Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tracks for IdeaCampPune2

Idea Jam – sharing of business/social/technology ideas. In these sessions you bring in your idea and the fellow campers will brainstorm on it.

Brewing Ideas –generate ideas to address known problems. Again the problems can be social, governance related, environmental or technological in nature.

Mentor Speak – these sessions will be more of one person speaking and others learning. Examples can be ideation techniques, taking ideas to market, choosing from many good ideas, blah blah blah…

Idea Pot – a group of campers take up an idea they are passionate about and build it through the day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Notes of IdeaCamp

Cross-posted from punetech

These are the quick-n-dirty notes that I took during IdeaCampPune. (Actually, they are my live-tweets of the event.) I’ve tried to include relevant links where I could find them.

Generally, I think it went rather well. The organizers had stopped registration after 80 entries (there were a bunch of other people who wanted to get in, but couldn’t) - so I guess about 80 people attended. All the sessions were attended by a roomful of people and many sessions had lots of discussion and audience participation.

If you find any one of these initiatives interesting, and need help with getting in touch with the relevant person, let me know and I can try to put you in touch.


  • First hour spent in “corridor discussions”. About a dozen ideas listed on the board so far.
  • Kaushik R ( et al trying to create a platform for structured participation of Industry in (Pune) colleges
  • IIT-B Alumni association inviting nominations for Innovations-2009 ( I’ve heard good things about the Innovations program from a number of people. (Beware, it is not all IT/Tech, some of the innovations might be in a different field. But still interesting.)
  • Srikanth Sunderarajan (COO, Persistent) pushing people to be serious about their ideas - to think everything through.
  • Anupam Saraph, CIO of Pune, talking about “Design for Pune” ( - competition/game to design Pune of the future. Competition will have participants using SimCity ( Possible first prize - spend a day with Will Wright (top game designer). See my recent article about some of the initiatives that Anupam is currently spending his time on.
  • Abhay Shete ( talking about the Semantic Web (; faceted browsing (
  • A couple of students from COEP talking about Swarm Intelligence ( Complex behavior from simple pieces.
  • Anurag Agarwal is creating the “Mentor India Program”. Pick promising students from colleges and mentor them for a few years.
  • Shashikant Kore ( talking about SMS based micropayments. I wonder if his new company (still in stealth) is about this
  • The Design for Pune ( presentation repeated by popular demand (for those who missed it)
  • Aparna talking about “India, I Care” - Lots of audience participation
  • Entrepreneurship cell IIT-B; promoting entrepreneurship amongst youth. - funding, incubation, showcase, etc.
  • Freeman, talking about the use of mp3 players in (rural?) education (the “one mp3 player per child” project). is using radio to run an english teaching program. Digital Hall provides videos that teachers can use to run lessons. Teacher only has to answer questions/doubts. OLPC classroom near Karjat is also rather cool. Also see a wikipedia for curricula. All of these have some problems. That’s where mp3pc comes in. The web has a large amount of audio web content that is freely downloadable. Usable for education. use cheap chinese mp3 players for education! Easy to use, cheap, sturdy, easy to carry around. Many hours of education. Can use even while the child is doing something else (e.g. walking 5km to school). Freeman is hoping to do a pilot program with the 15 mp3 players he bought. Looking for a good institute where to run it.
  • Aditi talking about “Generating Rural Income”. Can we tap traditional abilities of villagers/tribals to generate income? A number of interesting NGOs were mentioned during this talk, but I was unable to capture their names. Hopefully someone will blog about this in more detail.
  • Shyamal leads a discussion on various ways of saving power (mainly about our use of computers)
  • My own discussion on what we can do to improve participation in tech community events in Pune. Some interesting ideas that I hope to try out in the near future
  • Guna talking about “Lean Thinking”. The Toyota way. How to incorporate lean thinking in your own startup. Identify waste, measure it, and eliminate it.
  • One presentation on a single website where you can go to see all your e-mail. Everybody jumped on the poor guy. Surprisingly, in a day full of unconferenced talks, this was the only presentation that did not have interesting content.
  • bosky101 conducting a session on brainstorming. Creating random patterns of different ideas. Everybody having fun coming up with unrelated terms/areas/activities.
  • Since a lot of the ideas presented today have been about social responsibility, Anurag felt that the audience would be interested in the other activity that he has been a part of for the last year. - the program he started for creating libraries for disadvantaged kids. They have created 50 libraries so far (using, 40 to 50 people across 5 chapters). He hopes to double the numbers this year.
  • There was a wrap up session in the end where people talked about which ideas they liked the best. Design for Pune was the clearly one the ideas that people were most excited about. Other honourable mentions: SMS micropayments, Mentor India, 1MP3PC.
  • These are notes on the sessions I attended. There were some that I missed - for example one on use of open source CMSs for NGOs by Shardul. I hope someone else covers those.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Huge Thanks to 'Persistent Systems Limited'

IdeaCampPune is sponsored by Persistent Systems Limited, and we’d like to thank them for making this possible for all of us! Persistent has always been supportive for such initiatives. Hence, it is not only about monetary support, but for caring about the community of enthusiastic folks like us.

As we are writing this, we are working together to get all our loose ends finalized. And believe me this is so much fun! The venue is simply cool and you will all love this place. Persistent took special efforts to sponsor for the venue, food and drinks.

See you all tomorrow in a great mood and open spirit!

Last minute cramming

Here are some suggestions about the gear you might have in tow while coming this Saturday:
  • Ideas and chutzpah
  • Paper and pen
  • Business cards
  • Power strips: there will be plenty of power outlets, but just in case you need extra to power your cell phones and laptops
  • Laptop: We are providing wifi at Persistent, but with so many people hopping at once, the connection may be a bit slower. So, try to avoid heavy uploads
  • Audio/video recorders for podcasting
  • Pen drives: it will be better to backup your presentations on a pen drive

Remember to label all your gear with your name and contact details.
… and you should be all set!

More on the Venue

I am posting on behalf of all the volunteers while they are straightening up the kinks.

‘All keen participants and their wondrous ideas are gladly welcomed to IdeaCampPune at Persistent System Ltd (PSL), Pune. Before moving into the campus of PSL, let us know little about the campus and the arrangements made for us.

Participants are requested to arrive at the security cabin located adjacent to the main entry gate before 9:00 AM. There you'll seek permission for the entry and also register your belongings like laptops, pen drives etc. for the security check. We will be definitely there to help you out.

From there you'll, move into the main porch (Floor 1) of the building towards the registration desk. Main porch separates two building of the company, as ‘Aryabhata’ on the left and ‘Pingala’ on the right (names of the buildings are tribute to the great ancient mathematician and scientist respectively). Both the buildings are connected via lobby at each floor.

After registration, you're requested to enter ‘Aryabhata’, and head toward the cafeteria (Floor 7) for the kick-off.

In cafeteria, at 9:45 AM, Mr. Shrikant Sundarajan, COO of Persistent Systems Ltd., will kick off the event. (Please be particular about this time). After the event kick off, all participants are requested to move towards the 2 assembly halls located on 4th floor of both the buildings, based on the session you want to attend.

All the presentations and idea sharing will be held in these assembly halls – PG4 and AR4.’

Looking forward to a weekend of creativity and camaraderie!

Fostering the tech community in Pune

This is more of a discussion.

How can we increase participation in community activities in Pune.
There already exist things like:
Are you a part of any of these organizations? If yes, what do you like about them? How would you improve them? How can they add value to you? What would you do to increase the activity and membership?

If you are not part of one or more of these, why not? Did you not know about it? Or are they not doing anything that you find interesting? What should they do to get you to participate.

Any other organizations / activities you would like to see in Pune? Something that happens in other cities and should be started here? A completely new idea of your own? A website or a social network that you think should be started?

Let us spend some time on these issues and see if we can c ome up with a list of activities that we would like to participate in, and push.