BY HIMA BATAVIA
This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in Startup Weekend Delhi Mobile – a 54-hour hackathon that aspiring entrepreneurs flock to globally to turn their ideas into Minimum Viable Products (MVP) and pitch to a group of seasoned mentors and judges.
Our team, DataCure, built a mobile inventory management and CRM tool for unorganized pharmacists in India to bring greater efficiency and profitability to their business, and in turn, collect real-time primary data on pharmaceutical sales across the country. After slugging away at conceptualizing a business model and execution plan for this “big idea”, Rajesh Sawhney, one of the judges along with Dev Khare from Lightspeed Venture Partners India and Sunil K. Goyal awarded us third place. We were ecstatic.
Before I knew it, I was sharing my future plans with Rajesh. We got talking about GSF and the organizations launch of the first multi-city accelerator in India, when he gave me an offer I could not refuse. “Come spend the day with me tomorrow. See what we are doing,” he said.
Fast forward 12 hours, and I was in a room with talented Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs), the masterminds behind GSF, early-stage entrepreneurs vying for a seat in the accelerator, and seasoned professionals excited to take part as mentors. Pitches were made, businesses were dissected, feedback was offered, and the EIRs were busy hashing out the details for the 25 intense workshops that will take place over the course of the 7-week accelerator. In just a short 4 hours, we met a leader at Rocket Internet, a travel startup, a recommendations startup and a seasoned entrepreneur bringing Canadian technology solutions to India.
To say I was inspired would be an understatement. I moved to Delhi from Toronto about a year and a half ago to work with a fantastic international NGO whose mission is to accelerate access to life-saving drugs amongst low-income populations. Though intellectually fascinating and professionally rewarding, something fundamental was missing from my life: community. If you’ve ever lived in Toronto then you know that community is fundamental to the charm of the city; tight-knit, supportive professional, social and cultural communities that come together to share, collaborate and create.
Between GSF and Startup Weekend, the birth of a rich and supportive entrepreneurial community in Delhi is in motion – one that I am excited to begin to plug in and contribute to.
If you excited to participate in another action weekend, register on http://delhi.startupweekend.org/tickets/