EntreSpark 2016 – Day 1 of the Entrepreneurship Summit

The Entrepreneurship Development Cell of Heritage Institute of Technology, Kolkata conducted the first day of its flagship event – “EntreSpark 2016: The Entrepreneurship Summit” on Wednesday, 20 April 2016. The event will continue through Friday and Saturday, featuring seminars, workshops and programmes by established entrepreneurs and ecosystem enablers tailor-made for college students, not just from Heritage Institute of Technology but other colleges around the city as well.

EntreSpark 2016 was formally inaugurated by the President of the Entrepreneurship Development Cell of HIT-K, Mr. Sandip Chatterjee. The entrepreneurship summit started off with a panel discussion featuring five prominent entrepreneurs from Kolkata who were graduates from Heritage Institute of Technology itself. The entrepreneurs present for this panel discussion were Rohit Kathotia (Founder of ThinkSlides.com), Sarbajit Das (Founder and CEO, Sun Dew Solutions Pvt. Ltd.), Anupam Baid (Director at Baid Power Services Ltd.), Bijoyaditya Mukherjee (Founder and CEO of Kamuda Naturals) and NavinSoni (Co-founder at Codez). The session was moderated by Binayak Ghosh and hosted by Arjyak Bhattacharjee, both currently students at Heritage Institute of Technology.

The panel discussion with Alumni Entrepreneurs of HIT-K was a huge success as the inaugural event of EntreSpark 2016. The session saw around 400 students from colleges all over the city attending and interacting with the panellists. The entrepreneurs shared stories about the initial stages of their journey, about how they went from ideating to creating successful business models out of their ideas, and about their typical approach to a given problem. They also shared their views about Angel Investments, Bootstrapping, the growth of Bengal as a hub of entrepreneurship and the challenges a first-generation entrepreneur faces in everyday dealings while trying to set up a company. Giving experiences from their own lives and careers, and taking questions from enthusiastic audience members and budding entrepreneurs, the session evolved into a brainstorming event about how best to approach entrepreneurship from the perspective of a college student.

Following the panel discussion, EntreSpark 2016 continued with its next session – A Seminar on Data Science by Mr. Angshuman Bhattacharya, CEO and founder of SIBIA, one of Bengal’s and India’s leading Data Analytics firms. In a very educative and enthralling 90-minute session, Mr. Bhattacharya spoke about the evolution of Analytics and its importance to any medium and large scale business in the modern context. He went on to talk about how data analysis is essential for forecasting – a procedure adopted worldwide to minimize inventory costs and generate relevant information. He impressed upon the audience the need to understand and categorize data for effective business strategies in any context – be it a small scale retail outlet or a technological giant with a million employees. The Data Science seminar provided valuable insight into current market requirements and skills to the young audience.

In addition to these on-stage events, throughout the day an Internship Fair had been organized, witnessing a footfall of over 200 interested candidates, and start-ups of repute such as Onergy, Pedagoge, Hulladek, Bookwallahs participating in it. Each company shortlisted about 50 people before a one-on-one interview was held in separate interview rooms. The students participating and being hired belonged to various backgrounds – technical, marketing, sales, etc. The Internship Fair will continue on Friday and Saturday with many other companies like Pollinate, Mera Tiffin, EazyCoachetc joining in. A higher footfall is expected on those days as many other seminars and workshops are also lined up.

Next up on Friday, EntreSpark 2016 commences with the panel discussion featuring prominent female entrepreneurs from the city. This will be followed by a seminar on “The Art of Selling and the Currency of Relationships” by Mr. Avelo Roy, a TEDx speaker and guest lecturer at Illinois Institute of Technology. After that we have a Workshop on Blogging and Digital Media conducted by Kolkata Bloggers, and a workshop on Python conducted by Aditya Roy of Heritage Institute of Technology.

EntreSpark 2016 is already off to a grand start and promises to keep getting bigger and better over its next two days!