Friday, December 19, 2014

WIEF 2015, Forbes 30 Under 30 2015, IBM SmartCamp and 1M/1M

Here are few things that made me happy today. Sharing because happiness increases when you share. Plus, if anybody finds this information useful, that will bring me some good Karma.
2015 Wharton India Economic Forum’s (WIEF) Startup Competition
As a part of its endeavour to recognize emerging and established startups creating positive impact in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem, the 19th Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) is hosting the prestigious Startup Competition for the second year in a row to promote entrepreneurship in India. 
This will be held at Philadelphia on Feb 20-21, 2015.
This is a great platform for Indian startups and entrepreneurs. Take the call and apply. More information here.
Forbes India 30 Under 30 nomination for 2014 is still open
They released first 30 Under 30 list early this year. The list for 2014 will be published early next year. The nomination / application process is open till Dec 20, at least – they might extend the date. So, hurry.
IBM SmartCamp Entrepreneurs get $250 credit for 1M/1M
In an effort to continue supporting the energy and enthusiasm of entrepreneurs involved with SmartCamp in India, IBM is partnering with the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) global virtual incubator to help entrepreneurs get high quality mentoring and other kinds of support.
As a follow-up to SmartCamp, IBM is offering a 25% discount to the $1000 a year 1M/1M program. Know more.

Friday, August 29, 2014

How to be Successful by Sri Sri

I did watch parts of it earlier; today watched the entire video in one-go. Very inspiring video. A must watch for all entrepreneurs. On another note, our Dearest Tagore is present in the conversation too :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

AdWords Tips for Startups - Ad Copy Testing for Offline Marketing

AdWords is an amazing program. However, hardly any advertiser explores AdWords to the fullest. It is a great platform that not only helps to reach out to your customers, but offers great insight. Planned AdWords campaigns can be of immense help when it comes to decide several key factors about your offline marketing. However, you must have the zeal to explore it that way.

Here is a case.

You are going to put up an expensive banner at a prominent location in the city. It is expensive but you have managed the fund somehow. But you cannot afford any mistake because taking a second chance is expensive. As a small business owner or startup, you just want to make the most out of it.

Why don’t you take the help of AdWords? Run a small campaign targeting the same audience. Create 2 ad copies with 2 headline variations and see which one gets higher clicks – you will get a hint!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Facebook-WhatsApp Acquisition – The User Perspective

Facebook is acquiring the Silicon Valley based mobile messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion - News of the Day! You can read more on this:

But what are the WhatsApp users thinking? Here is a screenshot of the comments posted on The Washington Post.

CNBC reported that "Facebook acquiring WhatsApp sends twitter employees into frenzy."

What is your take about the deal?

  1. Will Mark Zuckerbug be able to focus on growth and product? 
  2. Is there any chance that WhatsApp users will leave the platform and move to its competitors for the sake of privacy? 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Indian 10th Grade Student Invents Computer System

"An Indian tenth grade student launched a "ReVo Book" an ultra-slim virus-protected microchip-run computer system, a move that can transform traditional computing devices. Teenaged Afreed Islam from Guwahati's Little Flower School is the new kid on the block, his 'ReVo Book' is embedded with a microchip and a hybrid operating system. The design of the computer system has been developed by a German based firm which took up the project after knowing about Islam's innovation. He has already applied for a copyright for the 'ReVo Book' and is expecting to secure it soon."
Source: ANINews

The story is really inspiring. If parents, teachers and society come out of typical job-after-graduation mentality and encourage students to become entrepreneurs, we will definitely get a brighter economy tomorrow. - An Online Marketplace for SMEs and Startups, leading tech news provider that aggressively covers Indian Startup space, has launched – an online marketplace for SMEs and Startups to find the services they need.

“SMEthing aims to create a curated platform where Startups & SMEs can get reliable service providers who understand their needs and importantly, constraints”, says Team NextBigWhat in a recent blog post while announcing about fresh listings added to the marketplace.

The listings contain a brief description about the service and reviews. The marketplace already has close to 12 categories including Accounting, Car Rentals, Cloud Telephony, Design Services, Ecommerce Services, Hiring, Intellectual Property, Legal and CA Business, Leisure and Recreation, Merchandising, Software and Technology Infrastructure etc.


When publishing houses are making books and content available online; however, leaders think that eBooks are not a threat but an opportunity for the publishers.

While speaking at the second edition of "CEO Speak - a Forum for Publishing", hosted by National Book Trust in association with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Rohit Kumar, Chairman, Read Elsevier India said that "E-books are not a threat but an opportunity for publishers to tap the growing market which is more tech-savvy and has grown up reading digital books".

"E-book should be considered a challenge and not a threat to traditional publishing. The two delivery channels have to co-exist and complement each other in an emerging India which is technology-driven. No industry can remain static," A Sethumadhavan, NBT Chairman said.

Digitization of music took a toll on the Indian music industry. Dhingana closed; popular music retail chain Music World closed last year. Lack of copyright protection law is to blame though. But it’s good to know that the leaders in the publishing industry think that eBooks, the digital counterpart of traditional books open up doors of further opportunity.

As a book-lover, I always believed that eBooks cannot replace traditional books. Can you think of a nursery class where toddlers are using kindles to read rhymes? If not, then eBooks can never take over traditional books. As once someone gets familiar with the look, feel and smell of paper books, it becomes difficult to be comfortable with eBooks. You can read eBooks, but you would be happier with traditional books.

With changes in lifestyle, local libraries have suffered a lot. Many of them do not exist any more here in Kolkata. But no dent in the popularity of the books! Readers are buying books from Flipkart and other online stores as much as they buy from College Street.

Do not know what will happen after 100 years. Kindle and other eBook readers might become so available and common that even a two year old might find it easy to use. However, that sounds like science fiction story. For the time being, book industry is quite covered and safe. And the leaders are right – digital books will just help it flourish.

Dhingana Shuts Down

"All good things must come to an end" that’s what Dhingana team said in their good bye message. After giving a tight fight, Indian music streaming startup Dhingana has finally shutdown.

It reminds me about the shutting down of Music World, India’s popular music retain chain. After struggling to survive for a long period they gave it up too.

"One of the biggest challenges is working with music labels and lack of standardization in signing those agreements. Another issue is music piracy – India’s media and entertainment industry loses about $4 billion every year due to copyright infringement", TechCrunch reported.

Shutting down of Dhingana is actually the peak of the iceberg; the actual problem is deeper than what is visible. If Indian music startups and industry leaders do not come up with a realistic solution quickly, condition may turn worse.

On another note, a question to the budding entrepreneurs: Dhingana raised $7 million last year in Series B funding! A lot of people believe that it is essential for a startup to raise fund in order to survive. Then why Dhingana had to shutdown? Probably, funding is not the key to success.

Further Reading:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Google Acquires Israeli Startup SlickLogin

Google is acquiring SlickLogin. The Israeli startup has been founded less than a year ago.

"Today we`re announcing that the SlickLogin team is joining Google, a company that shares our core beliefs that logging in should be easy instead of frustrating, and authentication should be effective without getting in the way," SlickLogin’s three founders, Or Zelig, Eran Galili and Ori Kabeli said in a blogpost of the compay’s website.

SlickLogin allows sound based account verification; you can hold your SmartPhone close to your computer and get your access details verified.

How it works: "SlickLogin can use a bunch of protocols to start verifying your phone’s position: WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, visual markers like QR codes, and of course, GPS. Their self-dubbed “secret sauce”, though, is their use of uniquely generated sounds intentionally made inaudible to the human ear. Your computer plays the sound through its speakers, while an app on your smartphone uses the device’s built-in microphone to pick up the audio."

This acquisition is likely to open up a new age of online security. On another note, this acquisition underscores two more important facts:

First, as the SlickLogin founders said: "We started SlickLogin because security measures had become overly complicated and annoying. Our friends thought we were insane, but we knew we could do better. So we set out to improve security while still making it simple for people to log in." True. Entrepreneurs face a lot of challenges. If you are a budding entrepreneur here is something for you to learn - many people would speak negative things about your idea, sometimes an opposite force would surface from your soul too. But if you are confident about what you are doing, there is simply nothing that can stop you.

Secondly, we are probably going to take a shelter to Shabda Brahman in this high-tech age!