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PROTO.in Report card

Posted by tggokul on January 23, 2007

I had set my expectations as to what I want to see in PROTO and my views on what I will probably hear, in my earlier post before the event. I am going to handout the report card and also some of my observations.

I had written

We might also see some companies who are looking for positive publicity (It might be their IPO year, afterall).

I was wrong on that count, there were no companies that fitted this bill. I thought about it and figured out why these companies did not attend. PROTO.in is seen to the outside world as an event where startups try to woo investors and get some funding ( though, that was not exactly true for some of the companies that presented). Now, say you are in an IPO year, you do not want to send mixed signals that you are also looking for money. That would kill the IPO. This makes a lot of sense. The disadvantges I just talked about obviously outweighs the advantage of positive publicity.

I had set four expectations. Let us take one at a time and grade it

1) Get to see atleast one disruptive product (I don’t hope to see an iphone revealed, but atleast one product that has the vision to go a long way)

I did not see any disruptive products, but companies like Unleash Networks, Taazza and Wizdom.in (in their case, the next killer app) sure showed the potential to create disruptive products. Maybe the other companies did have it, but eight minutes probably wasn’t enough to display it. For example Aumega networks; Their SDKs look very promising, but I can’t label it as disruptive until I play around with it. SpotEazy falls under the same category. I am sure if SpotEazy is able to deliver on what they are promising, it will no doubt revolutionalize how consumer electronics is being searched for online. Having said that, they have some way to go before they get that done. My grade for this is B+

2) See products from various verticals and altleast three from the telecom domain.

No worries for me in this one. Companies were from very different backgrounds like Telecom, Infrastructure and Development Platform, Web 2.0, Business Productivity,Mobile . And there were FOUR companies from telecom. So an easy assesment here. Grade : A+

3) I am kind of expecting few companies in the Mobile segment and would be thrilled if there are companies in the VoIP/IMS domains.(Though thinking about it, there are a very few companies building products in that segment. Maybe I will see some new ones I am not aware of).

There were four companies in the mobile segment and there were two from VoIP/IMS world (Drishti and Unleash Networks). Both of them are very interesting companies with even more interesting products ( I certainly hope to post more about the products of these companies in the near future). So it wasn’t too bad. My grade A

4) On a personal front, get to network with quite a few number of people.(OK, mostly VCs).

Ok, this is where the grades go down. I didn’t know at that time when I wrote the post, the involvement and effort I would need to put in for live blogging . I had to follow each of the presentations which left me absolutely no time to talk with the presenters or the VC. Even during lunch hour I had to be in the conference room since I had to charge up all the equipment (laptop, mobile phone.), copy files etc. The only time I got to meet people was before and after the event. This was quite a learning; the tradeoff between live blogging and networking. In hindsight, I could have done things better like take an extra battery and memory cards. Having said that , I still got to meet some smart folks; Vivek of Unleash Networks,  Sachin of Drishti,  Arun of Taazza, Kallol of Aumega networks, Manish of PicSquare and finally the great man Atul Chitnis. It wasn’t all bad, but it could have been better. Grade B-

So overall the grade would be A-

Now as for my predictions.  Let us take them one at a time

1) Security : Security is such a buzz word these days, and there will be companies offering certain products on that.

There was only one, Unleash Networks , in that domain. My grade : B

2) AJAX : I am willing to bet money that AJAX will be mentioned more than three times.

It was mentioned three times during the presentations. ( There was  a smiley in my posts each time I heard this).  So I was kind of right on this one. My grade A

3) Social Networking : This will be a common theme among Web 2.0 and the mobile companies.

Boy, Was I right on the money on this one. Quite a few number of companies had social networking woven around their products. I am going to give myself a A+ on this one.

So my overall grade on my predictions would be a A.

Overall it was good to see so many companies pitching different ideas to VCs and it surely was a Sunday well spent. Kudos to the organizers for n job well done. The general opinion was that we need to see more of these and I believe talks are already on as to how to organize a bigger and a wider PROTO.in. And ofcourse, I will be there blogging live 🙂

12 Responses to “PROTO.in Report card”

  1. Ashish said

    I bow to thee man. To cover the entire event, upload all videos to YouTube and create a separate post for each company. Seriously, I envy the company you work for, and wish you all the best when you do start your company someday.

  2. tggokul said

    Hi Ashish,

    Thanks for the compliments. I can only hope that the company I work for thinks the same 🙂

    Anyway I checked out http://www.itasveer.com/ ( The URL you had provided when you wrote this comment). From what I see both you and PICSquare ( which I covered in PROTO.in) have similar products. Am I right? If not, what would be the differentating point?

    Thanks again for the kind words


  3. Anand said

    Wonderful coverage. I totally agree with your report card (based on the videos that u had uploaded). Would love to look @ the ppt’s presented by the companies (have requested kiruba also). Good luck !!!

  4. […] Gokul writes about the PROTO.in event held recently at Chennai Overall it was good to see so many companies pitching different ideas to VCs and it surely was a Sunday well spent. Kudos to the organizers for n job well done. The general opinion was that we need to see more of these and I believe talks are already on as to how to organize a bigger and a wider PROTO.in. Posted by Krish […]

  5. And how did you ever come to miss http://www.indianshutter.com ?

    The only space in India that not only provides amateurs to sell their photos online, but also helps them enhance revenues through offline training and mentoring programs ?


  6. tggokul said

    Hi Sanjeev,

    I think you misunderstood my post. I was only reviewing companies that had presented at proto.in. I will review indianshutter if it presents in the next edition of proto.in 🙂

  7. Krishnan said

    Gokul – Awesome job… you saved me a good $2000 in air ticket plus expenses due to murugan idli :)… I was at blogcamp.in and felt the “chennai” excitement and was hoping I could stay back for Proto.In but never happened.. Thanks to you.. I can see it from Seattle, WA!!

    Nandri (as they would say in Tamil!)


  8. tggokul said


    You are most welcome. 🙂

  9. Indimingle said

    What kind of attendee turnout was there at the event?


  10. […] blogger named Gokul has an excellent overview of the proceedings. Gokul noted that he didn’t see any disruptive products, but he said […]

  11. Ashish said

    Hi Gokul, stumled upon your blog again and noticed that there was an unanswered question for me :). You are right – we have similar product offerings. Though I would say there quite a few differentiators – both big and small. One of the biggest ones is this (www.itasveer.com/godoodle) – a Flash app for designing products. If you get the time – give the site a spin and tell me what you think.

  12. tggokul said

    Hi Ashish,

    Will do that soon.


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