Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Insights on the biggest tech conference of India : Surge 2016

Surge – Intro
The biggest tech conference of India, SURGE 2016 was a two day event held at “Manpho Convention Centre” in Bengaluru on February 23rd and 24th 2016. It was a massive platform for startups to showcase their mettle and convince the investors.
Over 5,000 people from 72 countries were present to attend the conference.

Surge – Stats & Figures
1.       433 Startups from across the world.
2.       288 pre-arranged meetings were held between Surge Mentors and startups.
3.       480 meetings between Surge Startups and investors.
4.       130 speakers gave talks on Surge stage.
5.       290 international media was present such as BBC, Wall Street Journal, CNBC and Financial times.

Surge – Impact
Although it was the first event of Web Summit in India it had lot of positive aspects associated to it.
Surge was able to create a sharp focus on the startup ecosystem in the country and what it can do to make life easier.
One thing that was clear from the event was not just the boom in startups but also the quality of the output and products. The innovative thinking is very much there but what is required is to direct the thinking to get into action and deliver. This was the context of most of the discussions and it was a pleasure to watch them live.

Such discussions & talks are important as it moves the ideas into a reality and the adjustments from idea to deployment will highlight the challenges and innovations that will be needed to get it in place.

Investors are looking at new startups to help build their wealth and bring with them the expertise to scale up. SURGE was precisely looking at disruptive technologies that will speed up innovation and impact human life in a positive manner and more so looking at the disruption to impact low income regions that can then translate to impact in high income regions and developed countries.

The real question that needs to be asked is if the event will become a startup mainstay in India and the answer to that is still not clear.

One thing that became very clear with most interactions is that there is a need to move ideas to production quickly and they have to impact human condition. Though it is a large challenge but not impossible. Most ideas are not able to move cost effectively to production and that is precisely a reason funding is drying up.

Surge – Issues
Undoubtedly, for a first time event it had its fair share of issues:
1.       The location chosen had no mobile signal coverage.
2.       The Wi-Fi in the convention center failed.

These were just the 2 of the smaller issues I would say.

One of the major issues was the media interaction with the speakers. It could have been managed better with a common platform being created as we could have collectively got all our questions answered.

Surge – Spotlight
Ather Energy was one of the startup which was able to gain some limelight by unveiling India’s first smart electric scooter on day one.

Arctron Mobility, the winner of the Pitch (A startup Competition held at Surge) was also one of the few startups which got investors attention.

Surge – Learning

Gone are days when we had funds coming in freely to support ideas. It is now the survival of the fittest and that is where it we will see real value being translated.

Surge  PhotoWalk

Pics Credit - Here

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