Monthly Archives: April 2010

POCC Meeting: How to pitch your startup – Samir Patel: Sat, 1st May

What: Pune OpenCoffee Club meeting on how to pitch your startup, by serial entrepreneur Samir Patel.
When: Saturday, May 1, 5:30pm
Where: e-Zest Office Terrace, 2nd Floor, Anand Nilay Business Center, Near Karve Statue, Karve Road, Kothrud. Map (thanks Hetal)
Registration and Fees: This event is free for all to attend. No registration required.

Pune OpenCoffee Club - POCC Logo
POCC is an informal group of the Pune Startup ecosystem. It contains more than 2300 people who either have their own startups, or want to start one, or provide some service (or funding) to startups. Click on the logo to find all punetech articles about the POCC

Samir Patel is a New York based serial entrepreneur, who is visiting Pune and we have arranged a talk by him about how to pitch your startup, and why you need to fine-tune your pitch (the investor pitch, the high concept pitch, the elevator pitch). Some of you might remember Samir from a POCC presentation last November.

Samir is the Founder of, a social marketplace designed for connecting customers with questions to their social network, reviewers and sellers in the context of a question. Earlier, he co-founded SearchForce that helps manage search marketing campaigns in a burgeoning $6 billion yearly market with its algorithmic trading platform. At iPIN, later acquired by Valista for $50+ million, he designed the world’s first open scalable mobile payments platform. Samir also crafted the go-to-market strategy for eBay’s apparel division, which is now a $500 million business unit and growing. He architected efficient systems for Stanford Graduate School of Business in the area of analytics, courseware management and security. Much quoted in CNN, BusinessWeek, Reuters and Mercury News, Samir has a B.S. in Computer Science and an MBA in Brand Marketing from Cornell University.

During his 2009 sabbatical, he walked solo for 1000 kilometers in the wild Himalayas and circumambulated the Narmada river just with two pairs of clothes and little money. He also serves as a volunteer at ManavSadhna and Gramshree at Gandhi Ashram and has started for the long term sustenance of Mother Narmada.

Outline of the Talk

Investors donât invest in businesses. They invest in stories about businesses. If you want to raise money on favorable terms, you need multiple investment offers. How do you get multiple offers? Tell a good story to several investors at the same time. A good story can’t sell a pile of garbage, but it will keep a gem from going unnoticed. You can tell a story in a sentence; you can tell a story in a paragraph; and you can tell a story in a 20-minute pitch. Startups need to do all three.

Traction: What is traction

Introductions to Investors:

  • Why do I need an introduction?
  • How do I get an introduction?
  • Who makes the best introductions?
  • Who makes the worst introductions?
  • What should I send middlemen?

High Concept Pitches:

  • What’s a high-concept pitch?
  • What makes a good high-concept pitch?
  • Why should I write a high-concept pitch?
  • Aren’t high-concept pitches too simple?
  • From incoherent to high-concept

Elevator Pitch:

  • What’s an elevator pitch?
  • Why should I craft an elevator pitch?
  • Dissecting the elevator pitch
  • Elevator pitches with bullet

The Deck:

  • What’s a deck?
  • The best deck template in the universe
  • Tell a story with the slides
  • Format your deck


  • Can I get investors to sign an NDA?
  • Pros and cons to sending a deck
  • Your deck can get in the hands of the competition
  • When to send a deck

Outline adapted from Venture Hacks, ‘Pitching Hacks’

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Interview with Nitin Sonawane – co-founder of Tap ‘n Tap

(Last month, Tap ‘n Tap, a Boston based startup that has a development center in Pune, and which aims to “bring multiple iPad competitors to the market”, announced that it has raised $2.25 million in Series A funding led by New Atlantic Ventures. PuneTech interviewed Nitin Sonawane, co-founder of Tap ‘n Tap, and an ex-Pune-Nashik-ite, who is currently visiting Pune.

For more background on Tap ‘n Tap, see this MIT Tech Review article and this this detailed profile from

Disclaimer: Navin is a consultant for Tap ‘n Tap, and hence the PuneTech blog never covered Tap ‘n Tap, in keeping with PuneTech’s editorial policy. However, a Series A funding round is a rare and significant enough occurrence, that we felt justified in post.)

Nitin, congratulations on getting funded. Can you give us an overview of what Tap ‘n Tap does?

Nitin Sonawane is a co-founder of Tap n Tap. Having worked in Pune for a while before moving to the US, he knows from personal experience that Pune has lots of high quality talent available.
Nitin Sonawane is a co-founder of Tap 'n Tap. Having worked in Pune for a while before moving to the US, he knows from personal experience that Pune has lots of high quality talent available.

Tap ‘n Tap is a software and user experience design company. We are building a complete OS for Web connected Tablet devices. Tap ‘n Tap was founded almost two years ago, long before Tablet’s were cool. We envisioned a category of handheld touchscreen devices to conveniently enjoy best of the web at home.

Today people connect to the internet primarily through PCs and smartphones. PCs, while powerful, are not always-on and nearby where people spend time at home. Smartphones, while great on the go, have small displays that limit website viewing. Tablets fill in this gap in our enjoyment of the web at home.

Tablets can be permanently kept in high-traffic areas of the home on the wall or tabletop, and will be always-on while docked. The devices can also be removed from their dock and used in handheld mode at the kitchen table, on the sofa, in your bed, or anywhere in the home.
We believe these devices will become part of the daily life of a family and shared by everyone.

So your product is actually a handheld device targeting family audience for home use. Are you a hardware or a software company, or both?

Tap n Tap is building a full software stack for bringing touch based Home Internet Devices to the market.
Tap 'n Tap, which recently raised $2.25 million, is building a full software stack for bringing touch based "Home Internet Devices" to the market, with the help of their development team in Pune

Good question. We are actually a software and user experience design company. On a Tablet device a great user experience is critical. Now while the UI is what the user sees, behind it needs to be extremely well engineered software.

So Software and User Experience is our core competence. We are partnering with multiple hardware manufacturers, including OEMs, to bring our software solution on their devices.

I believe you’ve been working on this for a while now – before Apple announced the iPad. How does Apple’s entry into this market, and and apparent success of the iPad affect it?

We see the iPad as a very positive development for us. Apple has now established that there is a market for Tablets, and lots of other large players want to follow. We believe we are in a unique position to help them get to the market fast with a high quality product that will be needed to be able to compete effectively.

Apple is a large company which would have put in tons of resources to come up with its offering. How does a small company like yours match up to it?

Our software stack is based on the Android framework. So we are leveraging the work that Google and other open source developers have done for Smartphones. This allows our team to focus on what we really want to focus on – which is to build a really compelling and “wow!” Tablets . While we focus on the core of the Tablet product, Android also allows us to bring great third party applications written for Android smartphones to the Tablet world

If that is the case, what is the barrier to entry for any small company to come up with a similar offering?

History has repeatedly proved that building a really compelling and “wow!” product is very difficult. It cannot be done by just throwing a bunch of developers at it. What is needed is an intersection of top quality design and some really challenging technical problem solving to implement that design. Designing a great user experience requires some very smart usability people, and is something that developers, or “average” “ui designers” cannot really do; and implementing it to perfection requires very talented engineers, and is something that average engineers fail at. What happens when the design calls for capabilities that don’t really exist in the underlying software platform? What happens if a particular feature runs a little too slowly on the given hardware? An average-to-good developer will tweak the design to fit within the limitations of the software/hardware, and in the process killing the user experience without even realizing it. A great engineer will go to great lengths to make it happen without compromising the integrity of the design.

And you think that kind of talent is available in Pune?

Absolutely! Pune definitely has both, the design talent pool and the developer talent pool that can build a product on par with the best in the world. We have already formed the seeding team of both types of people and are actively looking at adding to it.

The process of setting up such a team has been both challenging and fulfilling. Our selection criteria went beyond the traditional ones of experience and software skills. We hired people with the ability to simplify complexity, very good problem solving skills and the ability to come up with multiple solutions to difficult problems and select the one that will appeal to users. Needless to say, they also looked for the ability to work under pressure that start-ups demand. We continue to look for the right talent to add to this strong team.

Why did you pick Pune? How did you go about it?

Pune has long been a high-tech center with a lot of world class colleges in the vicinity. There is high quality talent available and I happen to know this first hand :-).

We decided that for ramping up quickly, instead of starting from scratch, we would be better off partnering with some startup in Pune who could help us build our team. We picked Clarice Technologies because it had a very strong background in both core software technology, as well as usability and user interaction design – a combination that is not only difficult to find, but also absolutely essential to the success of Tap ‘n Tap.

The team in Pune is integrated with the team in Boston, we’re involved in all the hiring decisions, and as far as we are concerned, every member of the team is a Tap ‘n Tap employee.

Also, we are not viewing the India team as a source of cheap labour for low-end work. We want to tap the Pune talent pool and are willing to pay for it. The team here has the entire responsibility for a bunch of modules of the software stack. This includes everything, right from conceptualization of that the requirements for the module would be, to architecture, design and implementation. If you take a look at some of the things our team here has done, you’d think it came from Google or Apple. Their work so far is really world class and we expect that to continue and grow.

Intervew with Chetan Deshmukh: Hollywood Animator who returned to start-up in Pune

(In recent years, Pune is emerging as a hub for animation studios. Chetan Deshmukh, who was working in the top animation studios in Hollywood, returned to Pune a few years ago to set up his own studio, Toolbox Studios. PuneTech caught up with him at his lovely office on S.B. Road, which combines the old world charms of a Puneri wada with the latest technologies, in an attempt to provide workplace that inspires creativity. In this interview, we talk to him about what he’s hoping to achieve, and about Pune’s status as an animation hub)

Can you share with us your story, from the time that you landed up picking animation as a career choice, up to now that you’ve founded Toolbox Studios

Chetan Deshmukh gave up his engineering degree to pursue a career in animation in Hollywood. After having gained experience there, he returned to Pune to start his own animation and visual effects studio.
Chetan Deshmukh gave up his engineering degree to pursue a career in animation in Hollywood. After having gained experience there, he returned to Pune to start his own animation and visual effects studio.

Well…It all started of way back in 1993, when I was in my 10th standard. For me being in Animation and Visual Effects, credit goes to my Father, Anand Deshmukh, who is FTII Graduate and a film maker for last 20 years. I grew up around shooting, Editing, Dubbing, Music and post production. So the liking towards the industry was inevitable.

I was a decent student in school and as it used to happen that career was pretty much a group decision then – after 10th, Science and Engineering. It was decided – I would doing the same. However, after 2 years at MIT, Polymer Engineering, I was more than sure that the Animation is the career I want to go for. The hobby in earlier years had turned into profession. Without any guidance, I was getting pretty decent at animation and started contributing towards our studio activities.

I will not call myself a perfectionist, but I do believe in doing things in a best way possible. My dream of going to Hollywood to learn was taking shape. I got an admission at a film school at UCLA in 1999. After graduation, I had to work hard to get my foot in the industry. In my tenure of 4 years as a professional Visual effects artist and Animator, I worked at several studios in Hollywood. Chicago, Last Samurai, Daredevil, Shanghai Knights, torque, Timeline and few more are the feature films to my credit.

Hollywood is such place that you never get enough of, ever. I was learning everyday; but at the same time, my desire to start my own studio was growing bigger. Visual Effects and Animation was the topic in India 4-5 years ago and industry was about to take off. With this desire, I decided to come back and started off with my own small animation and visual effects shop called Toolbox Animation Studio.

What exactly does Toolbox studios do, and what are your future plans?

TOOLBOX is a Visual Effects house and Animation Studio, serving the Motion Picture, Animation and Interactive Industry from its home in Pune, India. With Creativity and Technical ability housed together, TOOLBOX offers a ONE-STOP facility for all their Animation and Visual effect needs.

Toolbox Studios is an animation and visual effects studio, that uses digital imaging technologies to provide animation, gaming and effects services, and to develop original content.
Toolbox Studios is a Pune-based an animation and visual effects studio, that uses digital imaging technologies to provide animation, gaming and effects services, and to develop original content.

Our work is the story or has to support the story. Sometimes our work is completely invisible and perfectly integrated, and sometimes simply defying reality. We believe in using science to create art which has particular a magic element to it, with certain appeal for both sides of the human brain.

Our Studio’s commitment to researching and mastering the latest digital imaging technologies allow us to create unique and creative visuals that uphold Toolboxâs reputation as cutting edge contributor to Animation, Gaming and Visual Effects Industry in India and Overseas.

We as in Toolbox, have been laying low till date. I have taken my own sweet time to ensure that work environment is right, work standards are at par with the world and we deliver quality on time. Animation and Visual effects is a collaborative business I feel. After 6 feature films to our credit along with several TV Commercials, we are branching out. We are hoping to hold hands with studios in Germany, Sweden, Paris and United Stated.

As far as animation is concerned, we have always imagined ourselves as content creators and not mere service provider. That’s in motion as well.

A company going Public, is a future to aim at.

Recently you acquired the rights to the cartoon character Chintoo. People from Pune or elsewhere in Maharashtra have grown up with Chintoo, but our other readers might not be familiar with the iconic status of Chintoo. Can you give us some idea of why you acquired the rights to Chintoo, and what you plan to do with the Chintoo character?

To me, Animation is just another medium to tell a story. And to do that convincingly, what you need is a very strong content. Along with that, what we look out for while designing or animating a character is that it should be emotionally believable. Only then people can relate and react to it.

Chintoo is a very popular comic strip that has been running in many newspapers across Maharashtra, Karnatak, etc. since 1991. Toolbox Studios have acquired the rights to produce and market new Chintoo content.
Chintoo is a very popular comic strip that has been running in many newspapers across Maharashtra, Karnatak, etc. since 1991. Toolbox Studios have acquired the rights to produce and market new Chintoo content.

Chintoo along with his family and friends certainly has that quality. With the history of last 20 Years, Chintoo has strong base as far as content is concerned. Chintoo is running in Kannada for last 4 years apart from Marathi. It’s been enjoying the same success in Kannada as it did and does in Marathi. That pretty much rules out the language barrier. Chintoo addressed common problems of kids along with parents which happens practically in every home in India. with certain Cultural differences that we have, a small tweak would keep the humor alive I hope.

Likability and emotional quotient are the factors which are way bigger than the language I feel. Also Chintoo does not have a surname. It is a very funny, smart, witty, humorous character which exists in all colors that we have in India. In a nutshell, I see lot of potential for Chintoo in animation.

To begin with, we would be developing 30-second Chintoo animation clips for TV, Mobile and Web. A social community portal along with games and many more interactive experiences is underway for chintoo at Work for TV Episodes will start by next year. Final aim would be to produce an Animated feature Film of Chintoo.

In trying to do all that you would like to do here, what are your primary challenges?

It’s been 4 years that I have been back and started off with Toolbox. Awareness for animation has not grown as it should have. To find a talent is a major challenge. Education is absolutely no way near the mark.

Apart from that the Mindset is a huge primary challenge. Mindset of the employees or students and along with that of the investors. People have been looking at animation as an easy career or an opportunity to earn quick buck without much to do for. We might be in for a rude awakening.

I believe you are using a lot of open source tools in your work. Can you give some details of what technologies/software packages you’re working with? And, as far as I understand, you are not a software development shop, and you don’t really have developers. So how are you coping? And is there some way in which the open source community in Pune can help you?

I have been fortunate enough to work at best studios in the world to see, observe, and learn their pipeline closely. I Have been trying to implement the same here in Pune at Toolbox. We do say that technology can never replace craft but the kind of technology which is available today is taking the animation and visual effects to a different orbit all together. We look at software or hardware as a tool to create whatever we imagine.

We are using Side Effect Software’s Houdini, Autodesk Maya, Eyeon’s Digital Fusion as our primary animation and vfx tools. Real flow would be another example which we use for liquid dynamics. C, C ++ would be the initial skillset which is needed. but in recent past most of the above mentioned programs have adopted “Python” as a core scripting language.

We understand the power of using open source programs where we can customize and create our own tools to suit a particular requirement. But not being a software development shop, process becomes a bit tough. We are developing our own skills all the time. We are fortunate enough to have few artists with inclination towards programming, who are getting trained in this domain. But I would rather let them animate, which they are good at. Open Source community can certainly of great help here to find technologists – who are an integral part of any animation and visual effects studio.

In recent years, Pune has emerged as an “animation hub”. Can you give us a feel for why Pune is being called an animation hub, and what advantages Pune has over other places for animation companies.

It’s been more than 3 years that a committee was setup for Animation, Gaming, Visual effects and comics at MCCIA (Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture), Pune under the leadership of Commodore Anand Khandekar. He along with committee members have taken great efforts in helping companies to set up their operations in Pune. Big Animation, Ubi Soft, Jump Games are just a few examples. We have been running awareness programs thru seminars for students and professionals. Dialogue has initiated between various studios, which will help create more collaborative productions. This in turn will help create a better content.

For last couple of years, Studios in Pune have grown significantly for Animation, Visual Effects and Gaming, taking Pune to a level where it can be called Hub for Animation. To add to this, Education Institutes have also been mushrooming in the city. DSK’s Supinfocom would be amongst the best. MIT School of Design, Symbiosis media School along with many private Animation Institutes are contributing towards creating our own talent pool.

Another achievement of the committee is the AVGC (Animation, Vfx, Gaming and comics) policy which has been submitted to government of Maharashtra. So the Animation industry will not only enjoy the similar benefits which IT has but will help flourish and attract foreign studios.

Pune advantage: I will quote Commodore Khandekar’s words here which sum it all up:

Art and culture combined with IT is Animation. Pune has all the ingredients.

While Pune is still an emerging animation hub, there is still a lot more that could be done for making it a truly world class destination for animation. What should we, as a community be doing? And are you aware of any such initiatives that are already working towards it?

Absolutely there is lot that can be done. Some initiatives I have already mentioned above which are being carried out thru MCCIA. Funding, Infrastructure, Distribution Network for the Content are some of the issues which needs to be solved. Animation and Gaming SEZ could be another idea.

Awareness programs for students and quality of education is another serious concern. Which has to be fixed ASAP so as to have better resources and for industry to survive as well.

Do you think there is scope for software / IT professionals to consider animation as a career choice? What kinds of opportunities exist in this domain?

As discussed earlier about technologists and their importance in Animation and Visual Effects , IT surely can play major role in Entertainment Business. With Open source Softwares in our arsenal, opportunities are many.

Every Module in the process to create animated content will have opportunities for programming. Lighting, Rendering, Compositing, Rigging to name a few.

Students from BE Computers, BE IT, MCM with some inclination and passion towards creative industry can surely think of Animation industry as another domain to work for.

CSI Pune Lecture: How to protect yourself from online fraud – 24th April

What: CSI Pune lecture “Business in the Dark and how can we protect ourselves: Case of Online frauds” by
When: Saturday 24th April, 2010, 6pm
Where: 7th Floor, Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research, Atur Centre, Model Colony. Map.
Registration and Fees: Free for CSI members, Rs 100 for others. Register here

Click on the logo to see all PuneTech posts about CSI Pune
Click on the logo to see all PuneTech posts about CSI Pune

Online Frauds – Details

Online frauds have increased multiple folds in couple years. It has become big headache for all viz. Banks, Law enforcement and we as end users. To protect ourselves we need to know how these fraudsters work. This session will cover these aspects and simple steps that we need take to reduce the probability of such frauds to succeed.

  1. What are frauds?
  2. How online frauds work?
  3. Phishing and Trojans
  4. Man in the Browser Attacks
  5. Future of frauds
  6. Let’s do our bit: How can we protect?

Who should attend

Any individual who is doing on-line transactions or interested in knowing how to protect oneself from cyber crimes, Students, Users, Security / network / data base administrators, auditors and fraud examiners, chief risk officers, Those seeking career in computer forensics and cyber crime investigation., Senior, Mid Level and Operational Management and staff, Professionals, Consultants

About the Speaker – Parag Deshpande

  • Parag is principal eGRC consultant with RSA Security a leading security company in the world.
  • He has over 14 years of experience during which he advised financial services, manufacturing, and telecom sector clients across the Globe including India, USA, Australia and UK.
  • He is Bachelor of Technology from Laxminrayan Institute of Technology, Nagpur and Masters is Business Administration from Symbiosis, Pune.
  • Exposure to business processes, technology architecture and IT risk management has made him leading consultant for Secure Business Enablement
  • He has handled various aspects of the services business, including consulting, delivery, practice management, presales and account management.
  • Apart from professional activities he is interested and does volunteering work to create awareness about Cyber Security Risks.

Interview with Mukul Kumar, Co-founder & VP at Pubmatic

Yesterday, announced that it had raised $7.5 million in funding from Helion Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Nexus Venture Partners. This is the third round of funding, and in all they have raised $18 million.

Pubmatic, whose development team is entirely in Pune, is an Ad Optimization Platform that helps websites increase their ad revenues. We interviewed Mukul Kumar, the Pune-based Co-founder and Vice President of Engineering of Pubmatic to understand better what exactly Pubmatic does, and how it does it.


Click on the “Play” button above to listen to the interview. If you don’t see a play button, or are unable to hear the interview for some reason, click here.

(This is an experiment. Audio interviews are much easier for us to do than full-fledged text interviews. So, if you like this, please let us know, and we can do many more such interviews. If you don’t, then we’ll assume that nobody is interested in listening to audio interviews, and we’ll go back to doing our (few, rare) text interviews. If any reader is willing to spend the time to transcribe (or ever write a text summary) of the interview, please let us know. You can get attribution a link from PuneTech in return for this social service! Thanks.)

Mukul Kumar is VP Engineering at Pubmatic. Search PuneTech archives for more interesting articles about and by Mukul
Mukul Kumar is VP Engineering at Pubmatic. Search PuneTech archives for more interesting articles about and by Mukul

About the Interviewee – Mukul Kumar

Mukul Kumar, is a founding engineer and VP of Engineering at Pubmatic. He is based in Pune and responsible for PubMatic’s engineering team. Mukul was previously the Director of Engineering at PANTA Systems, a high performance computing startup. Previous to that he joined Veritas India as the 13th employee and was Director of Engineering for the NetBackup group, one of Veritas’ main products. He has filed for 14 patents in systems software, storage software, and application software and proudly proclaims his love of ? and can recite it to 60 digits. Mukul is a graduate of IIT Kharagpur with a degree in electrical engineering.

Mukul blogs at

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Will foursquare be the next big thing after Twitter in Pune Social Media?

There is absolutely no question that first Facebook, and then Twitter had a huge impact on the Pune Tech community. Thousands of Pune techies use these on a daily (in fact, hourly) basis to stay in touch with each other, and with the world at large. I’m sure you’re all on Facebook. And, if you’re not on twitter, you should join now. See the PuneTech Why Twitter? presentation for reasons. And follow @punetech on twitter

foursquare is a new location-based social networking site.

Now, it appears that location-based social networking site foursquare is generating similar levels of excitement amongst a section of the community.

If you want to feel that enthusiasm first-hand, then you should head over to the Pune foursquare day meeting (or “swarm” in 4sq terminilogy) which is happening today (Friday, 16 April), at “1 – The Lounge”, Koregaon Park, from 7:30pm until 10pm. One Lounge is a little ahead of ABC farms on North Main Road annex. The event is technically free, but there’s a Rs. 300 cover charge (which can be redeemed for food or drinks, and there’s a complimentary shot for foursquare users).

Check out the Pune 2010 foursquare day event page on Facebook. And RSVP there.

So… what is foursquare?

foursquare makes a game out of exploring your city, and while at it helps you make friends with other like-minded, super-cool people! You can use it to find the new interesting places in the city, like restaurants, or museums, or whatever else your friends are interested in; and you can use it to get reviews of any place that you want to know more about.

Doesn’t seem very exciting? Well, that’s the same reaction Twitter used to get from people when it was new, and yet, Twitter has now taken over the world, including Bollywood, Indian politics, and IPL too. So, I’m predicting, foursquare will be similarly big. And this time, you can get in on the ground floor. Join now.

What makes it most intersting, is that foursquare is primarily a technology to be used on your mobile phone. The exploding use of mobile internet in India is another reason to think that foursquare can be big in India.

And… why is today important?

Because it allows Pune another chance to point out to the world that we are always at the cutting edge of anything new.

In consumer marketing circles, it is well established that Pune is one of the first cities where companies try out their new products, or new campaigns, or pilot programs. This is because Pune has a young, hip crowd that is willing to experiment.

Today, 16 April is International foursquare day, and cities all over the world hare having foursquare parties. But the point really is this – this event gives Pune a chance to cement its early adopter reputation by being the first city in India to get a foursquare swarm badge. A swarm badge is given when 50 or more foursquare users are check into the same location at the same time. This is a coveted badge, and signals to the world that this location has a very active and social online/offline community.

Just to make things more interesting, the city of Bellefontaine, in Ohio, USA has challenged Pune to a competition on the number of party attendees on the 16th. As of now, Pune has a lead on the number of attendees, but we’re still short of the 50 mark needed to officially make a swarm.

See for details.

But… isn’t this all silly kidstuff & not for serious people like me?

That’s what they said about Facebook, initially. And that’s what they said about Twitter, initially. But nobody is saying that about either now. Same story with foursquare.

I think you’re maybe confusing this with Orkut. Feel free to stay away from Orkut. But ignore Facebook/Twitter/foursquare at your own risk.

And those of you who are too busy to be on twitter, let me tell you this – if Anand Mahindra has time to be on twitter, you can stop your self-important whining.

Uh… What do I have to do, again?


Start using foursquare.

RSVP at the Pune foursquare day facebook page.

Show up at One Lounge tonight and check-in.

And end up meeting a whole lot of people who are more interesting than your colleagues at work, and in some cases, more intersting than your existing friends.


Visual Studio 2010 Community Launch – day long tech conference by PUG – 17 April

What: Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Community Launch by Pune (Microsoft Technologies) User Group
When: Saturday, 17 April, 9:00am
Where: Bajaj Gallery, MCCIA Trade Tower, 5th floor, ICC, S.B. Road
Registration and Fees: This event is free for all to attend. Register here

PUG is Pune's user group for Microsoft Technologies. Click on the logo to see all PuneTech articles related to PUG.
PUG is Pune's user group for Microsoft Technologies. Click on the logo to see all PuneTech articles related to PUG.

Visual Studio 2010 Community Launch

This event will essentially be a day-long conference with various talks on topics related to Visual Studio 2010, from basic Windows Development using Visual Studio 2010, to Windows Phone 7, and how to improve your software development processes using VS2010.

See the full agenda here.

See the list of speakers and speaker bios here

About PUG

Pune User Group (aka PUG, pronounced as pag) is a not-for-profit organization, A User Group supported by Microsoft Corporation, International .NET Association (INETA) for technology enthusiasts. PUG provides a platform for everyone to share their knowledge and valuable experience with rest of the world. Pune User Group was founded in early 2003. PUG has formed Campus Clubs in most of the engineering colleges, where PUG speakers explain the latest buzz in technology to the students. PUG also has a gang of Microsoft Student Partners who are highly passionate about technology and willing to share their knowledge with others. PUG also has separate chapters like PUGStudent PUGITPro, PUG-MED (i.e. Pune User Group for Mobile and Embedded Devices). Along with monthly user group meetings PUG also organizes its annual event ‘INETA DevCon’ which is an event with separate tracks for students and professionals.

Who can join?

At this time, membership in PUG is free to everyone, regardless of geographic location, technical focus, or affiliation. Professionals, students interested in .Microsoft Technology will find the most value in active involvement with PUG.

How to get involved â a call for volunteers!

PUG relies heavily on the ideas, personal time, and energy of its membership, leaders, and officers. If you are interested to contribute to the PUG activities, looking for a way to help, grow with your peers, and find out about volunteer opportunities; email your details to

Sponsorships – PUG relies on the support of its sponsors, and is presently organizing plans for working with companies and organizations interested in partnering with PUG for financial, logistical, content, or other types of support. If you are interested in partnering with PUG, contact us at

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“What The Heck is CleanTech?” with Dr. Balu Sarma, CTO Praj Matrix – April 17

Under the newly announced PuneCleanTech banner, we’re happy to announce the kickoff presentation by Dr. Balu Sarma (President and CTO of Praj Matrix, the world-class R&D initiative of Praj Industries) on Saturday, 17th April at 10am. We are indeed very fortunate to have an eminent technocrat like Dr. Sarma kickoff this new forum, enlightening us about all things CleanTech (and biofuels in particular). For some background about Praj Matrix, see this PuneTech report from last year.

PuneCleanTech is a special interest group (SIG) of PuneTech focusing on clean tech.
PuneCleanTech is a special interest group (SIG) of PuneTech focusing on clean tech.

If Information Technology helped Indian Economy soar, CleanTech can push it to stratospheric heights. World over, CleanTech has already replaced IT as ‘Tomorrow’s Technology’. It’s the next big wave. But what is it really? What’s driving CleanTech to be billed as ‘bigger than IT, Bigger than Internet, Bigger than anything the world has seen’? What do esoteric terms such as Biofuels, Geothermal, Reverse Osmosis, Algal Fuels, Passive Solar, PhotoVoltaics really mean? What are the advantages of these technologies? Which of them are relevant to India? Why? And finally, why should we really care about it all?

Come listen to Dr. Balu Sarma answer all these questions and more. Confirm what you know. Understand what you don’t. Meet other CleanTech enthusiasts. Ask Questions. Get Answers. Be Informed. It’s our future we will be talking about!

When: Saturday, April 17th, 10am
Where: Venture Center, NCL Innovation Park, Pashan Road. Map: (To reach Venture Center, go past NCL towards Pashan, pass the cricket ground adjacent to NCL and then youâll find NCL Innovation Park / Venture Center on the right hand side.)
Registration and Fees: This event is free for all to attend. Free seating on First Come, First Seated basis only
Further Info: Contact Harshad Nanal (, Anil Paranjape (

About PuneCleanTech

PuneCleanTech is a special interest group of PuneTech focusing on Clean Technologies. It is an awareness, education, and networking platform to showcase Clean Technologies developed and used in and around Pune, one of the largest Industrial hubs in India. The network brings together technology professionals, entrepreneurs, students, policy makers, investors, and citizens interested in Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Waste management, Water Management, and Environmentally-Friendly Design/Development/Delivery Alternatives to Traditional Products and Services. PuneCleanTech is run by Harshad Nanal (, Anil Paranjape (

with support from PuneTech and NCL Venture Center.

About NCL Venture Center:

Venture Center – a CSIR initiative – is a not-for-profit company hosted by the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. Venture Center strives to nucleate and nurture technology and knowledge-based enterprises by leveraging the scientific and engineering competencies of the institutions in the Pune region in India. The Venture Center is a technology business incubator specializing in technology enterprises offering products and services exploiting scientific expertise in the areas of materials, chemicals and biological sciences & engineering.

PMI Pune Seminar: “Trends in Disaster Management IT Solutions” & “Building effective distributed teams” – Apr 10

What: Project Management Institute, Pune Chapter‘s monthly meeting, consisting of two sessions – 1. Current Trends in IT enabled solutions in disaster management services in a social environment, and 2. Building more effective cross-cultural distributed teams.
When: Saturday, April 10, 10:00 am to 12:30 pm
Where: Cummins Auditorium, Pune Shramik Patrakar Sangh, 193 Navi Peth, Ganjwe Chowk, Near Alka Talkies, Garware bridge & S. M. Joshi hall, Pune 411030. Reception (Tel) – +91(20) 24534190
Registration: This event is free for all, and no registration is required

Topic 1: Current Trends in IT enabled solutions in disaster management services in social environment

About the speaker – Dr. Parag Mankeekar

Dr. Parag Mankeekar is a qualified medical doctor as well as a Medical anthropologist & Masters in International Health from Swiss Tropical Institute, Switzerland. He also did another Masters in Disaster Medicine from San Marino in Italy.

Parag is a recipient of the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship ( a USA based Social Business Innovation organization for the year 2008-2011 for his innovative initiatives in reaching the concepts of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change to children and youth.

Parag is founder Director of “Neeti Solutions”, Director of the Global Challenge Award, a USA Non-Profit (NGO) and also Co-Director at Educational Simulation (ES) a social software gaming company based in California. Both ES and Neeti Solutions have developed a peace building and culture sensitive game called ‘Real Lives’. (, popular in US schools.

Abstract of talk

There are many service groups working in social environment for disaster recovery like fire brigade etc. where in the technology based IT solutions are proving to be very useful. Along with this Parag would be covering the work done in innovative initiatives in reaching the concepts of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change to children and youth which has been acknowledged in the form of the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship ( he has received from a USA based Social Business Innovation organization for the year 2008-2011. He would also cover social software gaming area where in Neeti Solutions have developed a peace building and culture sensitive game called âReal Livesâ. He would be discussing on the various trends and opportunities in IT enabled business in social environment which is untapped market. He would also be discussing the challenges he faced being non-technical entrepreneur from medical background and how he managed though them.

Topic 2: Building more effective cross-cultural distributed teams.

About the speaker – Dr.Urvashi Rathod

Dr.Urvashi Rathod is a Ph.D. in Software Engineering from BITS, Pilani. She has an overall 22 years of work experience including an entrepreneurial stint of seven years. She had been in academics for last ten years including a 5 year long teaching tenure with IIM Indore. She is internationally published in peer reviewed journals and has been a reviewer and a member of editorial board for national and international publications of repute.

Abstract of talk

Businesses deal significantly with interpersonal communication at the individual, group and organizational level. Employees of an organization assemble to work together as a work group, wherein the members share their experiences, best practices or take decisions to help an individual in enhancing his/her performance, or as a team whose members work together toward a common goal. Globalization leads to greater interdependence and mutual awareness among economic, political, and social units in the world. The very existence of businesses in a global environment enforces multi-cultural interactions within the organization or between the organizations. Culture, being the link between human beings and the means they have of interacting with others (Hall, 1973), plays an important role in interpersonal communication in organizations.

This study proposes that the cultural characteristics of team members are associated with the attributes of team communication, which has been found to be one of the key determinants of team productivity and performance. Proposed seminar aims to introduce the audience to the possibility of association between the cultural and team communication attributes that if studies scientifically, can help in building more effective cross-cultural distributed teams.

About PMI Pune

For more information about PMI Pune, see it’s PuneTech wiki profile

Startup Saturday Pune featuring Clean Tech entrepreneurs & investors – April 10

What: Startup Saturday Pune, focusing on clean tech
When: Saturday, April 10th, 3pm-6pm
Where: Centre for Management Research & Development (CMRD), Near Patrakar Nagar, Off Senapati Bapat Road, Map
Registration & Fees: This event is free for all. No registration required.

Startup Saturday Pune is a once a month meeting where startups pitch to a panel of experts and investors. Anybody can attend these meetings. Click on the logo to see info about previous Startup Saturday meets
Startup Saturday Pune is a once a month meeting where startups pitch to a panel of experts and investors. Anybody can attend these meetings. Click on the logo to see info about previous Startup Saturday meets


Clean tech has been favorite sector for VC investments for the last couple of years, by far bypassing mobile, web 2.0 and health care. Why. Because ventures succeed if it can solve a customer pain point. And environment, energy, water waste and public transport has been a major pain in the neck of Government, large corporates and public at large in all countries. Just to explain in brief, below are a few keywords.

  1. Environment – Global warming, Deforestation, Ozone layer and
    Natural disasters
  2. Energy – from fossil fuels, solar, hydro, wind, nuclear, tidal,
    geothermal and bio material
  3. Water – Harvesting, usage, recycling, desalination and drinking water
  4. Waste – Electronic, household, plastic, industrial, batteries,
    hazardous and toxic waste
  5. Public Transport – vehicles on batteries, solar, hydrogen, hybrid
    engines, mass rapid transport

Clean tech promises to solve these pain points. We are convinced, if
you are looking for business opportunities, clean tech is really a
fertile ground. To explain this further, we have investors, experts,
business and startups from Clean Tech.

  • 3:00 – 3:30 PM : Anil Paranjape, investor in clean tech
  • 3:30 – 4:00 PM : Pushkar Kale, Waste Management Business
  • 4:00 – 4:30 PM : Padmakar Kelkar, Bright Star Electronics
  • 4:30 – 5:00 PM : Girish Narasimhan, Investor
  • 5:00 – 6:00 PM : Networking, Tea and Snacks.