The afternoon of 23rd March 2017 at the IIIT Hyderabad campus was looking more than nimble. The hall was abuzz with the debates of young bright minds, probably the brightest in the city, their unconventional innovations and scintillating discussions. It was a marvelous gathering of entrepreneurs who gathered in order to revolutionize the startup ecosystem, to look for innovation and to laud the best ideas which would drive the nation towards betterment. The event was none other than Khoj 2017 Hyderabad by Z Nation Lab in association with T Hub at International of information Technology Hyderabad.
The event began with the opening remark by me, where I addressed the attendees and gave a small brief about the objectives that an ambitious venture like Khoj wishes to achieve. Later on, our Key Note Speaker, Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, who is the Secretary of Information Technology ( IT) for the Govt. Of Telangana, came and spoke about the Global startup scenario.
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 throughout the course of the event. The first one discussion was on the role of an investor in fuelling Indian startups, which was carried out by panellists of the likes of, Mr. Sanjay Jesrani, Founder and CEO of Go North Ventures, Mr, Venkat Vallabaneni, General partner of Parampara Capital, Mr, Velvick Verma, Board Member of Hyderabad Angels and Mr. Jairaj Meshru, Venture partner, Z Nation Lab who was the Panel Moderator for both the discussions. The second Panel discussion was on Building Innovation Ecosystem in India, which was carried out by panellists, Mr. Pradeep Mittal, TIE President Hyderabad Chapter, and CEO of Great Four Systems., Mr Ramesh Loganathan, Innovation Outreach Head, IIIT Hyderabad, Mr. Shrinivas Kollipara,Founder and COO, T-Hub and our Panel Moderator.
After the Panel discussions, startup pitches were up next. Entrepreneurs presented their ideas in front of a jury which consisted of Ms. Shridevi Devireddy, Mr. Naidu Darapaneni, Ms. Srini Chandupatla, Ms. Vinutha Rallapalli, Mr. Shreekant Perepu, Dr. Anu Gupta, Mr, Anup Mehta. A plethora of new ideas were discussed and every entrepreneur presented themselves in the most zealous manner possible. These budding entrepreneurs soared high beyond the myriad of mediocre startups and wowed the jury.
Primeauth was announced as the winner of Khoj 2017 Hyderabad which is now also one of our portfolio company, thus ending the magnanimous event. The event would not have been possible without our partners at Your Story, IIIT Hyderabad, Hyderabad Angel Network, Indian Angel Network, Startup Hyderabad, Ikeva, Mumbai Angels, Lead Angels, Headstart, My cute office and The Hacker Street.
Khoj, as the word suggests is a search for entrepreneurs, for ideas and most importantly for innovation. We conceptualized this 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 till date accelerated and funded about 12 startup Entrepreneurs in last one year. 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. It intends to bring together startups, educational institutes, government bodies, investors, mentors and Corporates under one roof to understand and help the entrepreneurship flourish in India. 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.
If you are looking at partnering or sponsoring our next khoj event. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.