Some of the interesting startups were Jawab Do, DronaMaps, Saralkar, Bookshelf.space and Krishi Help. Jawab Do is an app-based solution to legal problems, which aims to inject transparency into Indian bureaucracy and prevent abuse of law by providing information on legal and administrative procedures, and providing legal assistance when required. DronaMaps recreates physical spaces in 2D maps and 3D models. They aim at simplifying the use of these maps and providing various solutions to rural, urban and industrial stakeholders of real estate. The platform provides solutions to issues concerning data collection practices, central data repositories and visual 3D perspectives. As of August 2017, DronaMaps has recreated the entire city of Ayodhya and 9 villages in Lakhimpur (UP-Nepal Border), among others. Saralkar aims to ease the process of obtaining all legal and regulatory compliances for businesses and individuals by providing consulting solutions online. Ranging from company registration, GST Return filing, ROC filing to Income Tax Returns Filing, they provide a one-stop solution from experienced professionals with a much better turnaround time than going through the conventional route. Bookshelf.space is another venture currently based out of Chennai selling refurbished books at heavily discounted prices. Targeting B2C and B2B collaborations, they deliver across the entire country. Krishi Help is a startup that is unique in the agricultural space. It aims to provide technological solutions in terms of information regarding verified dealers, regular weather information, and expert advice with respect to crop yields and quality.
Sunil Goyal, MD, YourNest, Abhijeet Kumar, Co-founder, ah! Ventures, Anurag Sharma, Co-founder, Mumbai Incubator, Siddharth Lulla, Investor and Achint Setia, Head of Strategy at Viacom18, spoke on Expectations and Challenges for Early Stage Investors. They addressed issues such as mismatch between expectations of entrepreneurs and early stage investors, whether or not entrepreneurs are solving real problems, regulatory issues that compound complexity of launching new businesses and other challenges.
The closing Keynote was delivered by Aaron Friedland. He is the Founder and Executive Director of The Walking School Bus, an organisation working towards empowering children with access to education, nutrition, and curriculum across the world using highly innovative concepts such as solar-powered classrooms and reading applications. He spoke about empowering access to education through a holistic model that leverages innovative technologies. His anecdotes and experiences of implementing development programmes in Uganda were enlightening, entertaining and heartening, like his “Beans vs. Spinach” story and touching testimonials by those who have benefitted from the use of the reading application SiMBi. Much to the delight of students, he announced the launch of a competition- Searching for Jugaad. The winner will be awarded with $1000 to help implement their innovation for The Walking School Bus.