A Weekend at IIM, Bangalore

One Sunday morning, I got an email stating – “Your team has been selected for the Bootcamp in Eximius 2013 in IIM-B, the largest entrepreneurship summit in India”.

It all started a few months back, when one of my friends suggested me to participate in the Bootcamp in Eximius, an annual entrepreneurship summit in the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. I had submitted Musicperk, an initiative by me & some of my friends for Bootcamp. Bootcamp is an event that has “booths” or stalls by various ventures within the country(both by students & full-time entrepreneurs). It also has dedicated sessions essential for the bootstrapping a firm as well as sessions by successful entrepreneurs, professors from IIM-B which can help you run a successful organisation.

I looked at the IIM-B event website and realised that it contained multiple events for B-School students as well as some workshops, guest lectures and keynote talks. Our team decided to participate in the Bootcamp, an event for start-ups from India. I and Venkat decided to start-off for the two-day event. We couldn’t have a stall as we had very less time to prepare for it. I realised that Kiran Bedi, one of the eminent personalities of the country, was giving the inaugural speech with Kris Gopalakrishnan(Co-founder, Infosys) as the keynote speaker for the event.

We started off on 10th August,2013 early morning for IIM-B. It was atleast 20 Km journey but I realised Bannerghata road was far more developed than what I had imagined it to be.

The first thing you notice about IIM-B is the lush green campus –  I unusually found it similar to IISc, Bangalore. We first attended a social-entrepreneurship business plan event(of course I was just a part of the audience) where students from across the B-schools in the country presented business plans on social entrepreneurship focussed mainly on using the experience the 60+ age group to develop businesses.

Kiran Bedi lighting the lamp, a symbol for a great start
Dr. Kiran Bedi lighting the lamp, a symbol for a great start

The highlight of Day 1 was definitely the inaugural talk by Dr. Kiran Bedi – a social activist, the first woman IPS officer, Founder of Navjyoti India Foundation(an NGO for welfare and preventative policing) and India Vision Foundation(an NGO for prison reformation, drug abuse prevention and child  welfare) and also the recipient of Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1994 for Government service. The talk was on her life and experiences from it where she highlighted her experience in India – as a student excelling in Tennis as well as academics, as an IPS officer from the early 1970s, her work in as Civilian Police Advisor in the United Nations, her role as an Inspector General of Prisons and prison reformation, the techniques she had jused for controlling Delhi traffic(one can never forget the famous towing of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s car for parking violation), vipassana meditation and her role through reformation and welfare programs in 1990s and 2000s. The most important take-away from this talk was the importance of discipline and how it help you strive your goals in life. It was easily one of the best talks I have listened to.

The afternoon went on with a discussion with the rest of the startups in the Bootcamp. Each of them pitched in their start-ups, discussed some of the problems they face in the day-to-day life. I met many interesting people including  Shashank – a full time entrepreneur who was working on an Cloudsgreen – a startup working on the amazing idea of digital printers.

The evening started off with the keynote speech by Kris Gopalakrishnan – Co-founder, Infosys. This talk wasn’t based on his own story but on 3 stories in which he had played a role – in his own way. The three stories were about Panindra Sama(Founder, Redbus.in – a personality everyone would look up to), Sanjay Vijaykumar(Founder, MobME and Startup Village) and the Infosys story. The highlight of the talk was on Startup Villlage – an incubation cell based of Kerala, which has not only reformed the education in Kerala but has also produced hundreds of entrepreneurs every year.

Day 2 was much unexpected and it totally refined the way I think. I had expected it to be a day full of sessions by guest speakers. Instead, the day had sessions by IIM-B Profs. It started off with an introduction to NSRCEL, an IIM-B incubation cell, some of its ventures including Just Books, one of Bangalore’s finest rental libraries. There were sessions on pricing, pitching, marketing and experience from start-ups. It is always great to learn from your own experiences as well as experiences from others.

The weekend was well spent in IIM-B learning things, meeting new people and getting a better idea of how things work.

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