Originally published at Entrepreneur.com
Currently, the biggest and the best Work In Progress in India is the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Apart from the government and the entrepreneurs themselves, there are a few other contributors who are giving their best to make India a land of innovation and entrepreneurship. Being a direct recipient of the efforts made, I am taking this opportunity to thank the organizations which arrange frequent and huge startup expos.
In the span of 4 months (February 2016 to June 2016,), team Morphedo has participated in 4 expos, and in this article, I will be talking about the different kind of exposures that a startup gets from exhibiting at different kinds of expos.
What do you see in an Expo?
In any startup exhibition, you get to witness promoters of young business ventures increasing the reach of their idea, their brand, and the backbone technology behind their venture. The exhibiting startups have an allotted space called booth/stall. It’s only their passion that gives the entrepreneurs all the energy to stand throughout the day, keep interacting with people to make them aware about their offerings.
When is the right time for any startup to start participating in expos?
Even if you are a venture, which has not yet launched their core product but are ready with the prototype, I would say that these expos would help you in crossing the first level of product validation. The stall allotted to you is a platform to pitch your product to everyone you can attract to your stall by your differentiating strategies. You get to answer a lot of queries related to your venture, at the same time you can record a lot of observations from the response of the crowd which can be later worked upon to build a better product.
Whom does a startup meet at an expo?
Expos leaves you with a lot of leads. It provides you an opportunity to meet potential customers, partners, as well as investors. Some of them also arrange for an investor zone.
What is the motive of the organizers behind arranging the expos?
If you observe these events closely, you will realize that apart from the intention of business, these expos are initiated and organized by people who are passionate about helping budding entrepreneurs find their way to success. These teams are among one of the enablers of the entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Kinds of expos:
This year our team has attended 4 expos and all of them were different in nature. Following is the brief on the expositions and the exposure our company got from the exhibitions:
SURGE, 2016 (Expo specific to emerging technologies): Web Summit which is called as the best technology conference on the planet, named its first conference in India as SURGE. This is the same Web summit where Uber raised $37 million for Series B. SURGE 2016, was organized on 23rd and 24th February in Bengaluru, and the gathering had about 5,000 attendees including over 400 startups, 250 investors, 200 media, and other influencers from more than 70 countries. All the attendees stayed connected to each other by an amazing mobile application that was specifically designed for the event. Startups across the globe were evaluated and after a trivial selection process approximately 400 startups were selected, 200 startups exhibited on each day. Startups from all the emerging technologies could be seen there. SURGE gave us so many leads for business partners, B2B customers and gave us a lot of confidence for investor interaction.
StartUp Expo by TiE (Startups from all sectors exhibited)
This one-day expo was organized at Epicentre, Gurgaon on 23rd April 2016 and was another amazing experience for team Morphedo. Our business was exposed to a huge crowd. The response of people towards our business gave us so much strength that we didn’t get tired even after standing and talking the whole day. When you are pitching your idea to so many people you are crossing the steps and moving ahead in the process of validating your business. The expo helped us generate relevant connections and partnership. The exhibition had a superb arrangement for investor interaction. An investor zone where 200 startups were exposed to 30 investors.
eRetail Congress 2016 (Manufacturing and Retail specific):
The two-day event held on 29th and 30th April’ 2016, at Hyatt Regency, Gurgaon was a lifetime experience for any new born company exhibiting there. The specialty of this expo was its STARTUP KICKOFF platform where few of the selected startups got the opportunity to pitch their business plans to investors. It was really very well organized. The startups were also exposed to speakers, who were founders of the well-known brands from the Indian startup world and there was a lot to be taken away from their experience.
3D Print India( 3D Printing Industry specific):
This expo was organized by Entraine Business Services and it brought together national as well as international industry experts. The three-day expo helped us closely study the 3D Printing ecosystem in India. This expo was much needed for Morphedo at the time when we are planning for the beta launch of a 3D Printing marketplace. We got a very good response from the makers (3D Printer owners) and they are all excited to come on board. We also met people who are planning to venture into this industry. Morphedo aims to democratize manufacturing and make it a local phenomenon. With the launch of our marketplace, we will become the enablers of 3D Printing ecosystem in India. Hence, everyone present at the expo was our client in some or the other way.
We can definitely say that the exhibitions have proved to be a catalyst in our journey and with each expo Morphedo becomes a little more prepared to handle the journey ahead.