Dr. Anbumani was the first speaker at the Bootcamp. He gave a brief introduction to Machine learning and its subsets. He brought his expertise in the field of machine learning and showed students how the unseen can be seen if they just broadened their thinking
In the “Industry Lead Expert Session” of Day 2, Mr Shankar from Microsoft who spoke to the students about Big data storage and Analytics.
He gave a lot of insights on how the modern day distributed cloud file system is built and managed. The students saw how the growth of cloud systems, cheaper storage means and availability of enormous amounts of data has opened up an entire new untapped field of machine learning and Artificial intelligence.
As described by the speaker, AI is “Technology that can perceive, learn, and reason to extend the capabilities of people and organizations”. The speaker clearly described how the times are changing and how the characteristics of the data are changing too. He also spoke about the present day file systems in cloud, restoring capabilities of these systems and also about their performance. At the end of the talk, the floor was open to questions from students. Students prodded Mr. Shankar with various questions that piqued their curiosity.
The “Industry Lead Expert Session” of Day 3 was given by Gokul Subramaniam from Intel. This was a “ No Gyan ” session- no boring slides, just candid stories. The speaker spoke about innovation and how it is shaping the future. Innovation is the cynosure of start-ups. He spoke from personal experiences about many important factors like having the right team. He said there are two types of people in this the world- the Doers and the Debaters, so make sure your team doesn’t dwell too much into the latter category. Striking the right balance between the two categories will inch towards a successful start-up.
He presented a lot of examples of how people can make mistakes during their ventures. He stressed upon one of the most basic success tips for start-ups, i.e. while venturing start with the problem and not the technology to solve it. This was made very clear with the help of the examples that Gokul took up during the session.
The speaker also motivated the students to dream big and nor limit their imaginations while ideating. This message was stressed when his daughter, Kavya talked about her dreams and vision and how she is working towards it. The speaker also told how failure is fast if the path of the start-up going ahead is unclear. Social interaction with the customers can help reduce the loss margin to a great extent.
On a concluding note the speaker told the teams about the importance of asking the right questions. He gave the teams a set of simple questions to ask themselves: • Why are we solving the problem? • Why not solve it another way? • So, what if we solve the problem? Gokul indicated that questions are important, questions that one should ask oneself and also questions that should be put forward to the customers (high gain questions); these can give valuable insights about one’s goal and could be the line between the success and failure of a start-up. This notion tied beautifully with today’s theme of asking and answering. Students started off asking all their questions and found out how to ask the right questions.
Nagesh, from General Electric (GE), was the speaker of the day. He introduced the students to the domain of Digital Health and Affordable Care. He spoke about the current leading topics in the domain and some disruptive ideas, which we can build upon. As an exercise he gave each of the teams time to propose an innovative solution to a healthcare problem of their own. He talked about Emerging market needs in the domain, and how any cost-effective solution would make a huge impact on the market. Everyone was bursting eagerly with questions towards the end of the talk.
Suresh, managing partner of CoCreate.Ventures, gave the budding entrepreneurs their very first introduction into the Finances of building a start-up. He started by presenting them with 2 questions. Will the entrepreneurs make money? Or will their Business make money? Contrary to popular belief, they are not the same. He went on to pool questions from the class and answered them one by one.
Students were introduced to Unit Economics, Metrics and Liquidity preference. Suresh gave them some useful insights on equity and market Value Valuation. He helped them think from the point of view of Venture Capitalists. He made them realize the importance of knowing how big their market is. He spoke about Patents and Corporate law in detail and cleared any doubts the students had regarding these. Overall, it was a very informative session and a good heads-up for what to keep in mind while pitching to investors.