Monthly Archives: April 2011

What can you do In50Hrs?

You can come with an idea and walk out with a prototype. I attended In50hrs recently. I was determined not to repeat the same mistakes that did during 32hrstartup. In50hrs is an event where you can walk in with an idea and go out with a prototype. Awesomeness.

About the event:

In50hrs is an initiative by the The Startup Centre who are “an early stage startup accelerator with an initial focus in the mobile, web and software technology space. The Centre is also a hub for technology, design and startup-related events and interactions” in their own words. Spearheaded by The Startup Guy aka Vijay Anand, they’re out to disrupt the startup ecosystem in India. In50hrs was their MVP and they did a great job with it.

Compared to 32hourstartup, this had a more mentor oriented approached where each team is assigned a mentor and mini-milestones to achieve over 50 hours. People had to pitch their ideas, get programmers who will help them if they aren’t one themselves and get the MVP out for demo time. Mentors are experienced entrepreneurs who have been there and done that. The pitching time helped people research and validate their ideas and also to form teams if they didn’t have one already. People with the ideas were encouraged to sketch and list the MVP’s features after pitching.

There were about 24 ideas that were pitched and in the end 16 made the light of the day. The amount of energy in that place was just amazing. So many people all very like minded and determined to become entrepreneurs with ideas that were very innovative. It was just surreal to be there and enjoy such an atmosphere. It mind-blowing in a way because it was a simulator about how things are in Silicon Valley and what sort of energy, skill and talent is present among the people in there. There were also a bunch of people who were in there to provide requirements gathering and testing services, and also a bunch of students who did a all of the UX/UI work for most of teams. College students stole the show with their amazing ideas and to name a few – a service to share notes – benchmateYuvi‘s middlebenchers – an objective college review site.

How I fared:

I did better this time because I was wiser from the mistakes I made at 32hourstartup. I decided to help Sathyanarain with band.vc which is an online presence platform for bands across the world. And right there when the pitching was going on, I had an eureka moment and I decided to pitch an idea about a collaborative sms spam filter application to curb the menace of the spam “grow hair”, “get a pan card” smses that you get bombarded with daily.

I wanted to make an Android app which communicates to a backend that handles the collaborative sms spam reporting and the client application that handles the blocking and filtering on the client side. After a lot of discussions with my mentor Shivakumar Narayanan, I decided to make a very minimal but working application that handles blocking and the collaborative reporting with the help of Russel Nickson (Oh did I mention he’s a college student too?) who did an amazing work with the Android app while I handled the backend part.

What I gained:

An awesome idea that I can work further on that solves a lot of people’s problems, a lot of positive energy, a lot of new connections and a satisfaction that I spent a weekend usefully.

What’s next for The Startup Centre:

At the feedback session it was promised that TSC will come up with one such in50hrs every quarter and there will also be different themes attached to each event. I really look forward to the next in50hrs. They have also opened applications for the Resident Programme*, where they house promising startups for 6 months and provide them with office space.

What’s next for SpamBlocker:

A lot of things need to be worked out – the backend(spam filtering) and the frontend(android app) need serious re-work. My idea from the 32hourstartup has been shelved and I hope to make this one into a real product that can make all our lives easier without the frustration of having to deal with spam smses!