Khoj 2017 Bangalore

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Bangalore is the mecca of the startup ecosystem in India. Khoj was organized by Z Nation Lab, in association with International Institute of Information Technology. We invited start-ups from Karnataka to apply for the one-day event and each participant got an opportunity to pitch their product and interact with mentors and investors from Z Nation Lab.

The conference hall at International Institute of Information Technology in Bangalore, where Khoj 2017 Bangalore was held seemed filled with enthusiasm and hope in the eyes of young entrepreneurs as the event was set to begin. The Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore is a city where we expect the best ideas from across the country to emerge was under the Khoj radar this time and Bangalore did not disappoint.

The event began with the welcome speech by Prof. S.Sadagopan – Director IIIT Bangalore and Mr.Ranjan Malik – Co-founder STORM the NORM Venture spoke about Storm the Norm by Design Thinking. The opening remark was given by me.

As the startup world is esoteric to many, it is required to have discussions, to steer clear of doubts and to give innovation and knowledge a room to grow. Hence there were 2-panel discussions that took place in the course of the event. The discussion was on The ecosystem for Entrepreneurship and Innovation – What do Indian start-up’s need to Grow and Prosper? Sandipan Chattopadhyay – Former  CTO – Just Dial, Manish Karlekar  – Senior Director – Data Analytics GE Digital, Raghav Bahl – Vice President Bessemer Venture Partners, Abhishek Loonker – Vice President Ascent Capital, Madanmohan Rao – Research Director – Yourstory Media, Jairaj Mashru – Venture Partner Z Nation Lab as the Panel.

The 2nd discussion was in the second half of the event which was on -Rise of new business models and niche opportunities – building businesses on customer-centric unit economics with Satish Mugulavalli – Director Yournest Venture Capital, Shreyas Chandra – Keiretsu Angels, Brij Bhasin – India Investment Lead at Rebright, Paarth Dhar – Unicorn Ventures, Nidhi Gupta – Inventus capital, Javan Kuruvilla – 1 Crowd, Kamal Deep – Indian Angel Network, Vaitheeswaran K. – Father of e-commerce, Amrita Gandikota– Startup Evangelist IGCC and Jairaj Mashru – Venture Partner Z Nation Lab

In the course of the event, Startup pitches were up next. With more than 85 entries received the most competent were chosen to have their ideas pitched in front of the panel. Entrepreneurs presented their ideas in front of a jury which consisted of  Vinod Kalkotwar – Founder and President Kalozal Consultants Pvt. Ltd. Deepak Agrawal – AVP Ideaspring Capital, Vijaya Kumar Ivaturi  – CTO – Crayon Data, Archana Priyadarshini – Venture Partner  Unicorn India Ventures, Mayuresh Raut – Co-founder and Managing Partner SEA Fund, Ram G. – Venture Partner, Z Nation Lab in a room that was filled with 45+ investors. A plethora of new ideas was discussed and every entrepreneur presented themselves in the most zealous manner possible.

Clean Slate was announced as the winner of Khoj 2017 Bangalore thus ending the magnanimous event. The event would not have been possible without our partners at Your Story, IIIT-B, Lead Angels, My cute office, The Hacker Street, tech hub, Invest India, Fame technology and 100 open Startups.

Khoj, as the word suggests is a search for entrepreneurs, for ideas and most importantly for innovation. Khoj is a venture of Z Nation Lab curated in order to nurture and support worthy ideas in order to infuse innovation into SME’s MSME & Corporates in India. Innovation is at the core of Khoj, where the idea is to bring together the entire ecosystem to collaborate, network and to find the right connects. It is a competition where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and present themselves in front of a jury of investors and entrepreneurs alike. The one, most deserving startup will be called to Mumbai for the finals where they stand a chance to obtain funding, tech validations, scaling up opportunities and Z Nation Lab partnership programs as well.

We conceptualized Khoj with an aim to revolutionizing the startup ecosystem especially in tier-II cities in India and I am so overwhelmed with the feedback we received so far not only from the startups but also from all our university partners and mentors.  We have conducted KHOJ initiative across multiple cities in India and have to date accelerated and funded about 12 startup Entrepreneurs in the last one year.

Looking for partnering or sponsoring our next khoj event?

Do write to me directly at

About Author