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Reasons why proto.in should be in Pune

Proto.in LogoProto.in is the premiere conference for startups in India. The most recent edition was held in Bangalore last week. The next one is now being planned and the organizers are asking whether it should be in Pune or Mumbai.

Instead of making it simply a twitter popularity contest, I say let’s give them a host of compelling reasons why it must be Pune. In the comments to this post below, please suggest some good reasons why the next proto.in should be in Pune. I’ll collate the top reasons and create a new post out of them and forward it to the proto organizers.

To get you started, here are my reasons:

  • Pune the undiscovered country: If you go to a typical startup event (proto, headstart) in Bangalore/Mumbai/Delhi, you’ll run into the same faces over and over again. Pune is different. There is a lot that Pune has to offer that the rest of the ecosystem is not aware of (some examples below). Now would be a good time for proto to start the process of reaching out beyond the top 3 metros.
  • Pune is a hotbed of activity: Just look at the tech events calendar for Pune to get an idea of the various and varied activities. Multiple pages of them – note the Page 2, Page 3 etc at the bottom of that page.
  • Participation! PHPCamp, which was organized in and by Pune, attracted over 720 people from all over India. That’s right, 720 actual participants. It was 1000+ for Microsoft’s DevCon (organizers had to actually send some people back because there was just no space at the venue) and Acad DevCon. WATBlog Wednesday got its largest participation in the Pune edition (50% more than Mumbai and Bangalore editions).
  • Students: The future of the startup ecosystem is in the hands of students, and in our ability to get them interested in startups. And what better place to start that than Pune. We have boat loads of students. Who are enthusiastic and motivated. Gnunify a Free and Open Source conference organied mostly by students of Pune is expected to attract 600+ students.

These are the first few reasons that come to my mind. Please add to the list.

Update:

See the comments section for many more great reasons. A couple that I wanted to highlight right away:

  • Atul points out that: Pune has very few professional VC offices. VCs visiting Pune in the context of Proto.in might find obvious funding choices that they would have otherwise missed on.
  • Enthusiastic and others point out: It’s cheaper to organize it in Pune
  • Santosh points out: Pune OpenCoffee Club (550+) energetic Volunteers, Startups, and Entrepreneurs
  • and also: Doing it in Pune will definitely draw out techies in numbers for Startup Shotgun
  • and finally: Pune weather is far better than Bombay weather

And there are more below. And more keep coming in. If you are reading this in an email or RSS feed, please visit the website to see the full list of comments. You can subscribe to PuneTech comments feed (RSS, or email) too.

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Comments

15 responses to Reasons why proto.in should be in Pune

  1. * Educational & Research Institutes: Pune has always been a center for Higher Education & Research. Various Engg, Science, Management and Other Colleges provide a huge ‘human capital’, and the supporting ecosystem.

    * Few people know, but the IT revolution really started here in Pune. Infosys started in a small apartment in the Deccan Gymkhana area of Pune and later on moved to Bangalore. Like in the 1980s, present day Pune offers a great environment for startup companies.

    *A strong technology entepreneurial culture has been present in Pune for past 3 decades. Initially this was driven by manufacturing automation solutions to meet import substitute requirements and the automation needs of the local auto-majors. This was followed by process control and embedded systems in the 1980s and 1990s and eventually to IT in 1990s and the present decade.

    *Influence of global ideas – Other than the metros, Pune probably has the highest interactions with the global community. Pune is the leading center of German and Japanese learning in India. Given the large Automotive Multi-national presence, a large number of expats from Europe, North America and the Far-East visit and live here. Recently, Pune has also witnessed a big ‘reverse brain-drain’ with a sizeable number of professionals (post graduates and PhDs), enterpreneurs moving back to Pune after spending many years in US.

  2. krity deb says:

    I totally agree to whatever you have written in your post.

  3. Bhavya says:

    Pune has a big number of budding Entrepreneurs who look forward to put their innovative ideas and creativity into business.
    Proto.in will help them in sharpening their focus.
    They will also change the mindset of there youths,“From being a job seeker to a job creator”.
    I have seen Pune welcoming all such changes and adapting to new thoughts and work culture.

  4. Amit says:

    Pune has smartest,brightest and the most elite audience.

  5. atul says:

    Pune has very few professional VC offices. VCs visiting Pune in the context of Proto.in might find obvious funding choices that they would have otherwise missed on.

  6. Enthusiastic says:

    Its cheaper to organize a event in Pune as compared to Mumbai.

  7. Vibhushan says:

    Combination of ‘decent lifestyle at reasonable cost’ and ‘proximity to Mumbai’ makes Pune a very good choice for entrepreneurs.
    Mumbai is the city where most of the businesses (and advertisers for B2C businesses) have their headquarters. Business Development guys have to make frequent trips to Mumbai to get business. However given the high cost of living and operating an office in that city makes it difficult for entreprenuers who are bootstrapping their finances.

    Coupled with the amazing technical talent available in the city because of the numerous colleges in the city, it makes perfect sense to have operations in Pune and keep doing short trips to Mumbai for business.

  8. Well let’s see..

    1. We are an innovation hotbed in tech, and as if that wasn’t enough,
    2. Pune OpenCoffee Club (550+) energetic Volunteers, Startups, Entrepreneurs
    3. Doing it in Pune will definitely draw out techies in numbers for Startup Shotgun

    Practical reasons,
    1. Pune’s a lot cheaper to stay, even if the venue is in the heart of the city
    2. A lot easier to get around, the traffic isn’t a showstopper (yet)
    3. Great weather in Dec – Jan, not so bad in June

    - Santosh

  9. kk says:

    Its really nice place to work here rather than crowdy mumbai.

    I would like to say thanks to those people who brought IT companies in pune and give justice to Talented punekar.

    PUNE ROCKS……….

  10. Aditya Kuber says:

    Pune has a great variety of startups as opposed to some typical startups in other centres…

  11. Sujay says:

    As far as innovation and technology is concerned Pune ranks right up there along with Bangalore. More entrepreneurial ventures are from Pune as compared to Mumbai in connection with Web and Technology. There is a huge talentpool of engineers. Mumbai is more of a corporate capital. POCC is doing a great job in bringing everyone together and channelizing the efforts of Pune entrepreneurs.

  12. Pune is unique ! ..culture,people..perfect combo of all, Strong Education base which empowers Industry,Beside large Software Exports, Pune is also famous for Auto industry and not to forget Film Institute,NCL,NIC and Various Army Institutes..all doing great job..Pune is really a “Happening” place now !! :)

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