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Next Up @ Lounge47

@4PM on Saturday 28th March, 2015
Somu Arumugam, Experience-Designer, Nalashaa Solutions

Somu has spent the last 15 years focussed on Design in a variety of roles and companies - Sr. Interaction Designer - 247-ilabs, Sr. User Interface Design Lead - Infosys, Sr. UI Designer - Zynga, Sr. Project Lead - ADYes, Interaction Designer - Mahindra Satyam, Interaction Designer\Animation - Nipuna services Pvt. Ltd., Senior Associate - ITC Infotech- NewMedia, Visualizer -JadooWorks, Visual Designer - DLM digital studios.

At this session, Somu will take a case study approach towards understanding UI/UX Design.

Past Events

Sat 21st March, 2015 - BIG DATA: LEVERAGING COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE IN RETAI - Mandar Mutalikdesai, Head of Data Semantics, DataWeave

Mandar focused on the next wave – enabling real time decisions and real-time responses through big data. Here are the Lounge47 key takeaways: 1. Large enterprises have this far used big data to focus on process improvement and variety of data (Process improvement 47%, Variety of data 26%, Volume of data 16%, Cost Saving & Efficiency 8%, Velocity of Data 3%) 2. Big data is not a new problem; at any point of time, our ability to produce data has always been greater than the sophistication of the tools available to process and make it usable 3. Companies like Uber and Amazon, with products like “Surge Pricing” or “Dynamic Pricing” are ushering in the paradigm of “fast data” to make instant decisions and gain a competitive advantage 4. “Fast Data” unlike “historical data, is live, interactive, automatically generated, and often self-correcting” – the volume and nature will be further accelerated through the Internet of Things (IoT) 5. In the retail vertical – data enablers that push micro decisions in real time and serve to answer – what inventory to hold? or what products to promote? - pose a powerful value proposition 6. A plethora of data products, web-based, Apps, API’s, reports could be built to help enterprises take decisions E.g. a “Color” report that tells a fashion retailer that their inventory should carry more items in blue 7. Data products could serve - ecommerce companies, sellers, brands – each stakeholder, with very specific requirements and specific problems to solve E.g. brands value reports on product discounts offered to flag policy violation 8. Solving the big data challenge would involve the following generic steps – data extraction and aggregation, cleaning, normalizing, standardizing, sorting, storing. Analytics. Visual data presentation, via dashboard interfaces, reports etc. 9. Big data sounds like a simple problem to solve however the challenges are many a) Data acquisition: crawling public websites could be limited if volume and speed of query impact service to users, thus slowing the data collection b) Data cleaning & standardization: raw data could be messy or have gaps c) Storage and retrieval d) Data Accuracy: Careful management of massive machination with minimal human audits to keep the margin of error suppressed 10. Some Big data products: Price comparison by the hour and across competition, color report on product inventory, Market & Business intelligence products, discount tracking of basket of products 11) Finding a “give-back” to encourage E-Commerce companies to part with private data would allow big data companies to build an ecosystem that is mutually beneficial to all stakeholders.
While big data is an often used buzz word, and challenges like “new technology deployment” and the “collection, analysis and measurement of data” are being solved, the full power of this paradigm will be realized when organizations consciously build instant decision making into their DNA so that teams can better receive, process and execute on “fast data”.

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Sat 14th March, 2015 - BETTER MARKETING BY LEVERAGING AI TOOLS - Cohan Sujay Carlos, CEO at ReshareGroups

Cohan provided insights about application of AI tools through a live case study, execution challenges and general Startup learnings. Here are the Lounge47 key takeaways: 1. In 2015, about 55% and in 2016 63% ($20 billion in programmatic ad buys) of digital advertising spend will be programmatically driven, with computer speed and machine learning overtaking human efforts. (eMarketer) 2. Deep predictive science, big data and artificial intelligence (AI) can be leveraged to make Marketing dollars go further 3. There are execution challenges a) Sales organizations will need to adapt to data output from the new paradigms than the other way around b) Startups will also need to adapt the outputs with a careful understanding of the landscape c) Barriers could come in many forms – and these would need to be flagged appropriately to improve the efficient use of data 4. AI tools are more useful to B2B businesses as social media and online advertising provide more expensive alternatives 5. Email Marketing poses a tough competitor to such approaches even though “spam” filters reduce their effectiveness 6. Expected early adopters for such AI tools are software companies 7. A “Freemium” model allows potential customers to trial the product and evaluate if these tools are right for their teams/budget/companies
Current digital marketing and resulting lead generation channels favor established companies - this bold new paradigm brings possibilities to find potential customer leads at a fraction of the cost – leaving companies to focus on the challenges of closing deals.

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Sat 7th March, 2015 - INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT) – FOCUS ON THE BUSINESS MODEL - Reynolds Alex, General Manager & Delivery Head - IoT Business, Wipro

“Internet of Things (IoT) – Focus on the Business Model " impressed the audience using a live case study - involving a major US customer, thousands of sensors, terabytes of data, SLAs, regulatory and conformance issues – an IoT project, remotely monitored from Bangalore. Here are the Lounge47 key takeaways: 1. Business models: a. % of Outcome: Understand needs of customer. Build an IoT solution that demonstrates results that are measurable. Charge a percentage. Fine-tune and improve infrastructure on a continuous basis. Example, energy savings. b. Service Bundling: Building useful and powerful service offers around, IoT enabled hardware. This could lead to a recurring stream of revenue. E.g. In-car sensor network providing data to insurance companies c. Data Analysis: IoT can be set to capture terabytes of data. Making this data understandable takes rare skills that could be monetized. Continuous learning can only make the data richer and more usable. Also, making data anonymous – raw or insights - could lead to other monetization possibilities 2. Trends: a) Services will be the biggest bucket accounting for 60% of IoT b) Outcome driven charging is the way customers seem to be heading 3. Opportunities: a) Smart Cities: Smart metering for example, in India b) Automotive: In-car sensors, monitoring driver too, providing information to insurance companies 4. Making the Sale: Identify the Economic Buyer, Tech Buyer and Coach within the customer organization. Convincing the Coach is key 5. Team: a) To complete the early detailed understanding of the project requires young graduates, that in the first 2-3 years are assigned to understand internal documentation, trained and then able to execute at great level of detail and precision b) Team players fall into 3 buckets – people who have struggled and will drive the detail, people that have had medium struggles but can manage broader functions, people that look beyond the project at things like the competition and external factors. A combination of these three players makes for a robust team.
There is no silver bullet to finding a business model that works for you. Intellectualize, get your hands dirty by doing, tap dance as you gain an in-depth understanding of your domain and customer, try different things until you succeed.

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Sat 28th February, 2015 - FAILURE - Darshan M – Director, Spoment Ventures

“Failure" was a session that touched many in the audience – it addressed the core of what it is to be an entrepreneur – take risks, aim high, don’t plan for a safety net ….be prepared to fail, if it happens pick yourself up and don’t be afraid to dream again. Here are the Lounge47 key takeaways from this session: 1. Understand that failure is natural. It can happen to anybody however well prepared 2. If you are wise, you learn from failure. Value the experience and your learnings 3. If you fail, revive yourself, face the world, take responsibility for your actions and most importantly, tell the truth 4. Understand yourself, figure out your strengths and bring in people to fill in the gaps 5. If you fail, value the experience you have made and do not undercut yourself 6. Aim for Big Audacious Goals, no matter what 7. Build a good team - when alone you may go up faster however when together you go much further 8. A middleclass upbringing pushes founders to want to keep 100% of equity. Understand that equity should be parted with to bring in the right kind of expertise 9. Get a mentor early, even an entrepreneur who may have failed but can add value to your Startup 10. Entrepreneurs worry too much about “what will people think”. People/Society have no time for you, they are too caught up with their own lives 11. Be ready to learn. Stay humble. Ask questions 12. Keep an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and switch jobs when you stop learning 13. Don’t take life too seriously 14. Be kind to people on the way up, they are more likely to be kind to you on the way down.
Failure in India results in social and family pressure. We need to all play a role in making it ok to fail….of course as long as one did their very best.

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Sat 21st February, 2015 - INDIAN DESIGN: FINDING ANSWERS WITHIN - Diwakar Chintala, Design Director, Gensler

This was a presentation designed well in itself – personal, honest and appropriately minimalistic (featuring an elaborate Q&A). Here are the lounge47 takeaways: 1. “Design” is far broader than just aesthetics. From the design of your product or website, to that of your visiting card, to the format of your email, to the way you communicate – all, could be viewed as design 2. Good design is primarily honest. It simply shines through, solving the problem simply and beautifully. No extraneous parts. E.g. the Iphone 3. The Indian lunch “Tiffin box” or “dabba” as it is called locally is another example of great design. It renders the experience of a home-made meal on the road 4. “Design” is the answer to a lot of life’s problems, but over-designing causes bigger problems than solving existing ones 5. Is there such a thing as Indian design? Or is design universal? 6. “Design” is subjective and can lead to emotion and conflict. When developing a design solution, agreeing ground rules such as letting logic rule could be one way to resolve deadlocks 7. Often, contrary to what many believe, things are good just the way they are. Ecosystems evolve organically and simply are. E.g. slums. Systems may just need tweaking and not a massive overhaul 8. India does not need a western design solution. Solutions may already exist here and need to be sought out and re-imagined 9. To create great design, designers need to evolve personally to be able to see the honesty detached from the noise 10. Entrepreneurs should approach design with a blank sheet of paper, forget all that exists and simply think through – what should a school do or a hospital – and build from there 11. In designing marketing messages or websites – keep messages on a page few – it is easier to communicate using a minimalist approach rather than in clutter.
In summary, “design” plays a huge role in life – develop a broad definition for design and define the meaning of design for yourself.

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Sat 14th February, 2015 - MY JOURNEY & LEARNINGS - Vikram Srinivasan, Co-Founder Zettata

This was a highly interactive session and lived more from the discussion than the slide-deck. Here are the Lounge47 key takeaways: 1. At the beginning, it is good for founders/the team to do whatever it takes to get the Startup on the road. As the Startup matures, team members should focus on their areas of expertise and have defined roles 2. Early understanding of your strengths vs. that of your cofounder gives clarity and speed to your Startup 3. Hire for attitude. A “dating” period gives both sides time to get to know each other and make an informed choice about working together 4. Do not get distracted by seeking funding at the MVP (minimum viable product) stage. Seek funding when you need to scale. e.g. to grow into new markets 5. Keeping focus is key. Don’t focus on the competition, it could prove to be a distraction. Focus on the customer instead 6. Managing expectations be it that of the customer or your team is important to keep stability. 7. Customer feedback should not send team into a panic. Stay calm and choose features or aspects that need to be addressed 8. As a Startup grows, communication becomes more and more difficult. Build a transparent and flat Startup culture 9. At first, Startup days could be chaotic however with time, planning and goal-setting becomes a vital activity 10. Recognize that each system ticks differently, figure out the habits that lead to success and follow them through. Avoid burnout 11. Processes need to be thought through and set. It is when a Startup begins to scale that the early work put into processes begins to pay dividends 12. Measure. Measure. Measure. Build, iterate and measure again.
In summary, don’t get carried away by buzzwords or Startup mantras. Simply solve the problem you have set out to, find paying customers and scale.

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Sat 7th February, 2015 - MY JOURNEY & LEARNINGS - mGAADI - Vishy Kuruganti - Cofounder & COO mGaadi.com

Last Week’s talk - “My Journey & Learnings - mGaadi" shared many personal experiences, thoughts and learnings along the hard and tough journey of entrepreneurship. Here are the Lounge47 key takeaways: 1. 18% of first time entrepreneurs, 20% of second time and 30% of third time entrepreneurs succeed 2. Taking time out to think through your ideas is important. Pick the idea that makes business sense 3. Identify where your weaknesses lie and pick your mentor to help you through 4. Tailor your plans to what the market can bear and also to the culture of the group you are targeting e.g. mGaadi switched from an App to a missed-call process supported by a call center to identify location of auto Rickshaws 5. Maintaining focus was an early learning for mGaadi. Latching on to the pains and needs of auto rickshaw drivers has enabled enrolling 12,000 drivers in the last year 6. The market (even if not Internet-savvy) is keyed in to the existence and value proposition of major players. This implies that the Startup needs to have a strong Value Proposition even while reaching across the digital divide. 7. Believe in the value you bring and the pain point it addresses.
Refine as necessary as you execute.

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Sat 31st January, 2015 - CONSUMER INTERNET INSIGHTS - Jeyandran Venugopal, co-founder of Eclinic247

Last Week’s - “Consumer Internet Insights" session sketched trends, opportunities and challenges in this space. Here are the Lounge47 key takeaways: 1. India has become the new “Land of Opportunity” - untapped potential, increased consumer/middle class spending, adoption-cycles shortening due to younger demographic willing to be early adopters, institutional investment in Startups increasing 2. “Cost to Try” is cheaper in India 3. Some stats – Population: 1.28b, Internet users: 1/6, Tablet users: 1/120. Mobile Internet users: 1/10, Social Media users: 1/13 4. Mobile growth presents a tremendous opportunity – Mobile Internet growing faster relative to rest of the world 5. Opportunities: a. Enabling Technologies for Mobile Platforms: plugging a key function within a growing ecosystem e.g. search engine for apps, App personalization & recommendations, performance, analytics and insights, cross platform app development, prototyping tools, design to code technologies, democratization of app development (e.g. andromo, appgeyser), enterprise mobility (e.g. Kony), regional language focus b. Advertising Platforms: programmatic buying platforms, demand- side platforms that can optimize Ad buy ROI’s, unified solutions for multichannel ad spend management to optimize impressions for targeted spending objectives, SMB businesses – managing marketing spends, fraud management c. Personalization Technology: Given current vastness of Internet how to enable users to get relevant and contextual information and explore interests – how, what, where and when of personalization needs to be thought through and pin-pointed technologies like machine learning, large scale data analytics and data mining used to enhance efforts d. Natural Language Processing (NLP), Speech (processing and synthesis), Image and Video Processing.
Given that semantic web initiatives have not taken off, self expression through blogging e.g. Tumblr, rich media as opposed to text, deep learning networks for image and video understanding – a new and hot field e. Big Data Analytics as an enabler is the other big area for opportunity 6. Challenges: Cyber security - active threat groups for example have increased +4x since 2011. Also, social implications should be considered carefully e.g. Google glass.

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Sat 17th January, 2015 - CREATING ORIGINAL CONTENT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA - Balraj KN, Cartoonist, Illustrator and Writer

Balraj's “Creating Original Content for Social Media" session focused on thoughts and insights around using the medium of cartoons to communicate and promote ideas, products and Startups more effectively. Here are the Lounge47 key takeaways: 1. Do not try to include too many messages. Keep messages simple. Use images to express them 2. Consumers these days have low attention spans. Cartoons could serve as an effective medium of communication. In fact, cartoons with images only and no text, when done well, could be more powerful 3. In order to produce effective cartoons, Founders first need to get crisp on many fronts – pain point, solution, products, brand personality, target customer, marketing positioning & strategy. Images that reflect this clarity would work powerfully 4. Current affairs and trends when combined with images could work well Eg. an ongoing cricket match theme 5. Trends can be gathered from select blogs, newspapers and other mediums. This could drive better engagement and if lucky, go viral 6. If social media is your choice of platform, understand that users fall into two broad categories – creators and content sharers. You want to think through what would motivate people to repost your content 7. When using themes and humor, the creator must develop a feel for how far to go without causing controversy (unless of course that is part of the marketing strategy) 8. It is important to lower one’s expectations so that you get started. Quality at first may not be good however with experience and time it will improve.
Key message: Start doing. Now. Don’t wait for the “creative” hire at some point in the future.

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Sat 10th January, 2015 - WHO WILL PAY FOR IoT AND WHY? - Atanu Roy Chowdhury, Altiux Innovations

Atanu's talk was a thought-provoking session. Here are the Lounge47 key takeaways: 1.IoT is a self-organizing system of Internet connected peripheral systems providing new and improved converged services 2.The value of the digitally charged thing in IoT comes from an extension of the local function with new digital services. Thing(s) + IT=Local function + measurements (historical, instantaneous) leading to new services and supercharged functions 3.The IoT hype is about the opportunity to monetize services from 50b connected devices by 2020 4.IoT devices can be classified by human desires - to know (omniscence), for human connection (telepathy), to protect & be protected (safekeeping), to be healthy & vital ( immortality), to move effortlessly (teleportation), to create, make and play (expression) 5.The IoT difference: Edgeware driving value, the “ecosystem of devices” paradigm and the possibilities for entrepreneurship 6.PC to Mobile industry to IoT is transitioning the traditional “top down” to a more collaborative approach 7.Value to the customer: a.high resolution real-time information b.M2M silos interconnected for greater visibility c.Interoperated and leveraged common infrastructure d.low cost solution solving specific consumer pain points e.improved traceability, resource utilization, health and safety 8.Value to developer: a.can handle multiple business models b.can handle multiple deployment models c.can create new products and services to diversify revenues d. Services in addition to devices can be created by developers 8. The actors in the IoT ecosystem – those that, discover new services, deliver supercharged services, create supercharged services, create Smart Things 9.Technical best practices: a.cost of data acquisition is not homogeneous b.diversity in sensors, devices and vendors is endemic c.business requirements can exceed technology reach d.device failures will happen, plan to handle them e. ensure that products are certified f.security is not an afterthought 10.Business best practices: a.device costs are a function of volumes, functionality and robustness b.there is a creepiness factor to IoT solutions c.new services require training d.market potential is hard to guesstimate e.Know your competition f.understand local regulations and tax regimes g.Process changes will be resisted h.Disgruntled customers seldom return 11. Different Business Models should be considered.
In summary, IoT offers significant opportunities, but the successful players will be those that emphasize and deliver value relative to existing services rather than just offer new functionality with undeterminable value.

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Sat 3rd January, 2015 - CREATING EMPLOYER BRAND FOR STARTUPS – A FRUGAL APPROACH - Pramod Chaganti, General Manager, TMP Worldwide

Pramod presented an interactive session with points and counter points of view. Here are the Lounge47 key takeaways: 1. Get clear about your vision before talking to potential hires. Think as far, wide and long as you possibly can as a Startup 2. List what you can promise your employees and deliver in full. Superficial offers will lead to disappointment and disillusionment 3. Be honest and upfront 4. In the first stage of a Startup, Founders that share the vision and passion come together however in the second stage when a founding team is required the vision is required 5. Building “employer brand” becomes important as your Startups grows and requires more people 6. “Employer brand” is nothing but a specific promise made to current and future employees 7. Be wary of the traps. “Cool” employer is more than the table tennis table in the corner of the office. Focus on depth 8. Design and aesthetics of your image to the world is more and more a hygiene factor 9. Your entire presence be it website, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter or print should project the same messages and promise that your “employer brand” stands for 10. Use your personal networks and in-house abilities to develop content, be it text or video to put your Startup out there. Rough videos that are creative and interesting and convey the “employer brand” promise should suffice. Do not aim for Hollywood quality 11. Culture is another selling point for new employees. Founders influence the culture at a Startup through their personalities 12. Current employees and what they say to the outside world is important and needs to be managed on a day to day basis.
In summary, success in hiring today has moved away and beyond the one-to-one interview. The face to the world - be it of the Founders, the growing team, product or service needs to be managed carefully to make the Startup attractive to potential hires. Thinking “employer brand” is a good start.

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Sat 27th December, 2014 - K-12 EDUCATION - CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES FOR STARTUPS - Balu Pandian, Chairman, Brookfield High

Balu presented a session striking in its simplicity, honesty and practicality. Here are the key Lounge47 take aways: 1. Identify a “real” pain point (eg. Assessment drudgery faced by teachers) and provide a “real” solution 2. Study the website of the institution and align your presentation to meet the vision of the institute 3. Reach out to the Administration Officer (AO) within the educational institute to understand the institute better, the key players and their challenges. Key skill required : Listening 4. Leverage existing relationships e.g. The person that sells transportation buses to the school, whose recommendation would set you up for better success 5. Identify the decision maker – this is more likely to be the person in the organization that has “veto power” – the person who can say “no” to decisions 6. Educational institutes are capital intensive organizations. Capex (capital expenditure, eg. classrooms) takes first priority over Opex. Given this, entrepreneurs have a better chance of success with established institutes. 7. Lead time for Opex decisions is 1 to 4 years. Understand this reality, do not get disheartened if your idea does not get the nod. Call back repeatedly to check status 8. A normal day of school can be hectic. The entrepreneur should understand this and pick a time of the day and time of the year carefully, to ensure that the decision maker has the mental bandwidth to give your proposal full attention.
And remember that the truest test of the success of your Startup is not VC funding but a paying customer.

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Sat 20th December, 2014 - I AM STARTING UP - HOW DO I START CODING? - Gautham Pai, Founder, Jnaapti

Gautham gave practical steps to go from resisting programming to doing it. Here are the key Lounge47 takeaways: 1. Coding is not all that difficult; one needs to be curious and experimental. 2. There are many entrepreneurs who started out with no coding skills but ended up building great products. 3. Demand for programmers outstrips supply. Learning to code is a great way to control your destiny while controlling your burn. 4. Your Startup idea is great training ground. Combine your own research with speaking to peers and mentors to refine your path. 5. Don’t aim to build the perfect product but just enough to communicate your Startup idea, build a team and get investors interested. 6. “Learn to get things done” rather than “Learning for the heck of it”. Don’t get attached to one technology.
Starting up has never been easier or cheaper. Computing, free software, free storage and free analytics abound – all of these can be leveraged to power your dreams.

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Sat 13th December, 2014 - IS ONE BIG IDEA ENOUGH? - Reena Dayal Yadav, Head Corporate Industry Forum & Standards Cell, TCS

The “Is One Big Idea Enough?” talk and discussions resulted in this Lounge47 take-away: 1) Traditional market analysis and cycles are compressing – this makes it critical for a Startup to not build on just one idea, but to also have several “associated” ideas ready and waiting to be leveraged 2) Retaining focus while innovating is key. The one big idea must address/solve one critical problem (pain point) of a well-defined target market. 3) The idea is not necessarily product, it could be service, technology, business model or process. 4) Beyond the Founders, Startups need to build teams that constantly innovate and bring new ideas 5) Customers have shorter attention spans and have a greater variety of choices. Beyond ideas in product, ideas to engage customers are also important. In summary, building and managing ideas should become part of the Startup culture.

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Sat 6th December, 2014 - ONLINE ADVERTISING - MONETIZATION MODELS EXPLAINED - Jayant Nandan, Digital Marketing Consultant

Here is the Lounge47 Summary of Jayant's presentation: 1) Use Facebook posts, to understand the customer, especially their behavior and psychology 2) Use Google Analytics for deep insights on site users 3) Use Alexa to assess the value of your web & mobile real estate 4) Increase value through good SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Key focus points: (a) Increase quality of content as main focus (b) Ensure keyword appearance on site, improve site loading speeds & site architecture (c) Increase quantity and quality of backlinks (d) Increase links and shares in social media (e) Improve Click-through-rates, time spent on site and reduce bounce rates (f) Aim to increase brand quality & influence 5) Major types of paid Advertising: (a) Display Ads or Banner Ads: High on prominence, come in many sizes and shapes but tend to target customers not in want/buy mode (b) Text Ads: Generally less expensive than display ads, targets customers looking for specific things (c) Google Adwords: proven to be effective in generating website traffic and leads. Offers display and text ads however in association with highly targeted keywords (d) Bing or Yahoo: Alternative ad platforms to Google. Some brands find ROI (return on investment) on these platforms to be better (e) Facebook or Linkedin:These ads combine text & display elements. Both valid options to consider depending on business (f) Google AdSense: for websites with already significant traffic. Google automatically pays web publishers for the ads displayed on their site based on user clicks or impression views (g) Affiliate Marketing: serve as an affiliate to a business directly or through an affiliate network (e.g. Google Adsense) and promote their ads on your web property where you get paid for leads and sales 6) Payment Models: (a) CPC (Cost per Click): to generate traffic to website (b) CPM (cost-per-thousand-impressions): to increase brand awareness (c) CPA (Cost per Acquisition): Directs specific actions on the site 7) Some numbers: Global Internet advertising – 116b, 2013. Percentage of Ad spend in USA – Print::Radio:TV:Internet:Mobile = 19:10:45:22:4%. Mobile becoming an “increasingly compelling” paradigm. In summary, there is a lot of detail and this area requires a combination of research and doing to get perfect.

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Sat 29th November, 2014 - BARE ESSENTIALS – A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO BUILDING A LEAN STARTUP - Karthik Ramanujam, Digital Sales & MD, CricHQ

“Bare Essentials – A Practical Guide to Building a Lean Startup", was followed with an extended Q & A session. Background: The 'Lean Startup' term was popularized by entrepreneur Eric Reis on his blog “Startup Lessons Learned” and in his 2011 best selling book - ”The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses”. From last week’s talk and discussion, here are the key Lounge47 takeaways: 1) Lean Startup philosophy prescribes “experimentation over elaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative design over traditional upfront big design” 2) Rather than develop a conventional business plan, build a business model after executing key steps - a. Develop hypotheses b. Test hypotheses by getting feedback from potential users, purchasers and partners c. Develop product “iteratively and incrementally with minimum waste of resources”, including time. Basically, Build, Measure & Learn quickly 3) Lean Startup founders discuss their ideas and seek feedback rather than operate in secrecy or “stealth mode” 4) Popular terms - MVP (Minimum Viable Product): a minimum version of product that “cuts the fat, not the essence”; Pivot (a sudden shift in strategy) affecting any and all critical moving parts of the business.
The Lean Startup is more a mindset and approach – there is no recipe book and founders have to make judgment calls for their Startups. The Q&A addressed such specific issues.

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Sat 22nd November, 2014 - DO'S & DONT'S OF FUNDING - Kiran Bettadapur, Cofounder/CEO of Cylive

“Do's & Dont's of Funding” was a run-down of case study briefs to demonstrate the realities of funding. Here is the Lounge47 Summary: 1) Do not be in a hurry to get funded. Bootstrap as much as you can 2) Understand the “funding” paradigm. VC initial agreement to fund (term sheet) do not automatically translate into success; it just signifies the beginning of even harder work. 3) Research, seek professional advice, pick a VC carefully, and keep your pitch understandable and credible. 4) Your VC pitch is about selling you, your company and your product. Let passion tell your story 5) Prepare for your ask. And, be able to communicate a detailed plan of your spend 6) Think through profit, scalability, predictability, sustainability and de-risking your Startup upfront 7) Consider other funding sources like ex-entrepreneurs or executives 8) Getting the attention of the funding community is difficult; get resilient 9) If your Startup is generating receipts, you will gain leverage on funding, and in some cases, it may lead to self-sustenance without funding. 10) Do's: Focus on the business model, have self-belief, be detailed and thorough, drill down on use cases, be disruptive, focus on cash flows, be realistic. Dont's: don't rush things, don’t screw up after funding.

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Sat 15th November, 2014 - PROTECTING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AT STARTUPS (IP) - Ravi Vaikuntachar, Manager - IP Analytics, Honeywell

Ravi's presentation - “Protecting Intellectual Property at Startups” was highly interactive with questions from entrepreneurs leading to much learning for all. Some key takeaways from the session: 1) IP is not a “ghost” to be feared, but a “friend” to be nurtured 2) Familiarize yourself with all aspects of IP relevant to your business and your idea. Just being informed helps you manage about 70% of the risk 3) The vision of the Startup should lead to an IP strategy that allows easy answers to key questions like – Should I patent or not? Which markets should I file patents in? etc. 4) Myths around IP should be shattered (example: unclear explanations of ideas to obfuscate full disclosure can leave Startups with a lack of protection) 5) The philosophy of patent protection should be understood – Governments give inventors a monopoly for a certain period of time in return for full disclosure from the inventors so that the next inventor/entrepreneur can execute and push the envelope for the general benefit of society 6) Misuse of patents can kill a company. Founders should do an initial patent search to ensure that they are not in violation. 7) Patent services companies are highly skilled (and expensive) but Startups may want to consider hiring these services because shortcuts often lead to significant exposure 8) Startups that are bootstrapping, can consider a provisional patent filing 9) Intellectual property is not just patents - Copyrights, Trademarks and Trade Secrets offer protections that should be considered as well. Indian entrepreneurs should take IP seriously to build credible businesses.

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Sat 8th November, 2014 - DEMYSTIFYING THE INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT) - Syam Madanapalli, Co-founder & MD, iRam Technologies

Syam took a classroom approach to inducting the audience in the basics of IoT, and practical tips and highlights on how to build a first IoT device. Key Takeways: 1) IoT can be understood as a system of self healing and self organizing connected things, using the internet as a medium 2) "States" and “Data” needs to be clearly synthesized into solutions and use cases 3) IoT is a huge opportunity to improve our quality of life 4) IoT is also driven by aging populations, limited resources, government initiatives, innovation, information generation, lifestyle trends, safety & security needs 5) Some hot areas of IoT applications – management of cities, grids, environment, water, retail, logistics, industrial-control/automation, farming, healthcare and customer service 6) IoT can be seen as pervasive computing 7) Over time, the number of devices are going up as their size comes down, with similar parallels to Moore’s law 8) Many points to consider while building a device, important ones being (a) Protocols and stack to use (b) Distance and Line of sight issues (c) Peer to peer (mesh) or star connectivity (d) Three technologies to consider – IEEE 802.15.4, WiFi or 3G? (e) Home/office use – WiFi, BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and tradeoffs with costs (f) CoAP/http/Proxy – how to transport (g) How to power? Fixed or movable device? (h) How to keep cost less through low BOM, low power, low range, less data, less software and small footprint.

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Sat 1st November, 2014 - UI & UX: INJECTING A PERSONALITY INTO THE BRAND - Jayan Narayanan, Sr. Creative Director, 9.9 Media

Jayan shed light on two oft heard but little understood acronyms and its impact on user acquisition. Key Takeaways - 1. UX/UI was well explained through the example of an Indian meal served on a banana leaf – presentation and set position of items (UI) ensure ease of flow, moments of joy – aiming ultimately to heighten user pleasure/experience (UX) 2. Several myths shattered – “UI = UX”, “You = User”, “User knows what they want”, “UX ends on page unload”, “Best practices will always work”, “Trust the UX/UI guru” and “Only the landing page is important” 3. Find designers keyed into tech, design and lifestyle trends 4. SEO could conflict with UX/UI, requiring a healthy balance 5. Mobile First should be a key focus of Startups - this pushes Startups to prioritize and strive for clearer communication 6. “Responsive” design, validation using usability metrics, managing color, typography and content strategies are very important 7. Good UX/UI is an intuitive, visual and experiential representation of the brand personality as defined by the founders. Details matter.

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Sat 25th October, 2014 - The Art & Science of Making Cloud/IoT Work - Sundar Varadaraj Perangur, Director, Tyco India

Sundar presented several use cases that showed the need to combine two emerging technologies – Cloud and IoT. Remote building management, surveillance, retail and fire management services area were covered and discussed. It also provided some insights for early entrepreneurs: 1. India being a cost conscious society, entrepreneurs should consider carefully who pays for the product/services – end consumer or enterprise? 2. Some areas awaiting disruption – ATM surveillance, drones, wearables, etc. – pick a burning problem and solve it well 3. Some emerging areas of research – energy harnessing (extending battery power) and miniaturization – may be very important to take IoT to the next level.

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Sat 18th October, 2014 - MARKETING THROUGH STORY TELLING - Smitha Hemmigae, Director, CSS Corp

Smitha conveyed an overview of the 'why?' and 'how?' of raising market attention for your Startup idea. Here are the key takeaways: 1) Successful stories share the following qualities – authenticity, emotionality and simplicity (no acronyms or jargon) 2) Good stories result in audience engagement 3) Groundwork has to be done towards understanding the market and competition, to clarify the unique value that your Startup brings 4) This key message should resonate in every Marketing story, be it about the idea, team members or product 5) Hiring a marketing resource to tell the story may look lucrative, but It is only the Founders that can tell the story authentically, and hired resources can only help in producing it. In summary, building product is of course important, but translating your Startup personality into Marketing messages (via website, social media etc) is equally important; and messages are better communicated via stories since retention is higher.

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Sat 11th October, 2014 - INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT) – WHERE IS THE MONEY? - Chandrashekhar Raman, Manager of IoT Strategy, Cisco Systems

CS highlighted the need for innovative business and technical models. Top 5 key takeaways from the session: 1) Analyze business models from the perspective of targeting “control points” (allows disproportionate share of value e.g. platform), “network externalities” (users generate more users e.g. facebook) and “virtuous cycle” (self-propogating value system e.g. Twitter: tweets generating more, value, tweeters and users) 2) Fog computing (solutions at the edge of the network) should be considered for "time sensitive" or "mission critical" solutions 3) IoT Stats 2013: $1.7B funding, 186 deals, 30% up YOY, 75% up on exits, largely in platforms; Cisco estimates 50B connected devices by 2020, economic value of 19 trillion added in next decade 4) Manufacturing and Smart Cities most immediate opportunities in Enterprise space 5) Key Challenges are security and time-sensitive networking. In summary, IoT Startups focused in a hot space need to pick clever business models relative to the competition.

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Sat 27th September, 2014 - LABOUR PAINS....THE ART OF BRAND-PARENTING - Manosh Sengupta, Marketing Strategist, Brand-@itude

Manosh conducted an engaging session where the speaker shared his learnings on Marketing Evolution, Building of Brand and its value to a business. Key takeaways from the meeting - 1. Entrepreneurs need to write down to clarify their thoughts – about their Startups - to introspect who they are, what they do, and where they can really make a difference 2. From this write-up, founders should construct the essence of their brand and the tenets that define their Startup's culture – the environment within which the brand gets built 3. Who you want to be and how you want to differentiate (price, innovation etc.) as a brand is a strategic long-term decision that stamps everything else – product, service, web-site, logo etc. 4. When you start, the brand and business may be separate but at some point they may become indistinguishable 5. Brand is a living form that needs to be parented and nurtured 6. In a world full of choices, customers need to be given a reason to choose you. Brand is what separates you from the crowd and gets you noticed.

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Sat 20th September, 2014 - DRIVING SOCIAL CHANGE THROUGH ENTREPRENEURSHIP - Ashok Panikkar, Director, Meta-Culture

Ashok delivered an intense session that made the following key points: 1. Social entrepreneurs must evolve to the point where they understand themselves better in terms of their true motivations – that is when they can be responsible to the people whose lives they impact 2. Just good intentions are not enough, and “conscious risks” rather than “calculated risks” lead to more powerful solutions 3. Understanding deep context of the problem area is important in order to avoid solutions that create other or bigger problems 4. A mindset is required that tools, skills and expertise be acquired through collaboration and learning, rather than by relying on expertise gained earlier 5. Entrepreneurship could solve social problems faster than governments or organizations, and the time is right in India today. In summary, find your “inner genius” and act, rather than just be another expert in the landscape.

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Sat 13th September, 2014 - FINANCIAL (BFSI) SECTOR - OPPORTUNITIES FOR DISRUPTION - Deepak Shenoy - Founder, Capital Mind

Deepak presented a session tailor-made for finance enthusiasts and experts. Some key takeaways: 1. The size of the financial sector in India is relatively small but is growing rapidly relative to any other financial market 2. There are a number of pain points that need to be addressed 3. Barriers to entry come in many forms - regulations, high Capex costs etc – however, there are ways to lower these barriers with collaborative approaches 4. Given these trends, there are great opportunities now more than before, to bring value propositions into this sector.

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Sat 6th September, 2014 - My [Entrepreneurial] Experiences - Dr. Samartha Raghava Nagabhushanam

Samartha talked about his entrepreneurial experiences and learnings that were part philosophical, spiritual and practical. It left entrepreneurs with some simple messages. 1. Integrity is an important trait that needs to be developed 2. Increased clarity of vision needs to be achieved in order to keep the fire of passion alive and growing 3. Clarity can be obtained through paid market research and/or feedback from the entrepreneur community 4. Identify existing market demand and address it, rather than anticipate future markets 5. Keep your burn rate to a minimum.

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Sat 23rd August, 2014 - Learnings from Scaling - Gunaseelan Radhakrishnan.

Great success is within reach if a Startup plans to scale - this was the summary of last week's Lounge47 presentation. When the prototype is complete, and the value of the product has been demonstrated to a few customer prospects, it is also the right time to think through scale and more importantly, prepare for it. Key takeaways - 1. Say 'No' more often than “Yes” to keep razor focus 2. Develop a work culture that fosters execution 3. Set aggressive goals, however, be in touch with market forces and rally teams to achieve them 4. Create good process and a flexible organization rather than rely on ad-hoc measures 5. Identify star performers and reward with prominence rather than monetary benefits.

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Sat 16th August, 2014 - Skills & Myths of an Innovative Entrepreneur - Sudeendra Koushik, Speaker, Writer, Consultant

From this talk: Innovation requires the “intuitive mind” and the “rational mind” to work in tandem, bringing the forces of hard work, keen observation, tedious research (reading & experiencing), understanding of trends and gaps to identify a problem and re-frame it into one worth solving. This becomes a viable Startup idea. The session also tackled Myths like “You are born innovative”, “Entrepreneurs are gamblers”, “Good ideas automatically attract funding” and so on – commonly held beliefs. The most motivating message we were left with – everybody can be innovative, one just needs to develop the skills and behavior to be that – an innovative entrepreneur.

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Sat 9th August, 2014 - Startup Ideas – Internet Of Things (IoT): A Technologist's Perspective - Dr. Kumar Padmanabh, Lead Scientist, Robert Bosch

Dr. Padmanabh presented some interesting case studies where sensors and supporting logic were used to provide beneficial uses to customers interested in reducing their energy needs. Healthcare was also discussed as another area that could deploy IoT technology.

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Sat 2nd August, 2014 - Angel Investment Insights - Mr. Nagaraja Prakasam, Angel Investor

This presentation was one investor’s opinion about one specific network - Indian Angel Network (IAN). Angel funds and the “quality of money” that they bring is an important aspect for a Startup to consider. Key takeaways from the presentation 1) India has a number of rural and social problems – IAN “Impact”, a sub group of IAN encourages Startups that address these problems 2) IAN takes up to 30 % equity for its investments starting at INR 25 Lakhs ($40000) 3) IAN takes 5% equity when it only mentors and does not fund a Startup.

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Sat 26th July, 2014 - Successful Apps - The Hygiene Factors - Mr. Sudhir Goel, Director, App Mantras

Here are the takeaways from our speaker at last Saturday’s meeting on “Successful Apps - The Hygiene Factors” - 1) An App idea must serve a specific need, preferably be a “pain killer” rather than a “vitamin” 2) Aim to generate revenue. If you plan to be a charity, get out of the Startup business 3) Seek feedback from people (not family & friends) using a quick and dirty prototype, and ensure that the App is intuitive to your audience. Test and Test again 4) Keep budgets low, evaluate your own strengths and skills, and combine the needs of your business with the right blend of employment and outsourcing 5) Fail quickly and cheaply. Have contingencies planned, pivot or quit if need be, but quickly 6) Founders should recognize that just tech does not sell, marketing and monetizing Apps is a huge challenge.

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Sat 19th July, 2014 - How To Create Breakthrough Innovation Using Design Thinking - Parameswaran Venkataraman

Param focused on the much used term, “Design Thinking” and made it more understandable to the audience. Design thinking as a mindset and methodology for problem solving, starts with understanding the user first and adopts specific methods and processes that enable practitioners, to uncover valuable insights that would not have been visible otherwise. Our key takeaways mirror the phases of Design Thinking and its application 1) Develop empathy for the user, observing and capturing details of their action and emotion 2) Brainstorm and admit a large number of new ideas. Use discipline to build on ideas 3) Re-frame the problem. Oftentimes the problem is not what you originally thought it was. 4. Adopt rapid prototyping and fail if need be, but fail cheap.
For Startups, a design centric approach is one that Lounge47 recommends to 1) Overcome any disconnects from market needs and 2) Trim technology features that do not directly contribute to market needs.

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Sat 12th July, 2014 - Chaipoint.com - The Power of Execution - Tejus Chandra, CFO.

Tejus dissected the Chaipoint business - a retail outlet and delivery chain that sells mainly freshly brewed Chai (tea), to the white-collared Indian worker. The Startup launched in 2010, now serves more than 1m cups of tea and adds 3-4 retail outlets a month. The company took a simple, well-understood concept of “Chai” and achieved it's current scale through relentless execution. Key Takeaways: 1) An idea without execution only remains an idea; Intellectualize, but start executing quickly to enable market validation and fine-tuning 2) Aim for profitability right from the beginning 3) How quickly you assimilate your learning into your process is also a reflection of your potential scale 4) Defining process and detail that can be used to train employees should be a key focus 5) Appropriate use of Information Technology and adaptation over time should be a hygiene factor 6) Open communication channels with employees and a flatter organization leads to quicker problem resolution as they arise.

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Sat 5th July, 2014 - Leveraging Open Source To Build Startups - Srivibhavan Balaram, Co-founder & Initial CEO, CloudByte.

This talk conveyed several important messages to Startups considering Open Source. 1) Contribute before you consume, because Open Source is a community-driven model and being part of the family helps you understand its future direction, a detail which could be important to your Startup 2) Contributing to the Open Source pool gives companies, especially Startups, extra credibility with customers 3) Using Open Source allows you to narrow down and focus on your key challenges, the net result being that Startups gain time and a good quality crowd-tested foundation 4) When used correctly, investors would regard Open Source-usage as a means to reduce technology and execution risk 5) Startups should also consider employing continuous due diligence to ensure that engineering staff follow the intended fit of Open Source within the business. 6) Since it has strong licensing clauses, founders should use Open Source with care – and see if it matches their vision of building the company.

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Sat 28th June, 2014 - Apps – What Not To Do - Mr. Bala Sundara Raman, Co-founder, IdeoPhone.

Sundar chronicled the journey of Ideophone - the Startup with a large vision, several Apps and a platform that targeted commuters, gained 120,000 users, tackled world markets, got a lot of press, but eventually failed. Several key takeaways, questions and tips that are especially relevant to App-based Startups. 1) Developing the App is the easy part, but is your Startup sufficiently prepared for what comes after? 2) Is your vision bigger than the capabilities of the team? Bite only as much as you can chew. 3) Do you have a business plan? It is important to go through this exercise upfront and push yourself to address critical aspects that impact your business 4) If there is insufficient traction, pivot and pivot early.
The last slide read “Make mistakes, but not ours. All the best!”. Well Said!

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Sat 21st June, 2014 - Startups - How to Survive the First 3 Years - Tapan Kumar Das, CEO of iTiffin.in.

Tapan gave an exceptional talk in its integrity, honesty and interactivity. The first three years in a Startup's life presents many challenges and the most powerful weapon an entrepreneur has is – him/her-self. Key takeaways: 1) Challenges come in many different forms – convincing family, managing finances on a shoe-string budget, dealing with negativity (sometimes from close friends), and choosing investors that match/understand the Startup’s vision. 2) Developing a balanced, street-smart, sixth-sense driven (instinctive decision-making) personality that can anticipate scenarios and dealing with them with timely action is key to survival. 3) Having minimal finances coupled with a positive attitude forces creativity and intellectualization, and also uncovers new business opportunities that are important for survival.

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Sun 15th June, 2014 - Preparing To Be An Entrepreneur While You Study - Prof. B. S. Satyanarayana, Principal, R.V. College of Engg, Bangalore.

This talk showed the number of opportunities that can be put in place to encourage entrepreneurship within educational institutes in India. It also delved into the cultural and economic barriers in the system, the limited interest of companies to encourage entrepreneurs, and the short-term mindsets of both faculty and students; some key reasons that stifle the mood to take on entrepreneurship. Nevertheless, there is a growing set of entrepreneurs that defy these odds and go on to build companies. As always, it is passion that fuels such Startups.

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Sat 7th June, 2014 - Apollo Hospitals – The Entrepreneurial Journey - Dr. Umapathy Panyala, CEO, Apollo Hospitals Group, Karnataka.

Dr. Panyala ran us through the history of Apollo, a once-upon-a-time Startup launched with a simple goal in mind - to provide quality care in India (a factor assumed to be a hygiene factor out in the west) and built massive hospital infrastructure and reach over 30 years. This Startup leveraged technology, local infrastructure and other factors to deliver same-quality care at a fraction of what it would cost in most western countries. One amazing fact from the presentation was that Dr. Reddy (founder of Apollo Hospitals) was 52 when he launched his company, underlining once again that age cannot and should not dissuade the persuit of entrepreneurship. Other key takeaways: 1) “StarTrek” -like medical devices are not science fiction, they are already here, and they should be leveraged. 2) “Mindset” of older doctors and patients is the number one challenge for technology adoption. 3) Regulation will always be outdated, and many minefields cannot be discovered without launching and pushing the envelope.

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Sat 31th May, 2014 - Internet of Things (IoT) - Areas of Opportunity - Jayraj Ugarkar, Head, IoT Center of Excellence, Infosys Labs.

This session provided feedback to entrepreneurs from practical data collected by experts implementing IoT projects. The presentation and discussion addressed the separation of product and process when designing solutions, the importance of each, and how smaller entrepreneurs can team with big players who are already in the midst of implementing IoT projects for customer verticals. Other key takeaways: 1) Entrepreneurs need to identify an area that is in line with their own skills and passion to develop compelling value 2) Opportunities for Startups in India abound, notably in manufacturing & government and 3) IoT holds a great number of opportunities since it is billed as one of the 3 greatest waves in computing after the Personal Computer and Internet revolutions.

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Sat 24th May, 2014 - Demystifying Funding for Startups. - Abishek Surendran, AVP Investments, Reservoir Capital.

This was an excellent session that sketched the basics of early stage funding. Picking the right “color of money” is important - an investor’s attitude, risk appetite, knowledge, and networks, amongst others, add value to the Startup. Likewise, picking the “wrong” investor could deplete valuable focus, time, energy and resources – a misstep Startups should avoid. To keep this session aimed towards early-stage Startups, the focus rested on FFF (Friends, Family & Fools), Angel and VC fund classes, and how they differ in terms of goals, demands and time-frames..

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Sat 17th May, 2014 - Nutrition - Opportunities for Startups. - Dr. Swami Subramaniam, Head, R&D Abbott Nutrition India.

Dr. Subramaniam gave an overview of nutrition as an entrepreneurial space and its importance in the future. Some key takeaways: 1) While nutrition products seem to abound, the general customer sentiment is that these are expensive 2) Companies that produce these products experience margin pressure despite this customer perception 3) Unlike pharmaceutical products, side-effects are completely unacceptable in the nutritional products space 4) Markets where people consider nutritional products to improve and optimize their quality of life is an interesting area for new startups (this being different from the traditional market segment that uses nutritional supplements to come to par, per physician’s advise).

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Sat 10th May, 2014 - Digital Marketing - Strategies for Startups. - Hemant Soreng - Entrepreneur, Digital Marketing Specialist.

In contrast to traditional methods, Digital Marketing promises to significantly reduce cost of reaching customers. Key takeaways - a) A careful assessment of the needs of the business is required to pick the right Digital tools b) Social Media is only one of many tools out there c) Startups need to take an iterative approach of experimenting and measuring results until the right results are achieved d) Accept that there is no silver bullet to leveraging Digital Media.

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Sat 3rd May, 2014 - Saying It With Pictures - Future Opportunities in Digital Content. - Biren Ghose, Country Head, Technicolor.

Biren's talk had a chockful of takeaways, only some summarized here – “Stories never change, only the packaging does”, “Indian products need to improve in two areas – brand management & aesthetics”, “Great ideas must get the timing right, otherwise they are dead”, “Being clever is both an asset and a roadblock in a Startup”. All in all, it was a highly interactive session filled with candor and witty remarks that not only educated, but also entertained the audience.

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Sat 26th April, 2014 - The Art of Pricing for an Online Business. - Swapnil Deopurkar, Founder, Yemple.com & Former Pricing Specialist, Amazon.

Swapnil gave entrepreneurs many insights taken from experiences at Amazon & Expedia. Pricing requires strategy and then a lot of tactical follow-through to stay on top of the game. Another important element is to consider regulatory scrutiny that scans for violations of price-fixing laws and the perception of being unfriendly to small businesses. The importance of customer trust, and the 4 common myths were explained and discussed with the audience.

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Sat 19th April, 2014 - Safety & Security Risks in the Hyper-connected (IoT) World. - Tamaghna Basu, Senior Security Specialist, eBay.

This presentation exposed vulnerabilities to our privacy, the methods used to counter Cyber threats and the chilling fact that ignorance and simple lapses could create unwanted or dangerous exposure, many times without our knowledge. The entry of smart devices (Internet of Things (IoT)) obviously takes this fragility to yet another level as these “things” could generate private data that could be exposed and potentially bring along more serious threats than just privacy issues.

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Sat 12th April, 2014 - My Eexperiences as an Entrepreneur - K Vaitheeswaran, Founder & CEO of Indiaplaza

Turned out to be an engaging private conversation between a veteran celebrity entrepreneur and an audience full of curiosity. Great nuggets of learning mined from many years of blood, sweat and tears - a.k.a. entrepreneurship. Key quotes - “Be Stupid and Don't be afraid to dream”, “You will never find out if a business succeeds unless you try it” and “Only the business fails, not the entrepreneurs that built it”.

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Sun 6th April, 2014 - IOT unPlugged@Lounge47 - Workshop by Jayakumar Balasubramanian, Syed Adil and Ipsit Kumar, Emertxe

The Emertxe team got on to demonstrate how their boards can be programmed to implement some simple every day logic to make gadgets useful around the home. The discussion that followed addressed how these board functions and uses can be expanded, and also how these gadgets could fit into the cloud, and managed from there.

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Sat 5th April, 2014 - Transform as you go - Rohit Nair - cofounder, QuizWorks

“Transform As You Go” offered deep insights into the transformation of a Startup as it grew in revenue by 4000%. The journey of QuizWorks involved re-framing product and re-addressing new target customers. The key takeaway - Startups need to stay agile in reacting to changing paradigms while they tweak approach and pivot until they strike gold. All throughout this period of elation and despair, so typical of a Startup journey, they need to stay true to what they do best – in this case, it was their core product.

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Sat 29th March, 2014 - How to Acquire Customers Online - Mohit Doda, Associate Vice President, Zoffio.com

Played to a capacity crowd with a chockfull of popular digital marketing and sales techniques, Key takeaways from this meeting were 1. Getting your Product right first is most important and could sell itself virally with the right marketing techniques and 2. An entrepreneur should also plan to Launch-Measure-Refine and Re-launch digital marketing programs to get them right.

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Sat 22nd March, 2014 - Entrepreneurship – A Pursuit of the Disciplined - Mukund Mohan, Director, Microsoft Ventures

An oversubscribed session, our speaker shared many stories about his life as an entrepreneur which was both entertaining as well as insightful. His key message – in the dog-eat-dog world of entrepreneurs and Startups it is only the disciplined that survive.

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Sat March 15, 2014 -"How to make your business plan crisp" - Nandini Vaidyanathan, Founder, CARMa

An interactive session that taught young entrepreneurs how to start developing a business plan using a step-by-step approach and address common initial challenges.

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March 8, 2014 - "Tracing the evolution - Open Source and Embedded Systems" - Jayakumar Balasubramanian - Director, Emertxe

This presentation traced the evolution of Open Source and its relevance to Embedded systems. It highlighted the most popular tools used by the Open Source community and shared some tips on how to build embedded devices by leveraging the power of this paradigm. The discussions also dealt with Intellectual property issues and their relevance to entrepreuneurs.

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Sat March 1, 2014 - "Vivint Wireless - De-risking a new venture & building a better ISP" - Luke Langford, COO, Vivint wireless, USA

The differences between risk-taking and risk-mitigation are often ignored. This presentation addressed how most entrepreneurs don’t pay enough attention to this aspect, and how risk-mitigation is key to managing Startup variables. Case studies of an online education Startup that failed and risk management tools used at a rapidly expanding US startup (Vivint Wireless) were presented in this interactive session.

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Sat, Feb 22, 2014 - Building Creative Communities" - Daniel Oxenhandler

This presentaton taught the science of {Connecting + Learning + Sharing + Creating}; the power of explaining the “why” first to people rather than the “how” or “what” when building communities around your idea, product or vision. The interactive part of the session had participants “colliding” with each other, a new experimental technique - getting to know people in the room at a deeper level by understanding their skills and knowledge and finding out how they could support each other attain their aspirations. An interesting and enjoyable session!

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Sun, Feb 23, 2014 - "IOT unPlugged@Lounge47 - Wisense Platform Demo by Arvind Padmanabhan and Ram Krishnan

This was an introduction to IoT. The presentation and discussion addressed all parts of the IoT landscape and the demo that followed gave participants an insight into WiSense and its platform.

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Sat, Feb 15, 2014 - "Building Product - What it takes to be world class" - Vishwas Mudagal

With our speaker sharing his personal experiences, this turned out to be more of a motivational presentation to a fully packed audience of mostly young and potential entrepreneurs.

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Sat, Feb 8, 2014 - "From Idea to Funding” - Prof. Shivananda Koteshwar

A packed audience received many unfiltered truths about the funding journey and the hard realities that entrepreneurs must come to terms with. Key Takeaway - No matter how good the market, product, or entrepreneur, money fuels both idea and scale and many wonderful Startups shut down as cash flow runs dry. Understanding the technicalities of funding and getting the right advice is key to avoiding costly mistakes.

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Sat, Feb 1, 2014 - "A Novice's Experiment with Affordable Healthcare” - Dr. V Renganathan, Co-founder, Vaatsalya Healthcare Solutions

We learnt how frugal innovation and focused problem solving was used to successfully deliver medical care to Indian families living in non-metropolitan locations with income levels of INR 36K-120K/year.

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Sat, Jan 25, 2014 - Trends: The Unwired Home - Yuvraj Tomar, Thinqbot Technologies

Trends and futures of smart home technology was the focus of the presentation - and this drove some nice discussion with a large crowd of entrepreneurs looking to build solutions to leverage this newly emerging market.

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Sat, Jan 18, 2014 - Understanding Bitcoin - Benson Samuel

Seeking to explore beyond the enigma, we had an engaged audience asking questions to get to the heart of the technology, the cuurency, its future and its uses. It helped to have several noted members of the Bitcoin community in the audience.

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Sat, Jan 11, 2014 - Ensuring startup success through cross border entrepreuneurship - Prof. Shivaram Malavalli

Prof. Malavalli left entrepreneurs with some key takaways – think big, think product and focus on building cross border teams to grow global startups.

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Sat, Jan 4, 2014 - Design Mindset - How to apply to startup thinking? - Francis Xavier, Founder & Principal, Vizen Design

The audience loved the mini-workshop following the presentation - this presentation cemented the understanding of design, and its integration into the entrepreneurial mindset, which becomes an increasingly important dimension as many a product are forced to compete at a global level, even to remain a viable business.

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Sat, Dec 28, 2013 - A 9-TO-5-job or Startup-job - What is right for me? - Khamir Bhatia, Founder & CEO, Trotez

The presentation engaged a room full of entrepreneurs with the speaker's journey and experiences through the challenging landscape of the Startup world. Why entrepreneurship needs to be a full time pursuit, the dedication, hope and passion that one needs to have - was well captured in this presentation.

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Sat, Dec 21, 2013 - How to create a lovable & scalable organization - Muki Regunathan, Founder & CEO, pepper square

The presentation led to interesting insights into how to create a lovable and scalable organization. Key takeaways - identify the person within, operate with passion and work towards building an organization where the team executes your vision. Build one unit of your company that you then replicate to scale.

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Sat, Dec 14, 2013 - The Internet of Things - Dr. Raghunath Govindachari, VP of Research & Innovation, Mindtree

This presentation drew a large crowd of both young and experienced gadget enthusiasts. The talk and discussion that followed helped us all better understand the scale and scope of IOT, what is to come, the players that are latched in, some of the challenges, thus helping participants get to the next level with their ideas, projects and startups.

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Sat, Dec 7, 2013 - Emerging Trends in Medical Gadgetry - Giriraju Sakappa, Sr. Manager, Siemens

This presentation drew Medical Gadget enthusiasts from all over the city. The discussion that followed centered around the readiness of the Indian market for innovative medical devices, solving rural healthcare issues and the challenges that businesses face when addressing these needs. Some areas for innovation were also discussed - from training village based care providers to simplifying gadgets to solving rural healthcare issues.

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Sat, Nov 23, 2013 - Innovation & Entrepreneurship - Pieces of the Puzzle - Dr. Simon Towers, VP, Center of Innovation, Infosys

Dr. Towers shared his experiences from Oxford, several Bay area companies, and highlighted the 7 step mantra for successful startups of today. augmented through his journeys at Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Adobe, and Infosys.

Sat, Nov 16, 2013 - Calling all TV Enthusiasts to Lab247 - Bangalore Smart TV software companies

Sat, Nov 9, 2013 - Calling all Embedded Enthusiasts @ Lab247 - Lounge47 Entrepreneurs

Sat, Nov 2, 2013 - Lounge47 Kickoff meeting, Building an embedded systems lab - Lounge47 Entrepreneurs

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