The FB group with more than 6700 members, launches campaign to strengthen ecosystem in city
A community of city-based startups under the banner ‘Vizag Startups’ has launched a drive to conduct a study on success stories of Silicon Valley and other startup hubs in India and abroad so as to replicate it in Visakhapatnam.
Having realised that empty rhetoric to make Vizag a startup hub would only fetch them a pipedream, most of the startups came together in August 2014 to discuss their problems. Now they are using multi-blogging sites like Facebook and twitter to stay connected.
The Vizag Startups community since its birth has organised around 60 meetings, two hackathons and a few business plan competitions. It has got around 700 members as of now. The community has also provided summer internship to around 45 students (3rd year CSE) in various startups.
The FB group with more than 6700 members and meet-up group with 1,050 plus members is growing in size. The community is built upon mutual trust and cooperation to grow the ecosystem and bring various stakeholders onto a single platform.
The community is primarily guided by Raja Sekhar, founder, Eunoia Technologies and Alok Maheshwari, founder, Harmony Infotech. The key members are running their own startups and actively connected with the local ecosystem.
“Till date the community has been working informally but now the members are feeling that we need a more structured way to manage and arrange things so that we can improve upon the things currently ailing the local startup ecosystem,” Mr. Maheswari told The Hindu .
Based on feedback, the community started ‘Masala StartUpdum’ wherein those interested meet every second and fourth Friday over dinner. Two such meetings have been organised so far.
One of the important lacunae identified is lack of co-working and official meet-up places within the city area.
“Currently we are in talks with a few city-based business houses to provide us around 2000-4000 sft of space which can be built as ‘Startup Garage’. Under the Startup Ecosystem Study Programme, volunteers are being invited to study startup ecosystems across the world to see what is happening in other cities and what can be replicated. “Our motto for the study is replicate, catch up and then surpass. We have around 15 members signed up for it and each member will study five cities for 20 days and then prepare a report in 10 days. So in a month we should have an actionable report ready which will help us focus our energies. We are also ready to share the report with government agencies and other stakeholders,” Mr. Maheswari said.