Parallel sessions on technology and business

Our Bureau

Chennai, Jan. 14 How to conquer the world and how to move on if everything attempted fails, is what awaits those with fire in the belly at the third edition of Proto.in, a two-day event starting January 18 that will be held here.

This start-up forum that has been bringing together industry professionals, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and start up companies in its previous editions, will host two parallel sessions — on technology and business — involving topics such as what should form the crux of a business plan, legal aspects concerning a start-up, role of a mentor in a start-up, how to leverage social applications and product and design outlook for a new product launch.

“The first edition of Proto was perceived as a platform for start-ups to get funding. However, that was not the purpose and it has become clear now,” says Mr Vijay Anand, Founder, Proto.in. Of the 57 companies showcased so far at Proto, 40 have already achieved a turnover of over Rs 1 crore because they found business partners and clients at these events, he told Business Line.

Speakers include Mr Atul Chitnis (Geodesic Information Systems), Ms Laura Perkin (National Entrepreneurship Network), Mr Ravi Narayan (Mentor Partners), Mr Chintan Mehta (Yahoo), Mr Bijoy Singhal (Microsoft) and Mr Alok Kerjiwal (Games2win.com). Google will make available its recently launched mobile development platform Android and open social graph platform Open Social to entrepreneurs at the event.

Seventeen companies, including two from the US and one from South Africa, have been short-listed for the event that will see participation from about 24 venture capitalist firms. Besides the expected participation from internet, mobile, telecom and software based companies, the event will see few companies from domains such as construction and media showcase their business plans.

Google is the premier sponsor for the event and Yahoo, Sun Microsystems, National Entrepreneurship Network, IAMAI, Nasscom and TiE have extended support.

Proto.in, a forum for start-ups and associated professionals, plans to create a ‘start-up alliance’ that will help small, recently formed companies recruit college graduates. Star-ups usually require a handful of candidates and taking the campus placement route is not feasible.

“Through this alliance we can pool in individual start-up requirements to have a sizable number of candidates before approaching colleges,” said Mr Vijay Anand, Founder, Proto.in. The first such alliance is planned in Chennai and 15 start-ups have already signed up, he told Business Line.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 15, 2008)
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