Monthly Archives: October 2011

Encrypted Video Distribution Platform Idea, L3, wins Wipro-Wharton Award

A new idea for a video distribution platform called L3, by Pune’s Prof. Anil Gupte, has won the “best Customer-centric New Idea” award in the Wipro-Wharton Innovation Tournament, 2011.

Here is a video of Anil Gupte giving an overview of L3:

If you don’t see a video above, click here to see it on YouTube

L3 has received multiple awards this year, including:

  • Selected as on of the top 5 finalists in the Economic Times Power of Ideas Competition conducted by the Center for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad. CIIE along with Dr. Narayan Murthy extended Seed Funding to this venture.
  • Selected as one of the Category Winner at the DST-Lockheed Martin India Innovation Growth Program.
  • Selected as one of the Red Herring Global 100 (Innovative ideas and ventures).
  • Winner of the Wipro-Wharton Global Innovation Challenge in the category of New Consumer-Centric Innovations, felicitated at the Wharton campus.

Prof. Gupte is part of the senior management team at Amplify Mindware, a group of educational institutions that are part of the Bharati Vidyapeeth family.

Top Indian Startup Event Unpluggd coming to Pune is one of the most influential sites as far as coverage of Indian startups is concerned, and their event Unpluggd is now one of the premiere startup events in the country.

Unpluggd is coming to Pune on 19th November, so everybody interested in startups should seriously consider registering (click here (ayojak) or here (doattend) to buy tickets. (Ayojak is a Pune startup, so Pune loyalty dictates that you should try that first.) There is an early bird discount until 20th October (that’s just 2 days away), so you’ll need to hurry. (Use the code PIBUDDY to get your discount.)

If you have a startup, then Unpluggd is a great platform for showcasing your product. The who’s who of Indian startups will be here, and not only do you get exposure, but it also looks good on your startup’s resume (“selected for Unpluggd 2011”). So nominate yourself. Take a look at the nomination FAQs. (And while you’re in the nominating mood, if you happen to be a B2B startup, then nominate yourself for Pune Connect 2011 also.)

If you haven’t started your startup yet, but have an idea, and would like to get it kickstarted AND featured at Unpluggd, there is a way. Unpluggd is holding a Hackathon on 4/5/6 November in Bangalore, where they will provide you with everything necessary to convert your idea into a prototype – Mentors, Domain Experts, Food, Infrastructure. Two winning entries from Hackathon will get to demo their product at Unpluggd Pune. This is also a paid event, and the registration pages are the same as those for Unpluggd (links above; use early bird discount code HACKBUDDY).

Important dates: 20th Oct – deadline for early bird discount on Unpluggd. 4/5/6 Nov, Hackathon. 6th Nov, deadline for startup nomination for Unpluggd. 19th Nov Unpluggd.

(Note: Normally, PuneTech does not promote paid events on the front page (although we do include them in the PuneTech Calendar. We make exceptions if the ticket price is nominal (e.g. the Rs. 100 that TiE Pune charges for some of its events) or if the event is important enough and the price is low (e.g. a national/international event with a price that’s not too high). Unpluggd is being plugged here since it is in the second category.)

Growing Wikipedia in India – How a community is being built

The Wikipedia is fast getting more visibility in India, and not only contributions from India to the Wikipedia increasing, but also Indian Language Wikipedias are seeing rapid growth. All of this is possible because of a grassroots community that is developing across various cities in India, and with the help of an official chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation (the not-for-profit foundation that runs the Wikipedia).

Tory Read spent a few months traveling all over India to understand what is happening with the Wikipedia community in India and has written a short e-book based on his experiences that is worth reading.

Pune is one of important the cities in this community, not just because it has a very active Wikipedia community (WikiPuneri), but also because it has been picked as the first city where the Wikipedia Campus Ambassador program has been implemented.

Here are some Pune-related excerpts from the book:

“Wikipedia saved my life”

That’s what Srikeit Tadepalli, an MBA student in Pune, India, told me one day in June. He’d been a below-average student with few college options, but a prestigious school saw his Wikipedia achievements and admitted him to its communications program in spite of his test scores. Now, he’s thriving.

and also:

“At first, I contributed just to get the t-shirt, but then I started to like it,” said Shravani Joshi, a 13-year-old girl in Pune who is adding new material to the Harry Potter article. “It’s cool. Whatever I write is getting seen by the entire world.”

Later, the book spends a couple of pages talking about the Wikipedia Campus Ambassadors Program. Excerpt:

There is no mistaking that the [Campus Ambassador] training introduced a new vibe to Wikipedia activities in Pune. It feels youthful, energetic and hip, intentionally designed to sell the Wikipedia enterprise effectively to urban college students who are actively participating in 21st century global culture. This new version of the Wikipedia brand will take some getting used to for the established vanguard in the area, which has a more traditional way of doing business.

It even covers the flamewars that broke out due to differences between Wikipedia volunteers in Pune/Mumbai who wanted to organize a Wikipedia Conference in Mumbai and the “official” chapter of Wikimedia Foundation:

The second week I was in India, conflict between the chapter and the broader community erupted again on the email list. A few months earlier, volunteers from Mumbai and Pune had hatched a plan to host a national conference in Mumbai in November 2011, and they’d requested that the chapter support their efforts.

It took some weeks for the chapter to reply, and when it did, it wasn’t with a “yes” or a “no.” Instead, it proposed a framework to establish a set of procedures and guidelines for planning national conferences, including a national competition to determine which city should host it.

In the interim, the ad hoc volunteers in Mumbai and Pune had done extensive research on venues and costs, and they had invited Jimmy Wales to attend the event. They had energy, vision and momentum, and they were taken aback by the chapter’s response. Tempers flared, and behind-the-scenes conversations commenced-dozens of community members spent hours on phone calls, Internet chats and email.

There are many more interesting stories in the book. Anybody interested in Wikipedia, or internet communities should take a look.

Check out the whole document

Inviting Pune Startups to Showcase their Products at Pune Connect 2011

The Software Exporters Association of Pune (SEAP) and the Pune Open Coffee Club (POCC) are inviting proposals from Pune startups and small companies for Pune Connect 2011, an event to be held on November 5th in Pune. In this event, the most interesting Pune startups and small companies will be selected to showcase their products and services to the world at large, and specifically to members of SEAP (which comprises some of Pune’s top IT companies). The idea behind this event is to allow the best startups in Pune a platform where they can find customers, mentors, business partners, affiliates amongst Pune’s established companies, and successful senior entrepreneurs.

The best three start-ups from this event will be further showcased at Zinnov Consulting’s Conference in Pune on Nov 17th.

SEAP will be lining up press coverage behind both events to make sure that the start-ups get maximum mileage.

If you’re interested, and have a product that you can demo on November 5th, and if the target audience includes mature software/IT companies in Pune, please submit a deck of slides to, on or before Monday, 24th October, 2011.

The slide deck should cover the following aspects of your company/product:

  • Overview
  • Explanation of the core idea/offering
  • Value prop to the customer
  • Customer case-studies/references
  • Differentiators / unique features
  • Cofounders and sr mgmt team background
  • Short term and long term Plans
  • One slide with company profile including the following information:
    • When was company started
    • When was your product launched
    • (Approx) number of employees currently
    • (Approx) number of customers using your product currently (if any)

Also, please mark the date & time of the actual event (5 November, Saturday, 10:30am-3pm) in your calendar.

The Pune Effect or Why every technology conference must come to Pune

“The Pune Effect: Any tech (un-)conference that happens in multiple cities in India will have its highest attendance when it comes to Pune”

It probably started in Sept, 2008, when PHPCamp got 1200+ online registrations, and 700+ people actually turned up, making it the largest unconference in India.

The following year, we organized an “Internship Mela” for students looking for internships amongst Pune’s startups, and we had to turn away 100s of students from the gates after we somehow managed to accommodate 800+.

Over the years, this trend has continued.

When DocType HTML5 came to Pune, the organizers had to shut down registrations after getting more than 600 registrations.

In July 2011, organizers of the Java 7 Launch event in Pune had to hastily shift the venue of the event to a larger hall when, unexpectedly, 400+ people registered unexpectedly

When we organized PyCon Pune, the International Python Conference, we were expecting it to be much smaller than the first two PyCon’s that were held in Bangalore, since the Python community in Bangalore is much stronger. However, once again, we had to close registrations after the number of paid registrations hit 650, since the venue wouldn’t take any more. Raymond Hettinger tweeted that this was probably the biggest PyCon outside the US.

Once is happenstance. Twice is co-incidence. More than that, and it needs to be given a name and a webpage of its own. Amit Kumar Singh called it “The Pune Effect” in a tweet in response to PyCon Pune becoming the biggest PyCon outside the US.

So, this webpage is dedicated to the Pune Effect, and the amazing tech community in Pune.

And it comes with a challenge.

A challenge to all organizers of tech events in India – Why are you not in Pune? I’m looking at you, NASSCOM Product Conclave, and DrupalCamp, and Amazon AWSCamp. If you’re an organizing a tech event in India, remember that if you skip Pune, you are missing out on your largest event.

And this is also a challenge to all the techies in Pune. We have to work to maintain this reputation. Follow the PuneTech Calendar where all the tech events happening in Pune are listed (you can subscribe to get all PuneTech events sent to you via email or via RSS), and the make it a point to attend. This will definitely help your career – you become more knowledgeable, and more importantly, you get to know lots of interesting and knowledgeable people. Not only should you attend tech events, but also drag some of your shy friends with you.

The most active tech community in the country is right here in Pune. Are you a part of it?

PuneTech T-shirt giveaway to celebrate 3000 LinkedIn members

The PuneTech Group on LinkedIn has 2950 members right now, and will hit the nice round figure of 3000 sometime soon. It is already one of the largest Pune-related groups on LinkedIn (we think it is the 2nd largest).

Joining this group is a good way to let the world know that you’re a technology professional in Pune (or you have some strong connection to Pune). It is also a place where you can look for connections, or people can find you.

Also, the group there has forums, discussions, job postings – different from what you find in the PuneTech website and email subscription. So it would be a good idea to join.

To generally celebrate this milestone, and to encourage more people to join, we are giving away an “I am a Pune Technologist” T-shirt to a couple of randomly selected people out of the people who join the PuneTech LinkedIn group between now, and the time that it hits 3050 members. And to ensure that existing members don’t feel cheated, we’ll also pick a couple of existing members randomly.

So please join. And invite your friends too. The faster we reach 3050, the faster you get your T-shirts.

Pune’s Anil Paranjape joins cleantech fund Infuse as Venture Partner

Anil Paranjape, an active member of the Pune Tech community, one of the driving forces behind PuneCleanTech, director at FusionTech Ventures, (and owner of Grubshup Restaurant) is joining a new cleantech fund, Infuse, as a Venture Partner.

Here are details of the announcement in his own words:

I am happy to announce my association with a unique new cleantech fund: Infuse Capital. I will be helping them as a Venture Partner.

Infuse (Indian Fund for Sustainable Energy) is a new fund with some of the most influential promoters and investors in India and the world.

Infuse is anchored by MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India), DST (Department of Science and Technology, Government of India), IIMA (Indian Institute of Management, India’s most renowned business school) and BP (the global energy giant). All four of these institutions have made substantial investments in the fund.

This first close will be followed by the second close thru a few other investors: mostly institutional and a few individuals (both Indian and Global)

Infuse is an early-stage fund focused exclusively on Clean Technology companies. We believe that our influential investors (such as MNRE, DST, IIM-A, and BP) bring us the best chances of developing a good pipeline and will make the crucial difference in helping our portfolio companies thru the right policy mechanisms, technical help, unparalleled business network, and global cleantech reach. No other fund can boast of active participation and funding by such institutions. As you all know, Cleantech investments and business is very tough because many issues such as technology, talent, business models, and policies need to work together. We feel that Infuse covers all these aspects with active investments from the best and the most influential Indian and Global institutions to do that.

Besides that, Infuse is backed by a very strong advisory committee (and investment committee) consisting of some of the biggest and most successful stalwarts of Indian and Global cleantech industry.

My role with Infuse will focus on building a robust pipeline, making investments and managing the portfolio with active help to the portfolio companies. All my current associations and engagements will continue.

Infuse is now open for business (inaugurated last month by Mr. Narendra Modi who is the most forward-looking politician in India and Dr. Faroukh Abdullah, the Minister of New and Renewable Energy) and we are actively building a pipeline. If you know of entrepreneurs and/or companies working in Cleantech and could be looking for funds, please connect them to me at

More information is available at Infuse website.