Why #in50hrs doesn’t declare winners

Time and time again people ask us who are the winners of In50hrs and what do they get. I stop and ponder for a while and I realize that there are a lot of hackathons where there areprizes and winners being announced.

We had written a post earlier on how In50hrs is an Idea-to-Prototype event and not a hackathon. The difference is that, a prototype becomes a product and a product becomes a startup.  a hack… err, what do they become? Well, We havent quite figured out the answer to that. Most of the times, it doesnt become anything.

We realized after a few editions of In50hrs, that the “winners” we announced were the first to drop off. Teams dispersed and never did anything beyond that. Whereas the ones that built a prototype but didnt win, went off to do something beyond it – sometimes just to prove that they were the better ones.

On analysing this we realized it was a matter of satisfying vs gratifying. One a team has “won”, the mindset is that of a milestone crossed, mission accomplished and it is very hard to rally a team to still stick around. Once goals are met, teams dispurse. But with nothing more than a prototype in hand, you still have the onus of customer development, to go into the market (aka, get the hell out of the building) and talk to people and validate what you started off with. If you don’t follow up with that step, the prototype building process was a weekend getaway, with nothing to show for.

As per our statistics, one third of the teams that come together at In50hrs stay together post the event and ship the product – at the least an alpha launch page. Its a huge gulf crossed, because once people sign up, wanting to test the product the team gains momentum to wanting to launch it.

We try to delay the gratification and are consciously steering clear to give any signs that you have crossed the well. Until you hit customers, launch, and get real users behind your product you haven’t. And when you do that, the market will tell you whether you won or not, or if its time to go back to the drawing board. In any case, none of us – not even the jurors (who are mislabelled at in50hrs) have a say in that.

Ideas Pitched / Prototyped at In50hrs Pune 5

1. InstaMe
Digital Business cards that are easy to share via Mobile – aimed at freelance professionals who want to build a following, the less tech-savvy way. They prototyped a way to build and share a passbook file that you can keep on your phone and share.
The app even lets you track how many people have your contact on their phones – and you can update/send a message if you are doing a new dance class batch etc.
2. LetsshareRide
A mobile app that allows anyone – with a car or motorbike to become a carpooler, on the go. Turn on “Carpool mode” and commuters can coordinate with you for a pickup and share a ride.
3. Slambook
Nostalgic about the slambook era where friends wrote about their fond memories of you? Well, now its online in Digital form.
4. Pracly
Pracly allows entrepreneurs, product managers and anyone who is creating value to find the right support they require, by connecting them to mentors and experts. You book a time, pay for it, and you get a fixed timeslot with a mentor/expert to get personal advice for a specific issue. Live at www.pracly.in
5. OfferBol
Allows you to find deals of local stores nearby.
6. Obhiyo
Been in a situation where a friend sold his used book. And you went and bought the same book for new and didnt know someone in your own network had it for sale? Well, Obhiyo aims to solve that.
7. Hackreward
Hackreward is solving the problem of recruitment and talent search by leveraging the github repository, setup by companies, aiding applicants to collaboratively build “systems”, not write modular code or solve mathematical algorithms and use the community to spot the best talent. Live at www.hackreward.com (the final codebase yet to be uploaded)
8. Narad
A Hardware based prototype that is like a portable NAS (Network Attached Storage) that you can use to move files between SD Cards, USB drives, Camera , Mobile Etc. What do they solve – well those times when your camera is running full and you need to dump it into a storage device, but cant do it without a PC nearby.
Next Event – in Chennai on Sept 27th (www.in50hrs.com/chennai)
====================================
The Three Ideas that didn’t move to the Prototype Stage.
1. A Solution for screening Fraudulent Resumes
2. A peer to peer rental platform
3. A Local platform for buyers/sellers
The teams will be announcing when the prototypes go live, via the In50hrs Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/in50hrs/ – you can join, if you’d like to be kept updated and want to give feedback to the teams.

How to make a pitch (at In50hrs)?

We’ve done a post earlier on how to pitch to a team mate. Since we are scaling up to a few more locations, we thought it would make sense for folks to understand the format of what goes into a pitch when you attend In50hrs.

Each Pitch in In50hrs is timed at 3 minutes. For an effective pitch, this is the outline to follow:

1. Introduce yourself.

2. Explain the problem statement.

3. Explain the solution you are proposing

4. Briefly mention what your strengths are, what you bring to the table, and what you are looking for.

If you’d like a breakup of the time, the recommended format is: 30 seconds – Two Minutes – One minute and 30 seconds.

Now, remember what the adage says, “Practice makes perfect”. Practice your pitch before you arrive at the event, it makes all the difference.

 

Announcement: Hello to Trivandrum. Goodbye Delhi.

Honestly, this has been a long time coming, but we needed some sure shot data before we made the call. With In50hrs Bangalore underway and having to announce the next set of dates for the events, we thought it was time we made the announcement.

The Story of Delhi:

We love the city of Delhi. Just being in the city brings back feelings and emotions like any other, but its also been a tough city to grow an ecosystem. Personally, we’ve done several efforts in the past to grow a community there – via OCC etc, but the understanding has been very clear – if people from elsewhere can grow a community, Silicon valley would have remote branches by now. Communities can only be grown locally. All other factors are a matter of support and strengthening. We havent been able to find that anchor. I believe events like Startup Weekend, PeerHack and Product Nation will be the one to build that community. Which also means Delhi has options and we are leaving it to good hands.

We did two editions in Delhi, and the logistical cost of bringing team, materials, and getting the word out (for an event where the principal objective is not to make money) didnt make sense – not with the fact that there is a lack of a community, and Delhi is overly business sided that makes technical hackathons and prototyping events quite a challenge. We were constantly getting requests from a lot of folks asking, if they come and pitch on Friday, if we’ll have the prototype ready by Sunday – that’s delhi for you. Quick, and to the Point – on the Business front.

We run these efforts on shoestring budgets. And The Startup Centre is a Startup of Startups – we arent venture funded, or backed by a large corporate. Its a small group of individuals wanting to make a difference and hopefully build a viable business model around it – by virtue of making entrepreneurs succeed extremely well. Somewhere there was a disconnect.

 

Hello Trivandrum

Make no doubts about it though, we are expanding. There are two more cities coming up, but we wanted to see and strengthen where we are far more effective. We have been taking a call, and even asking people from our community where they are based out of and would like an event like In50hrs.

Kerala has been on our minds for a while now, and it was just a matter of picking between Cochin and Trivandrum. (Cochin is still in the race though).

So we want to do one edition of In50hrs in Trivandrum. We are not sure if that IS the place in Kerala or If Cochin is the place, but the participation we see should help make that decision. 

As a Startup, it all fundamentally comes down to one rule: Try a lot, keep what works, cut off what isnt working. So we are trying a lot. And hopefully will continue doing more of what and where its working.

In the meantime, We look forward to saying Hello to Trivandrum.

Trivandrum 1st Edition
May 3rd – May 5th, 2013

Leave your Email Address to be Notified.

 

 

Announcing the Mentors and Jurors for In50hrs Bangalore 2

We are hosting In50hrs in Bangalore – for the second time – at the same ThoughtWorks Office. The ambience and the hospitality of that bunch is hard to bunch.

So in the same serene environment as last time, we are back and this time, this is the line up of Mentors who will spend two days at the event – working with the teams and prepping them up and the Jurors who will give feedbacks on Demo Evening on Sunday.

 

Mentors:

1. Deepak Shenoy (Entrepreneur, Financial Whiz)

2. Hitesh Gupta (UI / UX)

3. Pratyush Prasanna (Technologist – Founder of a Health Startup)

4. Arvind Devaraj (Android Expert)

5. Atif Haider (Technologist, LaunchYard)

6. Surendran Mahendran (Co-Founder, MarkupWand, YCombinator Startup)

7. Joylita Saldanha (Product Guru)

 

Jury:

1. Prateek Dayal of SupportBee

2. Shivkumar of Exotel

3. Rutvik Doshi of Inventus Capital

4. Rahul Chowdri of Helion Ventures

5. Nagarjun Kandukuru, Thoughtworks

 

… Along with the Team of In50hrs – Vijay Anand and Shayon Mukherjee of The Startup Centre

 

We will be adding a few more in the next few days. But if you are looking for a start for your venture, this seems to be an apt way to go for the launch of that Idea.

Registrations for the last few slots here.

What after In50hrs?

We get this question a lot. What happens to the teams and Prototypes after In50hrs. Thought we’d answer:

There are three key things to achieve in event like In50hrs:

1. Form the Pitch and prove the capability to attract a team

2. Test Drive the team

3. Build a prototype that encapsulates the essence of the idea and allows you to validate it with people without necessarily having to be there in person.

The next step after In50hrs would be to take the time to build that prototype into a product – and that is a longer process. You have to get the userflows right, setup the landing page, the login screens etc etc, and flesh out the MVP that one will pay for, and sign up a paying customer.

The Startup Centre has a programme named The Resident Programme which works closely with teams to do this – including taking them to customers to market validate it. (http://www.thestartupcentre.com/…)

There are a few things you should do, no matter what, just right after In50hrs:

1. Setup your landing page

2. Give it a name and get the url

3. Host the Prototype online under a subdomain (http://prototype.xyz.com)

4. Make a video of that one key feature of the product – as built in In50hrs, and
use that to get signups for your beta.

5. Apply for the TSC Resident Programme – or start working on building the Product.

In50hrs is Evolving

In50hrs is now a growing baby, a really really fast growing baby. We have been around for close to 2 years now, and close to 14 events down across four different cities – and we are making plans to expand.

Before that however, we wanted to do a few tweaks.

We started In50hrs with a rather straightforward agenda – bring people together and let them prototype. Over time, we thought it made life simpler by segregating ideasmiths, developers and the designers and incentivizing folks seperately. While that has been interesting, we are evolving In50hrs in a slightly different tangent.

While the 500+ ideas we’ve heard are all interesting and the 180 Prototypes that have come out are meritorius, the 25 startups is the number we are trying to improve.  When we looked at all that we can do, one thing came out to us – to dig up more solid problems to solve. At The Startup Centre, we have been noticing the same thing, that startups that solve a real problem swing by most of the issues that most entrepreneurs crib about – with a solid problem and a persuasive plan/prototype/product to solve it, it looked like most of the battle is won.

In50hrs Bangalore will be the last of its old edition. Starting from the Pune Edition, In50hrs will be about solving some real world problems. Towards that end, we are collating the meanest, and the tougest problems from entrepreneurs all cross to bring them to you – this will be across healthcare, education, retail, enterprise et all (17 sectors identified so far)  and even some nifty prizes behind some of the promising Ideas/Prototypes to solve them.

You are still welcome to bring your own problems – that you see, and the idea, pitch, form teams and prototype. In50hrs as a platform just will offering a bit more than what it has so far.

We are excited about the journey ahead. Hope you are too.

Make My Trip, Hosts the Delhi Edition of In50hrs, Making Entrepreneurs

The hotcake idea of the event was iVolunteer.

iVolunteer – Ask any event organizer about having volunteers at their event, they’d get back to you with what a pain is. Volunteering is fun to a lot of folks but to dig out interesting events that goes good with their line of interest is just left to oblivion. iVolunteer aims at solving the problem staring with getting folks up for volunteering for NGOs is a gamified model.

  • Heisenberg – Platform for marketers in both offline and online segment – Most successfully running companies look forward to run ads in the offline and online segment and as a result to that, leads start to generate. The  problem kickstarts right there. The marketing team is stranded clueless about where the conversion is happening from and how they’d manage all the leads that get generated. So, Heisenberg comes to a rescue as a system to manage all the leads in effective way by letting the companies track online conversions and take voicemails for companies to get back to the leads generated in a more structured and easy format. 
  • bazaarSquare – Searching for the product availability and the best price in the stores in a location is a daunting task. Local Search aims at Social-sourcing the data from the brick and mortar store and lets you search in real-time to find the best prices and availability for the products you want to buy by having detailed product information and user reviews from the real users around the area, so that you can be confident you’re getting a product that fits your needs. 

We had around 12 Participants during the event and 28 for the demo evening with 3 Jurors at the venue.

The Developers who won Rs. 25000 worth of  VPS Credits from E2E Networks are:

  • Gurteshwar Singh
  • Neetesh Gupta
  • Amit Singh Sethi

A Big Thank You to the Jury who helped shape Ideas to Interesting Prototypes with their valuable Inputs and Feedbacks. 

Jurors - Deepinder Goyal from Zomato, Amit Somani from Make My Trip, Dhruv Kapoor from Helion Venture Capital  

Some great words about the event:

“The event really helped us get a sense of direction, mostly because of various interactions and the awesome feedback we got.” – Gurteshwar Singh

Facebook Album of the event -> https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.550863048280553.125458.427343437299182&type=1&l=06f443591c

In50hrs Chennai 7th Edition, a great start to 2013

In50hrs Chennai, the first event this year ended with a bang! A variegated set of ideas got prototyped.

The hotcake idea of the event was Toungez.

Toungez – In couchsurfing style, that allows people find local (language) support, when travelling. We often travel to places of a different dialect and get stumped at various places not knowing how to respond when people speak to you in a different language altogether. Toungez comes to a rescue as a mobile app with a repository of native language speakers, by letting you call them who can help you out, bridging the communication gap.

  • Twitter Chat – A better way to do a DM conversation – offline from twitter. Most business connects happen over social media in the current era. After a couple of to and fro messages(or @mentions) on twitter, you’d want to take things the old school way of emailing each other. Twitter Chat aims at being a new age tool that lets you have a real time conversation, following up with the earlier conversation on twitter.
  • Shopzi – The challenge with garments online, is that reviews and recommendations are yet to be cracked. There is a huge galore of fashion apparels across various online fashion stores making it difficult for a consumer to circle down onto something interesting. Shopzi wishes to be ‘the’ place where one can compare designs, prices from and also take a sneak peek at new fashion trends.
  • Quiz.io – Quizzes are now just an email away. It’s a pain for a lot of teachers and professors to make questions and answers and upload it to a web app/module for students to take quizzes. Quiz.io makes it easy by letting educators make quizzes with just sending across an email.
  • TubeWall – An online video editing service, which will allow users to enhance the experience by slicing and adding own comments. Whenever we watch videos online, we always have something to say like “notice this at that time” or wish to point out something particular. TubeWall
  • Conneck.me – A social discovery app. . Most Networking happens at events. But at the same time its hard to find people of similar interests or cadre. Connect.me aims at solving the problem with its interesting algorithm that matches based on connect/proximity as  app.
  • Simple CMS – A site builder that anyone who doesnt know to code can use to build sites. It’s known that building a website is not an easy job for most non techies. Simple CMS aims at being a simple tool for people
  • Microfin – A Microfinance Manager for NGOs. Raising money is the easiest bit in an NGO. Channelling the fund and making sure its rightly used is a big challenge by itself. Microfin comes as a boon for NGOs to funnel and track the fund wisely
  • Demovote – A social activist app, allowing constituents to know what their electoral candidates stand for (policy wise). Demovote lets you get all the information you need with the click of a button.
  • RC Laddu – A Responsive content Concept, with adaptive content depending on devices. We live in a world where technology is advancing at lightning speed. With that, the way consuming content across various blend of devices has had a drastic change.

A Big Thank You to all the Mentors and Jury who helped shape Ideas to Interesting Prototypes with their valuable Inputs and Feedbacks.

Mentors – Dorai Thodla from iMorph, Mahul Shah from Amazon, Prasannan, an Independent Mobile Consultant

Jurors - Dorai Thodlafrom iMorph

Some great words about the event:

“Was a great experience. Met some awesome people at the event and yeah, gave some shape to our idea” – Anand Ravichandran

Facebook Album of the event -> https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.536897833010408.124100.427343437299182&type=1&l=c92ae0e1fb