Category Archives: External Visitors

Startup Strategy Discussions with Sramana Mitra – 17th April

Sramana Mitra, a serial entrepreneur with 2 successful exits, consultant with over 80 companies, and the founder of the 1M/1M is in town this weekend and, in association with Persistent Systems, will hold an event that every entrepreneur should probably visit.

The 1M/1M initiative, was started with the goal of helping one million entrepreneurs reach $1 million in revenues and beyond. The event on Sunday will have Sramana Mitra’s keynote address discussing the 1M/1M Methodology: Bootstrapping, Positioning and Lean Startups, followed by the opportunity to ask questions. Then entrepreneurs can participate in a public strategy roundtable with Sramana to receive some real time coaching and answers to questions about their startup ventures. Up to seven entrepreneurs will be able to pitch their businesses to Sramana Mitra during this session.

The schedule for this program is as follows:

  • 2:00 -2:30 pm : Dr. Anand Deshpande introduces Sramana Mitra.
  • 2:30 -3:00 pm : Keynote Address by Sramana Mitra, topics : bootstrapping, positioning, lean startups.
  • 3:00 – 3:30 pm : Q&A on the keynote address.
  • 3:30 – 4:30 pm : Live Strategy Roundtable with Pune startups.
  • 4:30 – 5:00 pm : Q&A with audience/Sramana discussing the EJ Methodology
  • 5:00 – 6:00 pm : Networking

If you’d like to pitch, send Maureen ( an email.

1M/1M will be working with Microsoft in helping entrepreneurs prepare for the Microsoft Bizspark’s India Startup Challenge. Girish Joshi from Microsoft will be attending the roundtable and scouting companies with Sramana Mitra for the challenge.You can find more about the challenge here

This event is free and open for anybody to attend. Please register here

Wikipedia & Indian Developers – Wikimedia/Mediawiki meetup in Pune – 13 Dec

Erik Möller, Danese Cooper, and Alolita Sharma, all senior members of the Wikimedia Foundation (the “NGO” behind Wikipedia) are visiting Pune, and a meeting has been organized for everyone interested in Wikipedia to meet them and talk about the product strategy, especially in reference to India and Indian developers.

What’s Wikimedia? What’s Mediawiki?

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit charitable organization behind Wikipedia and a bunch of other “crowdsourced” reference websites like: Wiktionary (a dictionary), Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikinews, etc. These are the guys who collect money to keep the Wikipedia and all other projects running, and also pay for the development and maintainence of the software, servers, and other things.

Mediawiki is the software that Wikipedia uses. This is basically an open source “wiki” software written in PHP. It can be freely downloaded by anyone who wishes to host a wiki with features similar to Wikipedia. For example, the PuneTech wiki also runs on Mediawiki software.

Visitors’ details

  • Erik Möller, Deputy Directory, Wikimedia Foundation, also responsible for product strategy
  • Danese Cooper, CTO of the Wikimedia Foundation
  • Alolita Sharma, Engineering Programs Manager, Wikimedia Foundation, manages the features development team
  • (Maybe) Bishakha Datta, Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation might also join them (not yet confirmed)

They are all doing a tour of India (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore)…

Agenda for the Meeting

The purpose of the meeting is to get in touch with India’s engineering and open source community. The key questions they’re hoping to explore include:

  • Localization issues concerning Indic languages
  • Other MediaWiki improvements that would make the sites more useful in India
  • Improvements to the mobile gateway
  • Potential partners in developing and deploying offline versions of Wikimedia content.


Date: Monday, 13 December, 6:30pm
Venue: SICSR, Model Colony, 7th Floor
Registration: This meeting is free and open for all to attend. No registration is required.

PuneCleanTech Event: Ecological Restoration of Abandoned Mines

What: PuneCleanTech talk on Ecological Restoration of Abandoned Mines by Kaustubh Moghe
When: Saturday, 31 July, 11am
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 you’ll 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 (

Mine Restoration Image
The next PuneCleanTech talk will cover the issue of restoring the ecological balance of dead mines. PuneCleanTech is a special interest group (SIG) of PuneTech focusing on clean tech. Click on the image to go to the PuneCleanTech website for more details

Ecological Restoration of Abandoned Mines

There are supposedly heaven and hell for dead people. But dead mines (abandoned mines) continue to just sit where they are. Their owners have exploited them for all they are worth and then they are just left there. The problem is that unlike dead animals or vegetation, these mines don’t just decay. They are a big hazard for all of us. Apart from being an eyesore, they pose significant physical hazards (people fall into them) and they have a tremendous environmental hazard by leaching dangerous chemicals into the ground water.

Word over, this is a big problem with millions (yes, millions) of mines abandoned. India is no exception. A few responsible owners take steps to return the abandoned mine land back to nature. But how do you return deep holes stretching miles and miles in diameters and highly denuded earth around them back to nature? How do you restore the biodiversity and flora and fauna?

PuneCleanTech presents a rare talk on this fascinating subject by a practicing conservation biologist, Mr. Kaustubh Moghe, on 31st July at 11:00am at the NCL Venture Center.

As always this talk is free for everyone. For more information, please visit PuneCleanTech. We don’t really know where dead people go but at least here’s a chance to learn about what happens (or should happen) to dead mines! It’s a problem created by our consumption machine, so let’s at least be aware of this. Well, here’s your rare chance to learn about it.

POCC Meet: Taking your startup to the next level, with Vilas Kelshikar – 19 June

What: Pune OpenCoffee Club meeting on Taking your startup to the next level, with Vilas Kelshikar.
When: Saturday, June 19th, 4pm-7pm
Where: TaaraGo Center, A4, Ashiayana Park, Above FabIndia, North Main Road, Koregaon Park
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 1500 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

Taking your startup to the next level

Mr. Vilas Kelshikar is an IIM-Ahmedabad Alumnus with 30+ years professional experience – wherein he held progressively responsible positions in reputed companies engaged in diverse product-lines/sectors (including Education / Training, Hospitality, Real Estate Services, Trading ) in Gulf, Africa and India.

Vilas has hands-on experience in diverse functional areas including Strategy, Joint Ventures, Sourcing, Setting-up, Turn-around, Expansion, Project Finance, Feasibility Studies, Sales & Mktg, HR, etc.

He can also talk about the possibilities of Pune companies exploring business opportunities in Gulf and African countries. If people are interested, he can talk about country profiles, business practices, currencies, establishing/doing business, SWOT analysis, etc.

Vilas is Currently based out of Muscat.

Thanks to TaaraGo for hosting the event. Please visit for event updates in Pune

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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Mozilla for your Business 2: Understand the future of web technologies with the Mozilla team – 21st Feb

(Once again, a number of members of the Mozilla Foundation (the organization behind such technologies as Firefox, JQuery, the Fennec mobile browser) are in Pune, and we are taking this opportunity to allow Pune’s startups, and web developers to interact with them and talk about web technologies, and the web as a platform. This event is free, anyone can attend, and no registration is necessary. This article by Arun Ranganathan, Technology Evangelist with the Mozilla team, and gives an idea of what to expect at this meet.)

Mozilla in Pune – II

The Mozilla Foundation logo
Image via Wikipedia

Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox web browser, is in town for GNUnify 2010 and, like last year, would love to spend a Sunday morning meeting with Pune’s web businesses, web developers, and budding startups. Join Mozilla for breakfast on Sunday February 21 between 10a.m. and 1p.m., at SICSR (Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research, Model Colony. Map), along with an informal discussion and some presentations, leaving lots of time for questions and answers, and some breakfast snacks.

So much has happened in a year! For one thing, some emerging web technologies have matured, and are seeing substantial deployment by other browsers. And for another, Mozilla Labs has continued to innovate. Our discussion will touch on:

  • HTML5, and the launch of the platform wars. We’ve already seen at least two web-based operating systems — ChromeOS and Palm’s webOS — and we’ve seen much discussion about new browsers. We’ve also seen a sometimes shrill debate about the role of plugins in the web ecosphere, especially Flash. What does all this hold in store for the technology startup of the future?
  • Startups have launched in the US that take advantage of some new technical directions, including web font capabilities, as well as radical new communication ideas. What role does open video play in all this? Are business models changing at all?
  • The emergence of “Device APIs” including hardware-accelerated 3D graphics, geolocation capabilities, accelerometer capabilities, file system access, camera access, etc. Is the web consuming all other software platforms? What does the web lack that a software startup really needs? Is the web also the mobile platform we’ve all been waiting for?
  • Extension models for web browsers that really make life simple, like Firefox’s JetPack. We’ve already seen many successful new JetPacks emerge on the market, including some that help education. An overview of what can be built with JetPack, and why we think it’s the promising new direction for building on top of Firefox. Also, we’ll talk about Weave, Identity as the next Big Problem, and much more from Mozilla Labs.

From the Mozilla side, we’ll have:

  • Ragavan Srinivasan, Mozilla Labs. Ragavan is the Product Manager for Mozilla’s Weave endeavor, and coordinates Mozilla Labs’ activities in a variety of areas, including identity.
  • Seth Bindernagel, Director of Localization. Seth travels more than anyone you have met, working hard to ensure that when Firefox ships, it ships in over 70 languages simultaneously.
  • Axel Hecht, Senior Software Engineer. Axel coordinates localizations from a technical perspective, as well as touches on many other parts of Mozilla’s code.
  • Arun Ranganathan, Technology Evangelist. Arun works on making sure emerging technologies land as part of the “The Web Platform” and works to keep the web open, participating in technology working groups and crafting standards.

To attend this event, just show up at SICSR, 7th Floor, at 10am on Sunday, 21st February. This event is open to all. It is free. No registration is necessary.

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PuneChips Editor’s Blog: PuneChips Inaugural Event

Well, I am quite excited to get the PuneChips forum up and running. While we would have liked to see more people attend, we had a good start. We invited most of the Semi/EDA folks in and around Pune and did get a very favorable response. Pending work and travel schedules are probably the culprits for a lower attendance, and I certainly hope that we will get more and more people to attend future events.

Ultimately, this forum is for the Semiconductor/EDA and Applications companies in and around Pune and we want to make sure that all future events/programs are catered to these companies needs. Again suggestions are most welcome and we are most certainly looking for individuals and companies to take on other responsibilities. We already have a taker for writing a guest blog so that is an encouraging sign.

That said I want to thank Abhijit Abhyankar from Rambus for taking time out of his busy schedule to present to us. The presentation was packed with lots of information generated a healthy amount of discussion during and after. Abhijit mentioned falling productivity and increasing power consumption as the two most important industry challenges, and therein lie the opportunities. Due to progressively declining geometries, number of transistors per chip has exploded, creating all sorts of new challenges. Conventional problem solving approaches are not working and radically different methodologies are required.

Chart of Sematech Potential Design Complexity and Designer Productivity in Semiconductors

Ever since Gordon Moore made his empirical observation that transistor densities will double every two years, the industry has been making concerted efforts to ensure that Moore’s law remains valid despite all predictions otherwise. Physical limits do certainly pose a challenge to increasing the transistor densities in two dimensions, but scientists are working on 3D placement of transistors, where transistors are either placed vertically, or on top of each other. Another approach to increase densities is to skip the third dimension altogether and go directly to the fourth, i.e. Time. Some programmable device makers think that you can make a cell or logic block on the chip perform different functions during a clock cycle resulting in extremely dense chips without pushing physical limits. If these efforts are successful, Moore’s law will continue to live for a long time.

Interestingly, Google’s founder Sergey Brin came up with a new term coined “Page’s Law” (watch this clip) named after his co-founder just last month. It states that software gets twice as slow every 18 months, explaining why your cell phones and PCs seem slower even as the HW inside remains unchanged. This new law seems to be destined as a sidekick of Moore’s law and may provide a reason for people to go buy new hardware every 18 months! Maybe, this is what they call a virtuous cycle …

Jokes aside, productivity and power are certainly a couple of areas that need solving in the near term. SEMATECH or Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology Association has circulated this interesting chart which compares design complexities to designer productivity. This problem can certainly be solved by creating new tools that let the designer work from a much higher level than delving deep within the IC.

Additionally, today’s chips consume too much power. Power analysis has become a huge time sink during chip design due to very high densities. It may not be an overestimation to claim that power related issues are a major cause of productivity losses during chip design. Newer techniques that allow designers to work on reducing power from the early design stages are required, in addition to new architectures that inherently consume less power.

I personally feel that Indian companies should rise up to solve this challenge. While we are not well set as far as semiconductor manufacturing goes, we are certainly on the ball with respect to VLSI design, verification, simulation, etc. We have the talent, the training and now, even the experience to tackle these challenges. To all the young entrepreneurs out there, look at the evolving opportunities in this sector; there certainly is a world beyond web 2.0.

Finally big thanks to Kaushik Gala and the NCL Venture Center for opening up their facilities to this group. Rarely do we see such well equipped meeting rooms and fabulous campuses. I also want to thank everyone who attended the inaugural event. We had some very senior people attend from QLogic, LSI, and KPIT Cummins. There are 12-13 more companies in the area and I would really like to encourage engineers working there to attend. There will be lots of opportunities to learn from industry experts, network and formulate your ideas. Keep in mind that we will not be able to distribute yesterday’s presentation to a wider audience so those that did not attend truly missed out. I expect this will happen in the future due to corporate guidelines, so it is important that people show up for the event.

Once again, thanks to everyone who helped get PuneChips off the Ground.

If you’re a technology professional interested in the semiconductor/EDA area in Pune, please join the PuneChips mailing list and linked-in group.

About the Author – Abhijit Athavale

Abhijit Athavale is the President and CEO of Markonix, and a high-tech marketing consultant. He has 16+ years of high-technology industry experience. Prior to Markonix, Abhijit spent over 11 years at Xilinx, Inc. in various engineering, applications and marketing roles. In his role as a marketing consultant, he has held executive management positions at Taray, Inc and Sanved DA. He has a masters degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University and a bachelors degree in electrical engineering from University of Pune. He is an accomplished speaker and author of several publications including a book.

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You can still go for Joomla! Day (free) – India’s biggest Joomla conference – 25 April

Joomla logo
Joomla logo

Joomla! Day India, will be big. Toby Patterson, a member of the Joomla! Core team development workgroup member (Update: Sorry about misidentifying Toby – Live tweets from the event indicate that his keynote was great), will be giving the keynote speech. Members of the Joomla! bug squad will be there. And they are coming in from outside the country, so if you miss them this time, you are not going to get a chance to interact with them in the next run-of-the-mill barcamp that happens in Pune, or even Bombay/Bangalore. So what’s your excuse for not going? Earlier, due to the costs of having external visitors for this event, the price of entry was Rs. 1000. But thanks to the organizers finding appropriate sponsors, everything, including the prizes worth $1600, the T-shirts, the lunch/snacks and other goodies are FREE! (Update: The T-shirts, snacks and other goodies are NOT FREE. They had to be removed to make the event free. Sorry about the misinformation.)

Register here.

It is tomorrow, Saturday, 25th April, from 9am to 6pm at I2IT campus, Hinjewadi. These are the sessions planned:

Keynote By Toby Patterson
Session 1: Hello Joomla!  – Joomla in 45 mins
Case Study 1
Session 2: Still on Joomla 1.0? Migration from 1.0 to 1.5
Session 3: Joomla & Cloud ComputingAmazon S3
Session 4: Request to Response
Open Sessions
Case Study 2

For other tech events happening in Pune this weekend, check out the PuneTech calendar.

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Java Persistence 2.0: With JBoss/Hibernate Guru Emmanuel Bernard, 22 April

Image via Wikipedia

What: An overview of the features of Java Persistence 2.0 with JBoss/Hibernate Guru Emmanuel Bernard
When: Wednesday, 22st April, 4:30pm
Where: Red Hat Pune 6th Floor, East Wing Marisoft-III, Marigold Premises, Kalyani Nagar, Pune
Registration and Fees: This event is free for all to attend. No registration required


This will be the second presentation by Emmanuel Bernard, who is visiting Pune currently. The first presentation on “Hibernate Search” will be on Tuesday, 21st April. This one is at the same time, same place, but on Wednesday.

Java Persistence has standardized Object Relational mapping in Java and Java EE and has been hugely adopted. This presentation will introduce you to the new features of Java Persistence 2.0 as most requested by the community and specified by the expert group. These include the new Criteria API, support for collections of simple type and Map support as well as support for Bean Validation.

To connect with others in Pune interested in JBoss, Hibernate and relatives, join the Pune JBoss Users Group. For more information about Tuesday’s talk (Hibernate Search), see this post.

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Hibernate Search – Adding search to your Java apps: A deep dive, 21st April

Image via Wikipedia

What: A deep dive into Hibernate Search with JBoss/Hibernate Guru Emmanuel Bernard
When: Tuesday, 21st April, 4:30pm
Where: Red Hat Pune 6th Floor, East Wing Marisoft-III, Marigold Premises, Kalyani Nagar, Pune
Registration and Fees: This event is free for all to attend. No registration required

As we had reported last week, Emmanuel Bernard, JBoss and Hibernate guru, the founder and co-founder of all annotation related projects in Hibernate, is in Pune and the Pune JBoss Users Group has arranged two lectures by Emmanuel for the benefit of the Java community in Pune.

The first of these lectures is on Tuesday, 21st April, and the second is on Wednesday 22nd April. Details of the second talk will be covered in a separate post.

On Tuesday, Emmanuel will talk about Hibernate search

Abstract: Adding search “like Google” to your Java applications

How many times has a customer told you they want to search in their application “like Google“? How many times was the search engine in your application too slow? Hibernate Search brings full-text search
capabilities to a persistent domain model, providing Google-like search capabilities while avoiding the traditional cost and difficulties to set up such solutions.

In this session, you will learn what problems Hibernate Search can solve and you will follow the steps of adding it to a Hibernate based application. You will build your own application specific full-text search engine. We will also explore advance subjects such as clustering and the underlyings of phonetic approximation.

To connect with others in Pune interested in JBoss, Hibernate and relatives, join the Pune JBoss Users Group.

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