Portal to make dreams a reality

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The atmosphere buzzes with energy as close to 70 to 80 aspiring entrepreneurs fill up the room at IIIT-H at another meetup of Startup Saturday which takes place every second Saturday of the month.

Any startup worth its salt or individuals with a saleable idea can be found at one of these sessions to get a sneak peek into what it really means to make that dream company a reality. The bustling vibe of successful and aspiring entrepreneurs is ample inspiration for anyone with ambitions of creating a startup feel like great things happen in the tech space.

During such events, ideas abound at co-working venues and spaces across the city like Lamakaan, Collab House, iKeva, PurpleTalk, Jxtapose, apart from T-Hub. Most venues are filled to the brim with people which sees speakers from diverse fields such as ed-tech, food tech, healthcare, social enterprises, data analytics taking some time out to share some nuggets of their experiences and even spitballing ideas while at it.

“I remember one of the speakers just threw out an idea once and asked the audience’s suggestion on it. Like whether it would work or not. Such things really open up the conversation in a big way and you get a variety of perspectives,” says Hamad Jowhar, co-team member and an entrepreneur himself who has been associated with Startup Saturdays since 2014.

Startup Saturday is one of the major meetups which happens in the city, which is one of the initiatives of Headstart Hyderabad. Started in 2007, it’s generally limited to two-three-hour sessions, with city-based speakers speaking on a relevant theme. “A lot of struggle is also avoided this way,” says Hamad.

Designing proper meals, developing a particular application, understanding bootstrapping, funding, accelerators, and, most importantly, how to get that idea off the ground — an individual gets all this information on a platter, one could say.

Often, participants have gone on to become speakers at sessions they attended. Rahul Kanuganti, founder of city-based Flytta, remembers attending one such meetup as a 21-year-old fresher, just out of college.

“Firstly, the knowledge you gather is tremendous, say the speaker is from healthcare, but your idea revolves around technology, you get to know about how he went about pitching his idea to potential investors which is same across the fields,” shares Rahul.

The kind of networking opportunities is also another plus point. “Most people who come here are looking for mentors. Also, a lot of fresh talent ends up being hired here,” adds Rahul whose team comprises people he hired from attending one of these meetups.