We are so happy that we can call ourselves entrepreneurs, which is something that not everybody has the mettle to do. But that’s why we are here! So you can also have the opportunity to turn your idea into a reality and be a part of the entrepreneurs community.
But “how is that possible?” you may ask. Good question. Well every year we goto over 20 cities in the country to find the best startups in the country, meeting a vast and dynamic group of individuals, overcoming barriers of language, culture and domains. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the DemoDay!
1st `July, 2017
Walking into Ginserv, I can see the venue dressed in orange, white and green; coincidentally the colors of the Indian flag. It really got stuck in the back of my head somewhere. I could see the team bustling around, setting up standees, registration desks, putting up posters and prepping the auditorium. The Facebook live videos from the previous night were indeed true. It was the same team that had been scurrying around the city, loading up supplies and getting ready for Demo Day.
I can see the Networking Zone getting decked up and as I get closer, I get distracted by some movement in the auditorium. To curb my curiosity, I change tracks and to my pleasant surprise, the startups that are to pitch that day, are already there, rehearsing. These people are intoxicated with an amazing energy, each trying to showcase the best of them and their enterprise, while getting schooled by Salma, their Head Mentor and our Founder. Grown men and women with a childlike passion for their products and services; you don’t get to see that everyday.
Amidst the scurried movements of the team and entrepreneurs, I see one absolutely calm figure tinkering around with the display and tech, periodically consulting the smart dial on his wrist and occasionally letting a smile escape his lips. Trust me, now whenever you see Vivek, you will know that it is him that I am talking about.
Just as I was getting comfortable with the environment in the auditorium, Saadhiya comes barging into the auditorium, going, ‘Eagle the desks are up and we’re good to go!!’ The response that she received from the organizing team present there, was overwhelming, and more than that, infectious. Salma instantly stormed out to give the rest of the team that had put their back into making the day happen a loud cheer and a pat on their back.
Like mouse to cheese, I too wanted to savour in this experience and soon followed suit. The desks had all been immaculately set for registrations and other formalities, the team was in place and at their positions, getting restless for the attendees to walk in, and the entrepreneurs that were to pitch that day had come out of the auditorium clapping and cheering the team, most of whom were impressionable young minds from VIT.
The stage was set, the actors had their parts and we were ready to begin.
Soon enough the attendees started to walk in, some pre-registered and others registering on the spot, everybody eager for a slice of Startups topped with energy and enthusiasm, never seen before. The networking zone started to fill up and the team got busy, registering them, showing them around and encouraging everybody to connect, making it a fruitful day, for not just the participants, but also the attendees. It is these networking sessions where deals are made and alliances forged.
Finally, as the clock struck 11, it was time to get the pitches started. Salma’s voice rang out around the venue and every man, woman and child there knew at that moment that it was time to get seated in the auditorium. The team instantly got to work, herding the enthusiastic entrepreneurs from every corner of the venue. As everybody settled into their seats, Salma took the mantle and welcomed the community home, because yes Startups Club is home to entrepreneurs here. She went on to introduce our Premium Pioneer Members, talking about their startups and showing them off like a proud veteran. Salma spoke brief but succinct words, introducing the jury, comprising Mr.Mahesh Bhalla, Vivek and herself. They shared their experiences and opinions, wishing the participating entrepreneurs good luck for the day and their future endeavours.
And soon it was time for the pitches to start, and you could see the nervous faces of the young men and women, light up with excitement, so much so that it was almost palpable. They were from various backgrounds, different business domains and separate motives, but the goal that day was one, the golden ticket to the DemoDay Finale! They knew they were all competitors that day and would be pitching to the jury to impress, but that didn’t mean that didn’t let things turn sour among them. Constantly encouraging and pushing each other to strive for more, there was a smooth roll down of 10 pitches, each showcasing an innovation in product or service.
The serious tone that had set in among the crowd when the pitches were on, soon turned into excitement as the pitches came to an end, discussing who would bag the trophy that day. The jury had removed itself from the auditorium and were in conversation behind closed doors to determine the finalist from Bangalore. They came back within 15 minutes and their entrance rendered the auditorium quiet. The crowd wanted to know who was the deserving startup, that would bag the trophy and a chance to pitch at the Grand Finale. Oh! yes, the finale is indeed grand with Master Classes to guide entrepreneurs and a platform for startups from all over the country to showcase themselves and build alliances across the country.
It was out, Anji Reddy with his on-demand hyperlocal delivery network for eCommerce, Dhivi Express, had won; proving that out of the pool of 10 super amazing startups and ideas, he had gone the extra mile to prove his worth. That didn’t discourage the other startups, as attendees and participants alike burst into cheers and applause for him. Today there might have been only one finalist, but everybody was a Winner!
P.S.: I am Dimitris, sharing my experience at Bangalore Demo Day as compiled by Sreejit.