I spent this weekend (15th and 16th of March 2014) at the first conference organized for creative entrepreneurs by The Coalition. Great initiative, awesome experience. Check out www.thecoalition.in.
Here’s a para from their website about what this initiative is about. The Coalition is a new platform to support creative entrepreneurs in India. Whether it’s music, film, design, fashion, arts, creative technology or something completely radical, The Coalition gets young creative thinkers together with the people, skills and money that can turn their passion into successful businesses – and connects them to the resources that can help their business grow.
Right from the choice of venue (Buddh International Circuit in Greater NOIDA – Yes, that’s the place where the F1 happens in India), to the sessions and speakers, the event had excitement written all over it. Over 3 days TC organized inspiring talks, workshops, panel discussions, and showcase of curated startups in the creative field.
In my view this is an important initiative because it will create and bring into the mainstream a category of entrepreneurs who are not normally seen in regular startup circles. In fact, many creative people in business do not see themselves as entrepreneurs.
Also, because most creative people start ventures in what they DO, they often imagine it as a smallish venture rather than a larger company. This is often because of the fear or discomfort of shifting roles from the DOER to a MANAGER. What TC/1 showcased to aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs from creative domains that it is possible to have larger companies than they imagined, and that building a larger company can also be as exciting, creatively rewarding, involving and fun as they had wanted their business to be.
More importantly, TC/1 perhaps made many creative folk THINK of their activities as a ‘business’ rather than as a hobby. It also made them comfortable with business terms and other stuff that most passion/interest based entrepreneurs and artistes are often scared of.
That TC will be a classy & fun event was evident – one just had to look at the creatively done website to know that this was going to be a great event. What I was however unprepared for was the unusually high quality of innovative concepts and maturity of thinking, and of course the amount of passion that participants demonstrated. I met several entrepreneurs with exciting businesses that seemed so much fun to do. Over the course of my workshop and 3 pitching sessions on which I was part of the jury, we saw over 15 high-quality presentations. And some were really, really good. (Great job by OML and DoOneThing team in curating and selecting startups to present.). While only a few ventures may be ready for finding, there were several ventures that will be welcomed into any accelerator or incubator program. I have at least 5-6 on my shortlist to connect with.
14-year old Radha Joshi pitching an Art Village concept !!!!
Laura Quinn of DoOneThing, Vijay Nair and Ajay Nair of OML, who organized this event are committed to making this into a platform that makes it easier for creative entrepreneurs to start and scale up companies. Platforms like these initiate conversations and interactions, and initiates the creation of an ecosystem that will be useful for all stakeholders. An eco-system for creative businesses will include mentors, investors, accelerators & incubators, service providers (e.g. lawyers, accountants, etc.), etc. all of whom can benefit from a platform that connects all stakeholders.
I’m in. I look forward to all the follow-up action at TC.
Here’s a link to my presentation at TC/1.
Here’s a link to the summary of my session: