I've blogged earlier about Mobile Mondays and BarCamps in India. I believe that such unconference mode forums are key to building Indian Innovation ecosystem.
The premise is quite simple. Upto a few months back the biggest obstacle to building an Indian Innovation Ecosystem was lack of serious risk capital in India. Sure VCs have been around for some time but most were busy doing late stage or pre-IPO deals. By some estimates, less than 5% of the PE money that got invested in India was into early stage deals. This is fixed given several funds such as IDG, Helion etc have announced $ 100 M+ funds for early stage investments in India. Helion partner Sanjeev Agrawal was recently in news for 3 deals he's about to close soon! So money is a problem of the past.
Now the problem is the lack of a ecosystem platforms; forums where different people can meet and gain from each other. Ideas seldom make money on their own. Great ideas in fact are good ideas built on top of other good ideas. Similarly, a single person seldom is responsible for a success. More often than not, its a team that wins. All these meeting of ideas and people are possible only if good forums exist. TiE has been doing a good job in this respect for some time. But more is needed to build a momentum and to attract aspiring innovators. IMHO, Barcamps and Mobile Mondays can play that role.
Its nice to be able to back up opinion with action and I've been able to do that for some extent. Today both Mobile Monday Bangalore and Mobile Monday Hyderabad were held with TCS sponsorship. The last MoMo Bangalore and MoMo Mumbai were both sponsored by TCS. Next up is Barcamp Bangalore where close to 300 people have already registered for 200 seats! Again, we are happy to extend support. Next up are Barcamps Delhi and Pune. Both will be supported by TCS.
Hope to meet more interesting people and have rich conversations all through December.