In the last few years Vizag has done quite a few experiments with regard to building a startup ecosystem. It started primarily with building a Startup Village in 2014, which continued with more such entities, most of whom have already shut their shop with nothing much to show. The launches were big and the dreams bigger but somehow they didn’t translate into anything concrete. So what is the way forward?
In My Humble Opinion (IMHO) it is time for Vizag to go back to the basics. Basics like the humble startup meetups in a crampy startup office where the startups come together purely for the sake of sharing their connections, know-how and just helping each other. This time around it need not happen physically but just virtually. This is what we are calling The Vizag Thesis.
The Vizag Thesis is inspired by Brad Feld’s notion on building vibrant startup communities.
The principles are formulated in The Boulder Thesis:
- Entrepreneurs must lead the startup community
- The leaders must have long term commitment
- The startup community must be inclusive of anyone who wants to participate in it
- The startup community must have continual activities that engage the entire entrepreneurial stack
For a startup ecosystem to grow, we need to build upon what is mentioned in the Boulder Thesis and focus on all the core elements of a startup ecosystem. That includes Startups/Entrepreneurs, Education/Tech know-how, Funding and a Market which embraces experimental products and services. And this needs to be ably supported by University / Colleges / Incubators / Accelerators / Tech Parks with some Government Support and a Society / Culture which accepts failures.
Now honestly we cannot expect all of the pieces to be ready on Day One and it is time again to go back to the root. Until the startups here come out of their shell and starts walking together, they will forever be destined to lament the lack of ecosystem in the City of Destiny.
On the lines of that famous movie dialogue – Ek Meetup ki kimat tum kya Jano Startup Babu.
(The writer is an active member of Vizag Startups a local startup community and is also founder of Harmony Infotech.)