Central India’s largest entrepreneurship summit – The i5 Summit 2018 was held at IIM Indore on August 18-19, 2018. The two day event jointly organized by IIM Indore and IIT Indore witnessed various events including Speaker Series, Panel Discussion, Entrepreneurship Workshop, Start-up Expo, Marketing Workshop, Chai Pe Charcha, etc. The Summit saw a footfall of more than 3000, with 13 startups presenting their ideas to investors. The first day of the Summit began with the lighting of the lamp in the inaugural ceremony by Padmashri Dr. B. R. Shetty, Founder & Chairman, NMC Healthcare & BRS Ventures and Mr. Bala Girisaballa, President, Techstars, Ex-MD, Microsoft Accelerator India; and Professor Rishikesha T. Krishnan, Director, IIM Indore.
Mr. Shetty spoke on humble beginnings, persistence, belief and his success story. ‘Wherever you go, whatever you do, do something good for the community. Do not be money oriented, be service oriented’, was his advice to students and budding entrepreneurs. This was followed by a Keynote Address by Mr. Bala Girisaballa, who shared his views about tech-emergence within India, shifting trends of disruption, tracking the right competition, embracing depth, learning to say no and the power of startups.
The Start-up Expo was the highlight of the day, which had more than 68 startups sharing their innovative ideas on various themes like customized footwear, eco-friendly utensils, pet care, IoT, Social Media and Pharma. The day also witnessed an Entrepreneurship Workshop, conducted by Mr. K. Vaitheeswaran,Co-Founder, Fabmart, Indiaplaza. He encouraged the participants to enhance their skills as entrepreneurs and shared insightful tips on how to take their ventures to heights. He talked about the steps, startups should take, to solve real problems and various ways to get funded. ‘Don’t raise money to fund losses, raise money to fund growth’, advised Mr K. Vaitheeswaran.
Another workshop on Marketing was conducted by Lowe Lintas about contemporary marketing trends. The second half of the day had a panel discussion with Mr. Saurabh Garg, NoBroker; Mr. S. Vaitheeswaran, MD & CEO, Manipal Education and Dr. Akhil Prasad, Director and Company Secretary, Boeing India; Mr. K Vaitheeswaran, author of ‘Failing to Succeed”, as panelists. The topic for panel discussion was ‘Accelerating the growth of Indian startups to compete at an International level’. The panelists noted that Indians should have a better handling ability of Indian markets than outsiders because of the intrinsic understanding of Indian ethos. They also said, that it is important to take risks and let go of the fear of failure.
The Speaker Series began with a talk by Mr. Rajesh Balpande, BookMyShow, who was followed by Mr. Ankit Doshi, InsideIIM (also an alum of IIM Indore). Mr. Rajesh Balpande spoke about his journey of founding Bookmyshow and building it from scratch to what it is today. Mr. Balpande said, ‘Keep dreaming. Look for ideas. Take the risk. Improvise and Create your own Luck’. After that, Mr. Ankit Doshi took the stage and talked briefly about his student life at IIM Indore and how he started InsideIIM as a blog in 2011. He also engaged the audience with an interactive quiz, based on entrepreneurship, through the Kahoot app. He concluded by saying, ‘It’s important to know who you are and what makes you happy’.
The second day of the Summit began with the flagship event GetFunded, which provided a platform to budding entrepreneurs to present their ideas to angel investors and also learn from their experiences.
Rove is an on-demand, all electric car rental at affordable prices for daily usage. MyPerfectice is a one-stop shop to measure and improve cognitive, core engineering and programming skills. PawshBox is a customizable subscription service for all pet needs. The Summit facilitated further discussion in Chai Pe Charcha as investors showed keen interest and engaged in deeper conversation with startups.
The first talk of the Speaker Series was by Mr. Subrata Mitra – Partner, Accel Partners. He shared his views on challenges in startups, sustainability, profitable problem statement identification and the need to be passionate about it. “Following the herd will generally not get you what you want. Go looking for problems that goliaths will not go looking for. The entire B2B landscape in India is waiting to be disrupted.”
The second half of the day also witnessed speakers, Mr. Balaji Vishwanathan – CEO, Invento Robotics and Mr. Girish Vanvari – Founder, Transaction Square. Mr. Balaji Vishwanathan shared his views on automation and the rate at which robotics is gaining ground the world over. He said, ‘Two years from now, we would be talking to a robot to get advice on how our funds should be managed.’
After that, Girish Vanvari addressed the audience. He stressed on the importance of excellence. ‘Pursue excellence in whatever you do’, he quipped. He advised the participants to listen to and believe in their inner voice. After their speeches, there was a Q&A session where they answered questions put up by the audience.
The two-day event concluded with a closing talk by Mr. Stefan Haves – Worldwide Director, Cirque (Theatre and Cinema). He mesmerized the audience with his charm and acting skills. He owned the stage and enthralled the audience throughout. He talked on a myriad of topics such as different cultures, personalities, virtual and physical realities and about the current generation as he highlighted how he enjoys the spirit of India. ‘The difference between robots and humans is that humans can breathe.’ He got a standing ovation from the audience.
The i5 Summit came to an end with all the participants enriched and inspired.