TechSparks 2019: On Day 2, keep an eye out for disruptors of the Indian startup ecosystem

TechSparks 2019: On Day 2, keep an eye out for disruptors of the Indian startup ecosystem

India’s most loved annual startup summit, TechSparks, has officially turned a decade old!

Amid much anticipation and excitement, the 10th edition of YourStory’s annual flagship event, TechSparks 2019, unfolded at Taj Yeshwantpur, Bengaluru, on October 11.

The two-day event, which is aimed at bringing together, promising business leaders, successful entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, changemakers, and policymakers from the startup ecosystem, has, over the past 10 years, become a melting point of innovative debates, discussions, and entrepreneurial talent.

And this year, which marks a huge milestone for the 10-year-old startup summit, is no different.

Day 1 kicked off with an inspiring keynote address by Dr C N Ashwathnarayan, Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka and Minister for Higher & Medical Education, IT & BT, Science & Technology. Often referred to as the visionary responsible for spurring innovation in the state, the minister spoke about the need for less government and more governance to promote a strong startup ecosystem.

“We need startups to turbocharge our growth engine,” he said, adding, “I firmly believe that we would see 50 more unicorns emerging from Bengaluru and participating in TechSparks 2024. I congratulate YourStory for the incredible support they lend to this promising startup ecosystem and for being the torchbearer of this startup movement.”

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Candid conversations and more

YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma joined Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the Founder and CEO of Paytm, to kickstart the day with a fireside chat. From the need for a cheerleader to authenticity, the duo candidly discussing a range of topics, starting from the digital payments war to the time Vijay met Jack Ma, the Co-founder of Chinese ecommerce major Alibaba.

The discussion took a completely different turn when Naveen Tiwari, Founder and CEO of InMobi, took the hot seat to field questions on entrepreneurship, the need to disconnect (which Naveen believes is not something an entrepreneur can afford), facing failures, and measuring success.

In his words: “The beauty of entrepreneurship is you fail until you finally succeed; the key is to learn how not to give up.”

The fireside chat with Naveen was followed by another round of candid conversation with Rajan Anandan, the Managing Director of Sequoia Capital. Rajan spoke about the next big thing – ecommerce – and the prospects surrounding this sector. He also offered an investor’s take on choosing the right sector/space and “building a big business”.

Among the usual suspects and the poster boys of the startup ecosystem, however, grabbing eyeballs and commanding attention on Day 1 was Bollywood actor-turned-entrepreneur Taapsee Pannu. Perhaps not many would know, but Taapsee is a coder who pursued a career as a software engineer before taking on the entertainment industry.

How did she chart this incredible journey, what’s her secret sauce, and what’s next on her plate? The actor-entrepreneur spilled all the beans during a tête-à-tête with Shradha Sharma.

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What to expect on Day 2?

In its tenth edition now, TechSparks has almost become synonymous with the Holy Grail of tech conferences. Bringing together more than 40,000 people and over 10,000 startups in the past, YourStory’s flagship startup summit has been instrumental in building over 15 lakh connections, creating 3 lakh+ jobs, and helping companies raise more than $1.2 billion in funding.

This year, the tech conference gets only bigger and grander. If Day 1 saw a legion of prominent speakers and business leaders dissect the current state of the startup community – keeping in mind the theme for this year, ‘India 2025: Inclusive, Future-ready, and Intelligence-led’ – Day 2 is set to raise the bar higher with an elite line-up of speakers.

Watch out for some really popular faces in the startup world, including Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO of OLA; Manu Jain, Vice President and MD of Xiaomi India; Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart; Kunal Shah, Founder and CEO of Cred; Sameer Nigam, Founder and CEO of PhonePe; and Sidu Ponnappa, Managing Director of Gojek India as they discuss the many ways in which they are disrupting the ecosystem.

Not to be missed is a fireside chat with actor Rajkummar Rao as he talks about his upcoming film during a session called, Made in India, with love to China - The Story of an Unlikely Entrepreneur.

See you all at TechSparks today!

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)

YourStory's annual extravaganza TechSparks brings together the best and the brightest from the startup ecosystem, corporate world, policymakers and, of course, the investor community. Over the past decade, TechSparks has grown to become India's most loved tech and startup platform for knowledge sharing and networking. A big thank you for all your support over the years and a big shoutout to our sponsors.

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