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The startup ‘gauntlet’

DC | BARKHA KUMARI
Published Sep 16, 2014, 5:42 am IST
Updated Mar 31, 2019, 4:30 am IST
Out of 240 Hyderabadis, only 4 passed one of the world’s toughest startup launch programmes
WE MADE IT: Out of 26 who joined the Founder Institute programme at IIIT-Hyderabad in the month of June, these four applicants graduated. (Photo: DC)
 WE MADE IT: Out of 26 who joined the Founder Institute programme at IIIT-Hyderabad in the month of June, these four applicants graduated. (Photo: DC)
Hyderabad: More than 200 aspiring entrepreneurs from Hyderabad applied for it, 45 were shortlisted, 26 joined, a few dropped out, some were shown the door and finally just four passed out. That was the survival rate at Founder Institute (FI), one of the world’s toughest training programmes for startups, which was launched in Hyderabad in June. With the FI stamp on their resume now, these graduates already have a few investors clued in. Here’s a look at their ideas: 
 
SHANKER PISUPATI, Bookmylab.in
 
Last year, when Shanker went looking for his  test reports of jaundice under his bed, they were missing. That’s when the 26-year-old MBA graduate decided to find a solution and archive medical test reports given by diagnostic centres, an area that is often neglected in India with his startup, bookmylab.in. His application also lets patients and their relatives book appointments for taking tests and receiving reports at these centres. “I already have 800 diagnostic centres in the city listed for free and 43 are in the process of archiving test reports. This validated my case at FI, I think,” says Shanker, who will launch his startup next month.
 
Sachin Verma, Somegator
 
Social media networks are getting us busier year after year. Besides Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, a few more online networks are on the way. And, Sachin, a computer science graduate from Delhi who shifted to Hyderabad five years ago, is trying to fix this problem. “Somegator lets you bring all your social media accounts on one platform. This way, you become the centre of the universe, in this case social media. And you can control the way you are seen online.”
 
As part of the FI assignment, he got to validate his product through a survey. “Out of 500 respondents, both online users and people in Hyderabad, 90 per cent said they are willing to pay for this platform,” says Sachin.
 
Anoop Munshi, Tourity
 
Lack of “exciting tourist packages” for his family’s tour to the Puri Jagannath temple in Odisha last year got Anoop thinking and he started ‘Tourity’. The 28-year-old graduate in international business explains, “I wanted to see things beyond what our tour operator was offering, things which only locals would know. So with Tourity, I let local residents, travellers and tour operators make their own tourist packages. And, I offer these options  to people who want to travel to that destination. Most importantly, each package should have a theme – heritage, food, culture or something else. I am aware of the competition in the travel sector. But customised tour packages stand a chance.”
 
Diyanat Ali, Outlife: Adventure Travel Marketplace
 
He is trying to organise a sector he is extremely passionate about, adventure travel. Not many know that the founder of Great Hyderabad Adventure Club worked as an IT and telecom engineer for 11 years before he decided to call it quits. The 38-year-old explains his new venture, Outlife: Adventure Travel Marketplace, “I will be curating tour operators engaged in the business of adventure sports from across the country. At GHAC, I along with my team members have the experience to curate and even train them. There is a lot of scope of adventure sports in our country.”

 

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