After a successful run in London, Rio and Tel Aviv, the first Google Launchpad event in India is being hosted between Feb 2nd and 6th at the Idiom office/DREAM Center, Bangalore.
What is Google Launchpad?
Google Launchpad is a five-day mentorship program for early stage startups and will be focused on mentorship areas that include Product strategy, UX/UI, Technology, Go-to-Market/Marketing and more.
Each day in Google Launchpad is dedicated to a specific subject and includes presentations, one-on-one mentorship, and a lot of focused work. The idea is to achieve rapid progress in a very short time using a lot of resources and mentors experience.
The first edition of Launchpad was originally launched in Israel, and it was so successful that Google has had about 14 of these events there since then, with each batch having 15-20 startups.
For the Bangalore event, there are about 20 mentors, half who are Googlers from California and Israel, including Amir Shevat, Google’s startup outreach program manager.
Around 20 startups are a part of the mentorship program. Some of the startups are:
· CoSight – Helps make sales executives more efficient
· Findulum/Smart Pocket – Manages all your loyalty cards on the phone
· AdWyze – Provides interactive direct response solutions
· Wazzat Labs – Delivers efficient image processing, computer vision and graphics solutions on mobile platforms
· BabyChakra – Helps parents discover and decide on local services for their children
· BlueHat (Englishdost) – BlueHat are a mobile education company targeting the B2C English learning market
· Frilp – Helps find shops and services used and recommended by your friends, colleagues and other like-minded people
· CashKumar – Allows you to get the best rate on foreign exchange
· RightDoctor – Helps find the right doctor for your ailment
· Expin.me – A story builder application
Idiom is the venue partner for this exciting event. The Google Launchpad event is taking place at the Dream Center, which is an encouraging space at Idiom, often used to think and work with entrepreneurs; exchange learnings, create big game changing ideas and take them from mind to market, with skill, speed and imagination.
The Dream Center has been designed to capture a spirit of organized chaos. Started years ago, there was a realization that folks, especially business folks, enjoyed chaos. Some of the most breakthrough ideas were created around a long table with basic sandwiches, loads of nimbu paani and coffee, open doors with people rushing about…a feeling that can be best compared to ideating at a traffic junction.
The Dream Center is a space that allows you to ask ‘what if’ or ‘why not’ questions…under a rain tree. A colorful, joyous space that morphs from a space and screen to gain inspiration from, in HD quality, to a space where the ideas flow free and fast. A space to learn, to co-create, to compete – to think, feel and most importantly, do!
Harshit Srivastava, from Lucknow but now residing in New Delhi, has joined us for our second segment of ‘Featured Entrepreneur’. He’s a designer at Diva’ni, but has a special love for theater, and turned that love into a venture, which helps raise funds for a charity here in Bangalore. Let’s learn more about Harshit’s venture ‘Poetry in Motion’:
DREAM:IN: Hi Harshit, thank you for your time with us. First off, I know you’re a designer at Diva’ni. Give us a little about your background, and how you ended up there?
Harshit: Hi, Thank you Team Dream:in, this is really overwhelming. Born and brought up in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, I always had the creative instincts and wanted to pursue my dreams as my profession. After class 12th NIFT Bangalore, I got a lifetime opportunity to study in SWISS TEXTILE COLLEGE, Switzerland and then there was no looking back. During my academic period, I did internships in Pondicherry, Auroville, & Himachal Pradesh, and finally graduated in June 2014 as a gold medalist. I received a call from my dream company, Diva’ni and after, a dream interview at the yash raj studios. I am a part India’s first cinema inspired brand by yrf and kbsh.
DREAM:IN: I know you also have a deep passion for theater. Why do you love theater so much?
Harshit: Blame it on the dramatic movies or the love for performing arts. As a kid, I danced my heart out to all the possible audiences I could get, including my family, relatives and friends. I was in class 1 when I acted for the first time on stage, I was dam nervous, and my principal told me, “Go ahead, I can see a star in making”. I just went and performed and the claps never ended. I knew I was born to do this! With time, things matured and it was not just about dancing or acting now. It was more about finding one’s inner self, theater gave me the platform to do so. I started writing and directing too. The fact that theater still has that charm, which it used to have years ago, and yet it never grows old, makes me fall in love with theater again and again!
DREAM:IN: That’s great! So because of your passion, you started ‘Poetry in Motion’ which raises money for an orphanage here in Bangalore. Can you tell us about ‘Poetry in Motion’ and how it started?
Harshit: Once you are in a professional college, you hardly get time for yourself. College festivals and culturals are the only relief. I realized that the only time I made friends and actually loved my college life was during the rehearsals for these events. I thought, “what if such rehearsals never end!”. I wanted a group of people that meets everyday and do whatever they loved. I just sent my friends one single message and everybody was on board as if everyone was just waiting for that message! Within a week it became our dream and we named it ‘Poetry in Motion aka. POTION!’. A dance and drama company that was made to do larger than life musicals, we aimed at showing live movies on stage. The costumes, the sets, pre and post productions, trailer release, publicity events, and more, ‘Potion’ wanted to change the way theater was looked at and we succeeded in the same!
DREAM:IN: Would you like to give any details about the orphanage in Bangalore, or how can they can help them out as well?
Harshit: We, as a group, personally believed that performing arts brought us together but we needed a cause to stay together! Ashanilaya, an orphanage in Ejipura, Bangalore, became our motivation to work harder ! As the proceeds of our plays went to Ashanilaya, the girls at Ashanilaya became our family, and with the help of ‘Potion’, we not only did our best to support them but also gave them a chance to perform in front of thousands of people! ‘Potion’ made it a habit of celebrating festivals at Ashanilaya and conduct workshops with them. All they need is some love and if you have enough to share , the doors of Ashanilaya are always open for you! We would want more and more of youngsters to come forward and make their lives worth living. It is not about a single orphanage but giving back to the society at large!
DREAM:IN: About how many shows have you put on since starting ‘Poetry in Motion’?
Harshit: Potion debuted with its larger than life, Bollywood musical called, “Dastaan-e-laila Majnu”, followed by 4 street play performances, one silent theatrical performance, and “I Object(in post production)”.
DREAM:IN: What are some of the musicals and plays that your drama company has put on?
Harshit: ‘Dastan-E-Laila Majnu’, the flag bearer musical has been a dream come true for all of us! From the extravagant costumes to mesmerizing sets, it was a bollywood movie shown live on stage in one take! Potion also releases a theatrical teaser of every play and ‘Dastan-E-Laila Majnu’ and ‘I Object’’s trailers itself project the potential and the vision of the stories! Potion went on to perform award winning plays and became a defending champion at a national level college festival.
DREAM:IN: What’s the response from the students who act in the plays?
Harshit: Potion was never a place where people were forced to be a part of the team. The ones who loved came in and did what they always wanted to. For example, the ones who loved doing make up formed the, ‘make and styling department’, the ones who loved designing made the costumes and so on. All the team members just waited to meet and have fun on the practices. It was more of a family get together during the rehearsals and all of them actually felt bored when we didn’t have the practices!
DREAM:IN: Do you have any upcoming shows?
Harshit: Yes, we have a show in pipe line, but due to the team members moving to different parts of the country for jobs, we don’t know when we’ll perform it! But yes very soon, we’ll be back and the world will know that ‘potion’ was just on a break!!!
DREAM:IN:Where would you like to see ‘Poetry in Motion’ in 5-10 years?
Harshit: Potion is our baby. In coming 5 years I would want it to be India’s biggest dance and drama company, doing musicals all over the country, and helping as many people as we can! In coming 10 years we dream to go big and take theater next to bollywood, becoming the youngest production house!
DREAM:IN: If anyone wants to get involved with your organization, how can they reach out to you?
Harshit: They just need to send us a message on our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/poetryinmotionentertainment?ref=hl
We have ‘Potion’ representatives in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Bhopal.
DREAM:IN: Lastly, we ask every entrepreneur in every interview, do you have any tips or suggestions for budding entrepreneurs that may help them out on their venture?
Harshit: Well, I might be too young to give tips, but yes, would love to suggest people that all they need to do is dream, and not just dream, but also believe in themselves. Go out and just start the journey without thinking about the end, without thinking about the obstacles, all will be taken care off! Just keep going, and one day you’ll look back and realize why even you ever cared! Stay calm, stay focused and do what you are born to do!
Thank you team Dream:in, it was nice connecting with you guys.
Between 20th and 23rd March, Bangalore played host to Construkt Festival organized by Unstoppable.in and TIE. The festival was designed to bring together people from various backgrounds to create new opportunities and share their expertise. The festival was especially for entrepreneurs and creators from the tech, design, culinary and social communities.
As a part of the festival we participated in the ‘Crawl‘, which was a chance for us to open our doors and invite people to both DREAM:In and Idiom. The crawl was held on March 20th between 5 and 6 PM. Participants were introduced to Idiom and DREAM:IN by Sonia, Pooja and Liz. After a short discussion on the definition of design, the participants took part in an exercise using a design thinking tool in a live example.
The session saw the participants engage in conversations with our team and even hang their dreams on the Dream Tree.
On 22nd and 23rd, the Construkt Festival was held at Jayamahal Palace. DREAM:IN had a stall at the venue which featured the Dream tree. We had many inquiries and several dreams were captured by our DreamCatchers. Sonia, our founder was a part of a panel on Sunday which showcased some great examples of how design is being used in various areas like retail, products, sustainability and especially the social space.
The festival had a great bunch of people in attendance and we even managed to meet Aruj, one of our Dreamers who had set up a food stall at the venue.
To find out more about the festival you can log on here: http://construkt.me/
On 4th January, we conducted a DreamCatcher training workshop at the Acharya Bangalore Business School. This one day session was organized at the college, but also included students from neighbouring institutions like Presidency College, Don Bosco college of Science and Management, AIMIT and GT College. In total there were around 80 students who attended this workshop to sign up to be DreamCatchers who would capture Dreams from their respective colleges.
The day started with a colourful registration process, where we saw students line up not just to share their contact details and also to take candid pictures.
The session started with an introduction to DREAM:IN by Rahul, who shared our journey and vision with the audience. Post this, Sonia took over and spoke about the importance of Dreaming and how together we can believe in a Dream and therefore realize it.
To start the process of capturing dreams, Rahul explained how to get beyond the fears and anxieties and capture the real dreams of people. He shared the steps on how to best capture a dream and showed some examples too. Suryarshi Mitra, faculty at NICC, Bangalore then took over to teach the budding DreamCatchers the tricks to capture a good quality video. He spoke to them about light, sound and even context while capturing a dream. He ended his session by giving everyone the assignment to capture the dreams of their teammates. There was a flurry as students paired off in teams and tried to put their newly acquired knowledge into capturing good Dreams.
Post lunch, these dreams were analysed by Suryarshi, who helped the students understand how to make their videos better. He pointed out ways in which the DreamCatchers could creatively capture Dreams. Finally, students were given instructions on how to send across their Dreams and were briefed on the DreamCatching journey we have in place.
We had a great time with the students at ABBS. They had great energy and showed a lot of potential in capturing high quality Dreams.
For now we say goodbye to the students, wish them luck and look forward to receiving the Dreams!
WEConnect is a global organization that facilitates sustainable economic growth by increasing opportunities for women-owned businesses to succeed in global value chains. WEConnect identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women’s business enterprises that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and is the only non-profit connecting women-owned businesses with multi-national corporate purchasing organizations outside of the U.S.
This year, WEConnect is organizing a ‘Think Big’ event in Bangalore on 19th November at the JW Marriott. The event is a call to women owned businesses to dream big and dream bold. To help facilitate this DREAM:IN will be holding a DreamScaping workshop at the event between 1:30 PM and 4:30 PM.
DreamScaping is a design thinking tool which is used to generate blueprints of businesses, ideas, products or services. DreamScapes aim at creating new value by bringing together the skills and expertise of multi-disciplinary professionals.
The participants of the workshop will each get to interact with a business and design mentor who will work with them to DreamScape their business idea. The workshop will be interactive, fun and most of all value creating!
We look forward to this event and to the big Dreams of these women entrepreneurs!
The IDEX Accelerator is a career launch-pad for aspiring social enterprise practitioners. IDEX’s 6 month program offers intense field experience and leadership training curriculum that equips fellows with the equivalent of 2 years marketable work experience that’s relevant to social enterprise employers.
The IDEX fellows have now been associated with DREAM:IN for nearly 2 years. In 2012, a number of IDEX fellows became DreamCatchers and captured entrepreneurial Dreams for DREAM:IN Next Gen. This year, Daniel Oxenhandler (one of last year’s fellows) took over from his predecessor as the IDEX programme coordinator. He is currently co-coordinating the program with Joe Kent (another former IDEX fellow) and is looking after the group based in Bangalore. Daniel and Joe were very eager to work with DREAM:IN right from the start of their fellowship. They had approached DREAM:IN and asked us to do a design thinking workshop for them. Instead of doing another workshop, we offered to help them develop their ideas* and reframed the initial plan, designing a process and a camp (based on DREAM:IN and Idiom’s earlier experience). Sonia Manchanda and Raji Math took over to create and conceptualise the Idex Design Thinking Camp.
*The fellows were split in to 5 teams and were asked to create social venture ideas/plans of their own, and over the 6 month fellowship, through different programs, they were going to try and create sustainable businesses out of the ideas that they had come up with.
Prior to the IDEX Design Camp, the fellows had a day long workshop at Jaaga where they came up with 5 different ideas (Given below). Meanwhile, Daniel and Joe had met with the DREAM:IN Team to plan a workshop to help the fellows flesh out their ideas and help take them to the next level. Given DREAM:IN’s expertise in events like this, a two day workshop was planned that was to bring design thinking to stage zero of the value creation process by questioning plans and notions and opening up possibilities, combining the facets of big Dreams, visions and scenarios, supporting them with hard facts, plans and prototypes. The goal would be to create a compelling venture argument that blends critical and creative thinking, to help take original ideas to market as projects or ventures. The Camp was planned over the 5th and the 6th of October, 2013. The focus would be on practical work – to bring the idea alive, to make it as believable as possible
PRE CAMP: DREAMCATCHING
Prior to the IDEX Design Camp, Dreams of the fellows were captured. This included some serious questioning about the plan that will help the Dreamers prepare for the camp and make their plans even more actionable. These Dreams were uploaded on to www.dreamin.in for everyone to view and post their feedback on.
CAMP DAY 1
5 OCTOBER 2013
The Day started with an introduction to DREAM:IN followed by a showcase of the Dreams of the fellows that were captured prior to the workshop. Teams were created and each team had the involvement of an external mentor who were invited to guide the fellows and help them shape their ideas as well as designers from Idiom who also contributed to the development of the ideas.
The Mentors that attended were –
Mr. Vijay Ladha, entrepreneur and Director, Make a Wish Foundation, Bangalore
Raahul Khadaliya, Creative Director, Studio ABCD
Ashwini Sashidhar, Designer, Machani Group
Jadeja Dushyant, Innovation expert and tech expert at Intel
Kavita Arora, Design enthusiast and part of the team behind Design Day
Amit Singh, Entrepreneur and part of the team behind Design Day
We also had mentors walk in and help out the fellows during the two days. Sonia Manchanda began with an introduction to the Design Camp and explained the process of Insight/Knowledge mining by using our very own ‘Create Preserve Destroy’ tools and methodology. From a knowledge sharing perspective, the perspectives presented in Bruce Nussbaum’s book Creative Intelligence on Business Design, Roger Martin and some successful entrepreneurial models developed by Idiom were touched upon.
During this session Francois Xavier, entrepreneur and DREAM:IN Mentor, Michael Hartman, serial entrepreneur, Kush Medhora, Co-founder and CEO, DREAM:IN and Girish Raj, Co-founder, Idiom Design and consulting spent time with each team, gave them feedback and helped them structure their ideas and plans.
We interviewed Michael and Francois separately and asked them what they thought about the Design Camp. Both of them were really impressed with the Camp, the participants and the processes. They were also really happy that design thinking was an integral part of the camp and that all the ventures/ideas being shaped were using design thinking in various aspects of the shaping process.
Post lunch, we then began with the DreamScaping* session that was introduced by Mo Polamar.
*A DreamScape is a creative scenario building tool and methodology that helps sketch out Dreams or ideas in vivid detail.
In this open innovation session, the purpose of the DreamScapes were to map and generate blueprints to co-create new value via sustainable initiatives or business plans for products, services, systems and applications, that could be potentially sustainable enterprises of the future, created by multidisciplinary professionals with different skills, experience and expertise. All the teams worked for over 2 hours on their DreamScapes and were able to put down a clearer map of their ideas.
Soon after this, we had a series of presentations by entrepreneurs that were working in sustainability. Raahul Khadaliya went first. He spoke about the role of design in sustainibility6 and the kind of work he has been doing with Studio ABCD.
One of very own Next Gen entrepreneurs, Ifthikar Javed was next. He spoke about his start up My Eco Day, an online solar product retailer, and about the solar industry in India today. The audience asked him questions like is Solar power practical? What is it is raining, will solar power work then? How can you compete with the government?
Our final speaker for the day was Kamal Raj, another Next Gen Entrepreneur who spoke about his company, Reap Benefit, and organisation that is offering wiser waste management solutions to various stakeholders. Kamal was asked about how waste segregation can be integrated in to daily life? Does he have a program or a plan to engage with individuals and not only institutions? All the speakers answered all these questions
CAMP DAY 2
6 OCTOBER 2013
Day 2 of the IDEX Design Camp began with each team presenting the work that they had done over the previous day in front of a panel consisting of Mr. Bala Warrier, CEO, Manipal Foundation, Francois Xavier, Girish Raj, Sonia Manchanda and Mo Polamar. Every team had been given 10 minutes to present their Dreams and 5 minutes for questions and feedback. The videos of the presentation and the feedback that was given will be posted on the DREAM:IN Portal shortly.
The first team to present was Thirsties (later re-branded as team Ekho) Mr. Warrier asked them why they were planning to use water bottles as there is already so much plastic waste everywhere, the team replied by saying that they were planning to use bio-degradable water bottles for this very reason. Mr. Warrier also explained that there were already several organisations in India that were in to the distribution of clean drinking water and he would be glad to connect the team to them. Francois advised the team to not forget about the Indian side of this engagement. He said that two plans needed to be made, one for the American side of it and the other for India. Girish and Mo mentioned that the working (logistics, operations etc.) of this venture would need to be looked at and planned a little more carefully
The second team to present their work was team Prana. After their presentation, Girish explained to them that they might need to look at a village production center, do a little more research and also work out costs. Sonia and Mo mentioned that there were already existing business that follow similar models like Fab India and Mother Earth and it would good to study them while Francois gave them advice on how they could structure/frame the Prana story
The third team to go up was Kamal Kisan. The founder of Kamal Kisan, Devi Murthy was also present. Francois asked them why they had selected one particular process as an investor might ask them the logic behind that. Devi answered that she had selected rice planting as they were aiming at finding a heavily labour dependant farm process since availability of labour is a concern, therefore, this gap would give her venture an edge.
The next team to go up was ‘Dream Revolution’. Soon after their presentation, Girish asked them to explain their process a little more in detail. He also explained to them that in theory their idea might work, but when it comes to practically implementing it, they might re look at various aspects of the idea. He told them that there is a technology aspect as well as an on ground aspect that they will need to look at. Francois told the team that following the ‘pen-pal’ system might not be a good idea as the old pen pal system is gone, people are taking to online social networking instead, so why not create a ‘pad-pal’ using tablets and phones.
The final team to present was team ‘Learn by doing’. Nitin from the team answered questions after the presentation that were put forth by the Mentors. They really liked his idea and Francois advised him to carefully look through and identify the kind of schools, students and other stakeholders that they plan to engage with.
Essentially, there were a few gaps in all the various ideas that were addressed. Some of them included, creating a solid revenue model, streamlining the business process, identifying the right kind of partners etc.
Mr. Warrier even extended his support to the team behind Thirsties and Prana and said that he would be glad to connect them to local partners/enablers to help them implement their ideas.
Over the weekend, Jordan Kapowitz, a friend and supporter of DREAM:IN visited us in Bangalore and worked on a film for the DREAM:IN Portal. This film was screened at the session and everyone really appreciated it. It will be live on www.dreamin.in very soon.
We had a surprise planned for our very own Mallikarjuna Swamy, an integral part of Idiom and DREAM:IN and the head of the DREAM:IN Tumkur project. It was his birthday a couple of days earlier and the DREAM:IN Team had him cut a birthday cake along with fellow October birthday babies (Mr. Warrier and Hansa).
Over the past month a group of young design students from Srishti school of Art, Design and had been undertaking a course in branding at Idiom. As a part of this course, they were given the IDEX projects to brand and design collaterals for. Most of these students had never presented before such a big audience ever before, they were a little shy initially, but after warm encouragement from the audience, they really got in to the act. Each team presented 3 or more variations for the brands that they had designed and the feedback from the audience was unanimous. Everyone loved the work, some options were favoured over others, but all the designers were very well appreciated. Interesting feedback was also given, one instance in particular, one of the options that the designers had come up with for the project Kamal Kisan, was a logo that had hands reaching upwards. Mr Ladha, one of the mentors, explained that designers need to be careful when creating brands because in this case, symbols of two major rival political parties were incorporated (not on purpose) in to the brand. Also the name might face registration issues as another major Indian brand shares a similar name.
Soon after lunch, every team was given a camera and a brief to create a pitch film (or at least a draft) with the help of editors at DREAM:IN so that they could incorporate their learnings over the past two days in to this. The session ended with each team presented their pitch videos and over the next few days will have some time to refine their work before publishing it on the DREAM:IN Portal and using it at their final showcase. One pitch video in particular (the Dream Revolution team) was very well received and the team even received a standing ovation from the crowd.
The workshop ended on a promising note with positive feedback from the participants
The tremendous effort which was evidenced in the quality, organization, and thoroughness of the workshop was also appreciated by all present. The fellows we were told, gained a lot from working with their mentors and teams and were all excited to see what shape their ventures would take in the final showcase in November. Some of these ideas could turn in to real ventures (in fact 2 of them – Kamal Kisan and Learn by doing already are!) which will all be showcased in November. Stay tuned for updates.
As most of you already know, the travelling Indo-German Urban Mela has been in Bangalore this past week. The Mela has finished it’s first round in Mumbai and is in Bangalore until the 1st of July. On the occasion of completing 60 years of Indo-German diplomatic relations, a collaborative celebration titled “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities” is being held in India.
Several German companies that have operations in India are hosting pavilions at the Mela to showcase innovative products and ideas. After visiting the various pavilions at the exhibition, we’re sure that you will find that the Deutsche Bank Pavilion stands out. Why? Because apart from hosting a solar powered airplane project and a $300 house, they are also home (at the pavilion) to one of the Mela’s biggest attractions – The Dream tree by DREAM:IN.
After a very successful run at the Mumbai leg of the mela (where the tree collected some 3000 odd Dreams) The Tree is now in Bangalore and seems nearly ready to harvest! The (scaled-down version) of the Dream Tree being featured at the pavilion has been planted to capture the people’s Dreams for their city.
The concept of the Dream tree goes back to the ancient Indian tradition of tying ‘wishes’ on special trees in holy places. We, at DREAM:IN, believe that a person’s dream is one of the most pure and special attributes that defines that person. Apart from being successfully installed in New York and Sao Paolo, we also have a Dream Tree at the DREAM:IN Center in Bangalore. This tree is designed to capture a persons aspirations, by simply writing down (and tearing away) their dream on a tag, then tying this tag on to the Dream Tree. These Dreams, then are in turn tweeted out from the Dream Tree twitter account to hundreds (slowly growing to thousands and more) followers on twitter and blog. (We are currently working on building a technology platform of our own to feature these Dreams)
Apart from being showcased on the internet and having these Dreams viewed by Big Dreamers to the ‘aam aadmi ‘ we’ve also got lots of plans for the Dreams that are being collected on the Dream Trees (we’ll share these plans with you very soon).
The Dream Tree is a part of a mechanism of a growing movement that is DREAM:IN, where we believe that everyone, everywhere has the right to Dream and has the right to an equal future. So come, become a part of the movement and drop by the Deutsche Bank Pavilion, to share your Dream and show that you care about your city. (send us a photograph with you and the Tree to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll feature it on our Facebook page)
Come, Start Dreaming with us!