I could finally make it proto. Despite my general disappointment about the innovation scene in the technology space I think that events such as Proto and Headstart are great platforms to help startups irrespective of whethere they are innovative or not (of course one could endlessly argue on what is the definition of innovation).
I could not make it to both the events blame it on the date clash of these events. On the positive side of the event what I liked was the way it was put together, all well coordinated and extremely professional. There were few good talks both in the business and the technology section, among the ones that I attended talks by Mohanjit, Roopa, Alok and Rajesh jain were good. Few of the other talks were boring and some more were plain company pitches. What I missed in proto was the exceedingly high energy level that exuberates in any event at chennai (especially in comparsion with the past ones such as blogcamp, wikicamp and others ). Also there is more talk about Innovation than actually there is (I think it is a generic economic problem ), this is a sentiment that was shared by Aashish as well while we hung out together at the event.
Companies that I liked that presented there are Mobisy/MobiTop (a platform making mobile development easy ) : They have an extremely good value proposition for making development on mobile easy. They are quite well known to the bangalore mobile community already. Synovel (colloboration suite based on Mozilla/Thunderbird): They are some of the best programmers I have ever seen and I know them since college and they are also globally respected open source officianados. My favourite example among the the companies that presented is http://www.atOneplace.com, a marketplace in which I think the value created is equal to the transaction costs eliminated by removing the friction in a real estate purchase.
I expected many VC’s to turn up but it was mostly the crowd of freshly minted management grads who might have been newly inducted as trainees at these VC firms which I think is not a very good thing. (From what I heard from Keshav and others Headstart was able to get actually about 10-12 VC’s to the event and not just VC firm representation in the event. Hmm!! ). Many of the startups that presented seemed to have gained from attending proto as they could source new leads in different aspects which is a good thing.
I think overall it was a bag of mixed response for me personally at proto.