Looking back at Startup Tour Bangalore 2015

By Charlotte Chenu, Junior Manager – Entrepreneurship & Innovation, September 2015

Startup Tour Bangalore began in 2014 as a flagship program of swissnex India to introduce Swiss startups and innovators to Bangalore’s innovation ecosystem. The program received a great response from our parnters in Switzerland, which encouraged us to host Startup Tour Bangalore 2015. This year, swissnex India welcomed three Swiss startups and two coaches from EPFL Innovation Park to Bangalore from 7th to 11th of September 2015. In their one week here, they were able to immerse completely into the startup environment in Bangalore and figure out the challenges and opportunities.

The program –

Monday, 7th September 2015
The participants arrived at swissnex India to meet and present their products to experts, Indian startups and swissnex India’s team. For the occasion swissnex India invited a popular Indian startup to serve dinner, Bhukkad.

Tuesday, 8th September 2015
The first day of Startup Tour was an immersion into the entrepreneurship world in India. First, the startups made a pitch presentation to the experts, followed by a presentation on how to succeed in the art of pitching by Seedstars World. After lunch, the seven participants attended a workshop on design thinking before visiting JAAGA, a co-working space in Bangalore.

Wednesday, 9th September 2015
Second day was about understanding the prerequisites to set up a business in India. Leena Piche Thomas, from Global Business Inroads, conducted a session on how to be conscious of the differences between the Swiss and Indian cultures. After visiting TechHub, where the first part of the morning was spent, Startup Tour’s team went to Excubator to meet three startup experts. The afternoon was dedicated to individual meetings with potential customers for each startup. Afterwards, everybody met at Microsoft Accelerator for a presentation by Pylon on Human Resources in India.

Thursday, 10th September 2015
The first activity of the day was a workshop by Meta Result on scaling out. swissnex India had invited a new French food startup in Bangalore, Le Casse Croute, to server lunch to the participants. After lunch, some of the startups had meetings with other potential customers and experts. The day concluded with everybody attending the Expat Entrepreneurs Club event and networking dinner at swissnex India premises.

Friday, 11th September 2015
Last day of Startup Tour was the final pitching and feedback day! Our seven participants did their final pitch in front of four experts and received their feedbacks and observations. After a tasty Indian buffet, startups and experts from EPFL gave their feedbacks on the whole week and had an interesting discussion on “the potential and challenges in present and future for Swiss startups in India”.

Startup Tour Bangalore 2015 wrapped up with a final farewell dinner at the residence of the CEO of swissnex India.