I was dusting up my Couchsurfing profile today when I chanced upon these photos of Jimbo Wales, Wikipedia Founder, at our home in Chennai.
This was taken way back in February 2007 when we organized WikiCamp in Chennai. Jimmy Wales had come down to Chennai to keynote at this event. I hosted him for two days at my home when he was in the city. By then, I was already fascinated with the concept of couchsurfing. Infact, I briefly ran a site called ExtraBed, which was on the same lines as Couchsurfing but much more low tech. It ran on a mediawiki.
It was a wonderful experience hosting Jimbo. I was already fascinated with open knowledge and sharing and this experience only make a deeper impact on me. You should read this blog post about my experience.
I also did an audio podcast interview with him when he was at my home. An Interesting listen.
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.
Pecha Kucha is an unconference which encourages people to present their creative ideas. In the spirit of the season, it follows the 20:20 format. Each presenter should have 20 slides and not more than 20 seconds per slide. So, that’s 6 minutes and 40 seconds is all that a presenter gets. You can learn more about the event here.
Pecha Kucha is pronounced ‘Pe-chak-cha’ which in Japanese means chit-chat or the buzz of discussions.
Pecha Kucha has caught my interest for the main reason that it focuses on creativity. I’ve found that creativily bent people are some of the most interesting folks to meet. Unfortunately, there aren’t many events in Chennai that brings such folks together. PKN attempts to fill that void perfectly.
PKN has taken place in over 291 places around the world. The events takes place in diverse locations from a design studio to open lawns to pubs.
The PKN events are famous for creative posters that advertise the event. One such is here. We are looking for creative folks to design posters for the Chennai event. If you are game, please raise your hands. Would love to hear from you.
Yesterday a bunch of volunteers interested in bringing this global creative event to Chennai met up at Amethyst to plan for the event. We had a productive two hour discussion. It greatly helped that some of the folks had attended PKN in Tokyo, Seattle and Tampa and had some good learnings from those.
The PKN Chennai event will take place on May 15th. As for venue, we are checking out a few options. Alliance Francaise, Max Mueller Bhavan, Japanese Consulate, Madras House, a design studio in Alwarpet, a futuristic research and development lab in a large IT company and even a large badminton court. We will nail the venue in the next two weeks.
We are on the lookout for creative folks from diverse backgrounds. If you know someone, do sound them out about Pecha Kucha. If you are one, do consider presenting at the event.
More info on the event will be announced soon. Meanwhile, do check out the site http://www.Pecha-Kucha.org to learn more about the event and the format.
We now have a venue for FailCamp. Arul Mani, cofounder of TenthPlanet.in has volunteered to host the event at his office. The venue is located conveniently on Mount Road, opposite to LIC. You can look at the office pics here. Few pics of the venue can be seen here. (scroll down)
The event will take place on Sunday, 16th November. Please mark your calendars. (checked to make sure no festivals or cricket matches happens on the day. The 2nd ODI Ind vs Eng takes place the next day).
The way to go is really into niche unconferences. A bunch of young techie entrepreneurs have planned an event where mashup enthusiasts can come together and try out new stuff using Yahoo! Pipes. I spoke with Bhasker Kode, one of the brains behind the event and he tells me that the event will be a combination of a ‘talking heads’ and ‘hack nights’.
The event is taking place this Sunday (December 23rd). Yup, too short a notice. Ideally a month’s notice would have been better for the word to spread around.
Interestingly, the event is taking place at Koyambedu, a place better known for having Asia’s biggest vegetable & fruit market than for anything technology. I’m not complaining though. It’s closer home and for the first time I don’t have to travel all the way to the IT corridor to attend a tech event.
Check out http://pipescamp.pbwiki.com for more information.