The Startup Centre Open House

There were probably over 50 people (may be 70) at The Startup Centre (TSC) open house yesterday.  It was fun. Vijay said something significant “it is not about The Startup Centre. It is about the startup eco-system in Chennai”.  A few random thoughts:

  • Lots of new faces and many familiar ones. TSC is a hub. It is a magnet.
  • It is a bit of a brewery. It is one of the new places to be, if you are interested in entrepreneurship.
  • You need not be an entrepreneur. You can just be curious about entrepreneurs or some one who wants to help them (like an angel or VC). You can be working somewhere and wondering why people start their own companies.
  • It is a place for startup conversations. You always learn something new. You always meet someone interesting.
  • I have been a regular (well almost). Now that it has come a bit closer to where I live, I will visit it more frequently.
  • It is a place to hangout and talk tech. Or talk business. In this new place the atmosphere is just right.
  • Yesterday, at the open house,  I met a young group of students from IITM. Two of them are doing their PhD. They want to do a startup that has nothing to do with their PhD topic. Fascinating.
  • Chennai’s entrepreneur ecosystem is taking shape. There are many groups that complement one another. TSC is one to go to if you are just starting.
  • If you are a techie, hangout in Chennai Geeks group. Many interesting discussions take place both online (on Facebook) and offline in our meets.
  • If are an entrepreneur or wannapreneur, attend a few Chennai Open Coffee Club meets. Some of the most interesting people I know in Chennai, I met there.
  • If already found your startup and planning to grow – Filter Kapi is the place. Check it out.
  • Every city needs a bunch of these groups. That is how you build an eco-system. We need to pull in the acadamics. Right now they are a bit of an island.
  • TSC, as I mentioned before is a good hub. Naru hangs out there. Suresh does too. If you don’t know them, you need to make it a point to know them. Just one conversation with each one of them can teach you so much.
  • TSC attracts people like Murali D. Have you met him? You should. Try to sit with him and chat about the entrepreneurs he meets. He can tell you a lots of fascinating stories.
  • Vijay is tireless. He is trying to sow seeds of startup ecosystems, wherever he can.
  • n50hrs is an experience you can’t afford to miss. It is one of those events that will make you wonder why you are not a startup yet.

If you just want to see future unfold, right in front of your eyes, you want to go to a few of these meets – TSC, TiEChennai, Nasscom Emerge and now Product Nation with its Round Tables. They all add up. They are all trying to bootstrap a startup eco-system. They can use all the help and encouragement, they can get. Jump in. Participate. You will be happy you did.