I'm a Social Media Entrepreneur, Professor of Digital Marketing, Author of 5 books, Podcaster and an Organic Farmer.


Kiruba Shankar

Hosting the Innovation Jam at Proto.in

Today at Proto.in, I’m hosting a special Innovation Jam where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs will get an opportunity to build a start-up and raise funds all in under one hour.

For those of you who don’t know, Proto.in is one of India’s leading entrepreneurship events that brings together key stakeholders in the startups space : the entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and media.¬†Proto.in, over the years has showcased and inspired the Indian Startup community with some ¬†interesting startups that have come out of this ecosystem.
Theme : The theme is disaster management using Technology & Media. So the objective is to create a CSR product sponsored by Times Of India Group ,which helps both citizens and the government during calamities like floods, fires, terrorist attacks.

Flow of the Innovation Jam

1. After the brief is given ideas are first brainstormed upon by the crowd. All ideas – good or bad go up on a chart paper. The ideas to tackle this issue could be from across multiple sectors – including internet, software, a mobile application, a combination, GPS, a Geo coded app etc

2. All ideas are then voted upon. Each of the participants get 3 small stickers which act as votes. Each participant votes for the 3 ideas by sticking the stickers next to the ideas which he feels are the best. The top 3 ideas are chosen. Then, the entire audience is split into three team and each team is given one idea each. Their task is to build upon this idea with greater details. Each of the 3 groups then comes back and pitches their business plans to the investors + TLabs

3. .All 3 products are pitches with clear articulation on product, business plan and go to market strategy. Product, which will contain the complete feature set of the chosen idea to detail out how it will interact with various affected citizens, government agencies and NGOs to provide an effective solution to the problems faced during the disaster will come through as the winner. This will be chosen by the T-Labs team with Gaurav Saraf of Epiphany Ventures and Pradeep Tagare of Intel Capital. They will evaluate the idea, provides feedback for the same.

There are interesting prizes given to folks who come out with these ideas. The best part is that the best idea actually gets funded by real investors. The entrepreneurs then takes two weeks to spend quality time on the idea and come up with a realistic business plan that can be extention of ideas received in teh innovation Jam.

I’m really excited about this Innovation Jam. We did have it in earlier Proto.in events but this is the first time that ideas are seriously backed up. This coudl well turn out to the best of the Innovation Jams ever conducted at Proto.in. Can’t wait! The event takes place today (9th July) at Great Lakes Institute of Management between 3:15 and 4:15 pm. The event is supported by T-Labs, an early stage investor from the Times Internet Limited.

Here’s How My Speaking Schedule Looks

Conversation with students of MSU, Chennai, July 4th, 2008

The Michigan State University annually organizes a Summer Study Abroad Program and this time, select students are visiting South India. Their focus is on ‘Culture, Politics and Globalization’ and I’ve been invited to share my views. Technically, this isn’t a “speech” as in podium et al. It’s a more friendly coffee room discussion. It’s informal and I like it this way. Usually turns out much more interactive and productive. The program is organized by the wonderful Swarna Rajagopal, who taught at MSU and currently heads the Chaitanya Consultancy.

New Media Course , Chennai, July 4th till Nov 4th, 2008

Right after I finish the session with MSU students, I have to tackle the T.Nagar traffic to head to the SRM University‘s city campus to take my first class of the New Media course. My students are the Journalism students who are pursuing their Post Graduate Diploma. This course is spread over 4 months and I teach every Friday

It’s the second time I’ve been invited as a visiting faculty. The first time was to teach SriLankan Tamil Journalists who did their journalism course here. Thankfully, the new course is at their city campus in T.Nagar and unlike the last time, I don’t have to travel 80 kms each day to teach at their main campus in Kattangalathur.

India’s Premiere Entrepreneurship Event, Delhi, July 18 & 19, 2008

This is one event I’m absolutely looking forward to. With over 500 entrepreneurs, CEOs, VCs, Technologists in one place, it’s an event one wouldn’t want to miss. Along with Amit Somani, the Head of Search at Google India and a guy who oozes passion for product innovation, I’m organizing the Innovation BrainJam. This deserves a separate post but in a nutshell, its an exciting & pulsating shorter version of an unconference.

I’m also speaking at the event. I’m sharing the stage with Mahesh Murthy, a successful entrepreneur and investor. He is CEO of PinStorm and founder of SeedFund. We are talking on ‘The Art of Marketing The Startup‘.

The iCommons Summit, Sapporo, Japan. July 29- Aug 1, 2008

Imagine collecting 300 of the most passionate folks in Digital culture and free knowledge sharing from 64 countries and you can imagine the kind of energy and spirit buzzing around. The event brings together activists, change agents and new world social entrepreneurs to chart and reflect on a positive path for a more fair, more just, more creative world in the Information Age.

I’m wearing multiple hats here. As a speaker, I’m participating in the Video Lab and the Open Business sessions. As a Podcaster, I’ll interview some of the best minds at the event. As a journalist, I’ll cover the event for the Business Standard and The New Indian Express. More importantly, I hope to garner insights and ideas that I can bring back to India and share it with everyone.

The Asia Brand Summit, Mumbai, Sept, 25th & 26th, 2008

It’s a ‘by invitation’ event that aims to get together CEOs and Brand & Marketing heads. About 250 from India and another 250 from various countries. It’ll be a congregation of people behind some of the world’s most successful and sought out brands. The theme of Asia Brand Congress is “Communicating A Brand That Connects, Engages And Inspires Audiences” and I’m absolutely convinced that the online space plays a substantial role. I’ve been invited to sit on the ‘Advisory Panel’ and hope to actively contribute to the event. More importantly connect up with leading minds and soak up on inspiration.

Web 2.0 & Beyond Conference, Mumbai, October 16 & 17, 2008

I’m speaking on ‘Corporate Blogging and How can Businesses Benefit from it’, a topic that I’ll comfortably rattle out even if you wake me up in the middle of my sleep. It’s also a topic that I’m passionate about and I hope to impress the folks on the power of conversational marketing and online community building.

If you are coming to any of these events, do touch base with me. I’m available at 98415 97744 adn Kiruba at Kiruba.com. It’ll be good catching up.

Announcing ‘OpenCoffee Club’ in Chennai

This line says it all, “Place for people who love startups to hang out and meet”.

The OpenCoffee Club was started to encourage entrepreneurs, developers and investors to organize real-world informal meet-ups to chat, network and grow.

Sidhartha who is one of the guys behind Proto.in, has taken the lead in organizing an OpenCoffee meeting in Chennai. Sid is also a bootstrapper having quit his cushy job in Singapore, came back to Chennai to start his own firm.

Here are the details of the meet.

When? : 3pm, Sunday, Aug 5th

Where? Subway, New no. 147, G.N.Chetty Road, T.Nagar. Landmark: Opp Murugan Idli Shop.

It’s a good place to meet up with fellow entrepreneurs. So, if you are a bootstrapper or thinking of taking that dive, drop in. Got queries? Call Sid at 99400 36487 or mail him at siddharta[@]gmail.com.