Construkt Festival – Inspiring India

Recently held in Bangalore, India, the Construkt Festival was a 4-day conference for entrepreneurs and creators across tech, design, culinary and social communities. This convergence of like-minded people aimed to raise Bangalore as the startup capital of India. Sourcebits has about 200 employees working in our Bangalore office – so we went to show our support.

Saravana, Vineet and I attended the festival, and we had a great time meeting and speaking with startups like Alma Mater, Appiness, and Appiness, Atta Galatta. We found a kindred spirit in web/mobile development firm Langoor and their zeal for using design in problem-solving. We also enjoyed visiting collaborative art spaces such as Kalarasa and 1 Shanti Road, which are working to change the art scene in Bangalore.

Our team’s four favorite presentations ranged from fresh and innovative startups to heavy-hitting veterans. Read on to see what stood out, and what we learned.

1. Venturesity

With a Coursera-meets-job-pool vibe, Venturesity was all about connecting people to the right communities while simultaneously training them with the required skills. Venturesity was abuzz with activity and briefed everyone on their very successful business model and course content. Several of the younger attendees signed up for their design and data classes.

2. Kyron

An accelerator aiming to disrupt the startup ecosystem through more effective mentoring strategies, two of Kyron’s top mentors educated the attendees on what VCs and angels look for in a startup. In their presentation, much stress was laid on the importance of the team and how VCs would never fund a great product if they didn’t believe the team was capable of living up to it. All in all, it was a great place to interact with some veterans in the field.

3. Google

A trip to Google’s Bangalore office was available to 30 attendees who signed up in advance, including our team! In the first half hour, Sunil, the head of the Google Startup Outreach program, briefed attendees on the essentials for startups and emphasized getting your product into the marketplace early. The next half hour was taken up by a tour of the office, which included lounge huts, the famous cafeteria, and an on-site cricket field.

4. Microsoft Ventures

Two speakers presented on what is expected from aspiring entrepreneurs followed by some useful tips and tricks on how to pitch your idea. This was followed by an interactive session where attendees pitched various ideas and they would offer feedback and spot areas to improve.

One common theme stressed was the importance of freedom to your startup’s future. Several startups we spoke with were very selective about accepting funding in order to retain control over their direction.

The grand finale of Construkt was Aditi (a former Sourcebits designer) and her workshop on UX. Participants were split into groups and given commonplace objects, such as straws and pens, with an hour to come up with something revolutionary. Some of the final creations were very impressive and got the crowd thinking about the role of user feedback in improving the design of a product.

At the end, our team came away inspired, full of new ideas to share, and looking forward to the next Construkt Festival.