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India Trip: Chennai, Mumbai, Pune

Posted on Tuesday, Apr 19th 2011
I have been traveling in India over the last week, and have done whole day events including live 1M/1M roundtables in Chennai, Mumbai, and Pune. It’s been really interesting to connect with so many entrepreneurs, as well as leaders of the entrepreneurship eco-system in these cities – my hosts. A few thoughts:
Chennai was my first stop, and we have since announced a partnership with TiE Chennai whereby 1M/1M and TiE will be working closely to significantly boost the eco-system. It includes a significant discount for TiE Chennai members for 1M/1M Premium. Chennai entrepreneurs have definitely made a transition to product companies, and I saw some promising ones, especially, Freshdesk, which I plan to recommend for the Microsoft India Startup Challenge Grant in the cloud category. Recap of the session here.
In Mumbai, I listened to 10 startup pitches in two hours, and as Sriram, President of TiE Mumbai said, I had to be like Sachin Tendulkar and hit every single ball. Takes a tremendous amount of concentration, but the entrepreneurs certainly made it worthwhile. Again, some interesting companies there as well. I haven’t written the recap yet, it’s coming.
In Pune, the best company I saw was Quadmo, which I will also recommend for the Microsoft India Startup Challenge Grant. Also cloud category. More details in the upcoming recap.
The cultures across the three cities is quite substantially different, but the over riding similarity is that these are confident entrepreneurs ready to figure things out. Much different from the India of even five years back. The gap with Silicon Valley is getting smaller and smaller, and I hope, with 1M/1M, we can reduce it further.
Thanks to TiE Chennai, TiE Mumbai, Persistent Systems, Indian Angel Network, IncuCapital, and Microsoft, as well as 1M/1M ambassadors Venkatesh Krishnamurthy, Praveen Karoshi, and Ruchika Abbi for pulling this together. I look forward to working with all of you, further.
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