Startup festival to celebrate the venture-friendly spirit of the city

Come Thursday, “Bangalore Rises”. That is the brand under which entrepreneurs are rebooting Bangalore as India’s startup capital and giving IT City yet another sobriquet.

For four days from Thursday, the city’s successful and wannabe entrepreneurs along with its fans will be celebrating Bangalore’s spirit of enterprise at the Startup Festival, its organisers said on Tuesday.

The first such event, backed by TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs, the global network that promotes entrepreneurs) and the State government, plans to bring alive entrepreneurial islands through dawn-till-night activities.

The festival will also launch 18 new enterprises.

Aspiring startups will rub shoulders with mentors, venture capital funds and successful entrepreneurs such as bus ticketing venture’s CEO Phanindra Sharma.

They can pick leaves from their success stories while making merry over food, fitness and fun, according to its organisers.

Select points in Indiranagar, Koramangala, Jayanagar and Palace Grounds in that order will expose participants one day each to entrepreneurial lessons across yoga, eating, mentoring, music, art, technology sessions and street festivals.

Bangalore is the destination for entrepreneurs to come and realise their dreams, said Startup Festival Co-Founder and TiE Associate Director Shashikiran.

The festival aims to put Bangalore back among the top 10 start-up cities of the world; it was No. 9 two years ago but has now slid to No. 19, said Vlad Dubovskiy, an entrepreneur and co-founder of the festival.

Citing two recent and separate surveys (one by and another by Startup Genome and Telefonica Digital), he said that Bangalore’s unique cultural and professional ethos made it the chosen destination of many new ventures.

It got the highest or 34 per cent votes as the best place to set up an enterprise. Mr. Dubovskiy’s outfit, Unstoppable India, is sponsoring the festival.

Reigniting the passion

TiE Bangalore president Naganand Doraswamy said, “The Startup Festival is an effort to help budding entrepreneurs get a hang of how to build a successful business. We want to re-ignite the passion for entrepreneurship, encourage open discussions, ponder over diverse viewpoints and give participants and partners something useful to take-away.”

It will focus on bringing women entrepreneurs to the forefront, said TiE Executive Director Gayatri Sharma.

According to a statement from M.N. Vidyashankar, Principal Secretary, Department of Industry and Commerce, the State government is now looking at encouraging startup ventures as part of showcasing Bangalore as a premier destination for startups.

Anyone who has an idea can come to the festival, according to Mr. Shashikiran; a T-shirt for Rs. 899 is the passport to the festival. The details are on tickets.