StartupRoots: A great event and some awesome rounds of funding

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Today I went to StartupRoots organized by The NextBigWhat team, in partnership with 10,000 startups. I was in two minds when I heard about the event, but when I saw Ravi Gururaj was going to speak at that event, I decided that I have to go. Here's what I saw and my views. Apart from all the great things that took place there, the highlight was the shark tank event where four early stage companies were given an opportunity to pitch to the sharks who had promised to make a funding offer to the company right there on stage if they liked the idea.

Very informal and honest:
Very few events I can say make you feel they're authentic and honest and at the same time they give you a closeness of sitting in a coffee shop with the speakers. This event was exactly that. Hats off to Mukund Mohan for making the environment so lively with his witty humour and liveliness.

Honesty and open-ness of the sharks:
When it comes to asking questions and giving feedback, it was a really open and honest interaction. I felt that Mukund played a really important role in asking right questions on behalf of the audience and the founders and the sharks were very honest about their feedback.

All four startups were funded:
All startups were supposed to come and make an offer for giving a stake in their company for a certain sum of money. I was really happy that the sharks made counter offers where companies weren't able to convince them and the founders accepted the counter offers. The counter offers did seem fair. Ravi Gururaj explained the nature of why the counter offers were made. They looked reasonable and fair.

Is the format right:
There was so little time given to the startups and I felt some of them weren't getting to the point quick enough or talking about what the sharks were looking at. Get to the point people and be really clear on why you're doing this and what you need the money for. The questions asked by the sharks were on similar lines. I think it would have helped if the startups were given a basic format to stick to so at least the basics will be covered.

Are there really buzz words:
I do think that there are buzz words. I mean if something is hot, business that ride the wave will find it easier to make money. So there's nothing wrong with buzz words. However startups forcing buzz words into what they're doing when it really isn't riding the wave, to me, looks like the wrong way to try to make a pitch. These sharks seemed pretty experienced to differentiate the two and asked the right questions.

Effective elevator pitch of hunches:
I wonder how so much of funding was done so quickly (7 mins per startup). Do the sharks have a strategy to evaluate against, or have they done some homework before coming .. I think they have their secrets. In some cases they didn't promise the whole funding in a single round so they offered it as a two stage investment if the company met the milestones after the first round. Also, Ravi said he had heard one of the startups pitch at a different place. So I guess its a bit of hunch and a secret evaluation criteria. If the money is a lot they might go into a lengthy evaluation, otherwise they might stage the investment.

Overall, I was excited to see so many companies trying to create something new. The sharks were very encouraging and fair. I caught up with Ravi after the event. As always, it was great talking with him .. some useful insights to learn. Here are some pictures from the event.

After the event I saw so many startups talking and mixing with the sharks. I think it made for a good informal way to discuss ideas, learn from sharks and meet new people. I learned a lot and am happy that such great events are taking place in India. Looking forward to some great companies.

Update 1: Here's a link to who got funded by how much. Thanks for the detailed information NextBigWhat team :),
Nice pictures as well.