02 Oct 2012

Startup Weekend (India): Social Entrepreneurship in Action

startup weekend

So what did you do last weekend?

Partied? Slept all day? Relaxed? Took the kids & wife to the Mall? I’m sure whatever you did was interesting but I…

… I attended Startup Weekend  in New Delhi.

Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities.

Startup Weekend has been bringing together people from across the country on a common platform to present their ideas.

These ideas, if liked by the panelists which include angel investors, venture capitalists and their ilk from across corporates, support the young pool of talent and handhold them to reach their ultimate goal.

So not only does Startup Weekend provides a platform where your ideas are heard, but it also supports entrepreneurs financially.

54 hours and you get to launch a startup … Phew!

The event had people from across the country and even some expats who pitched their ideas, shared their vision and built teams to execute their ideas.

When one of my friends introduced me to this community, I thought it would be a great event to participate in, while also getting to meet new people and entrepreneurs-to-be. So I volunteered to handle their Twitter page during the event.

This event primarily focused on Mobile. So participants could develop some interesting apps with the three best ideas chosen as winners. Let me take you on a little journey…

Day 1: Friday evening 

Startup Weekend India (Friday)

When I got to the venue, I was amazed to see over 100 participants…all enthusiastically ready to present their ideas.

The pitches started and each person got one minute to pitch: that’s 67 pitches in 67 minutes, after which teams were formed. Everyone chose who they would want to work with and started planning.

It was an amazing sight to see so many people under the same roof enthusiastic about entrepreneurs and working towards some great ideas.

Startup Weekend India (Saturday)

Day 2: Saturday 

This time when I got to the venue, I saw a few people sleeping on the couch, a few working all night, a few fighting to get their point across to the team and a few just chilling.

And then, they were busy the entire day – working, planning and scribbling across the whole room to get their ideas to work.

Startup India (Sunday)

Day 3: Sunday… The Verdict 

I entered the venue and saw a lot of seriousness on everyone’s face. The apps were built, final presentations were being prepared and, yes, a few teams struggled to get their ideas into the execution phase right up until the last moment …

…and then, that evening, the winners were announced.

Lessons learned

First, this experience taught me a lot about the entrepreneurial journey. From forming a team to getting your point across to everyone to making your team excited about your idea…. there is a lot that goes before a successful company is formed.

Second, I learned yet again how social media can engage participants as well as the outside world with what’s happening around you. It made me realize how Digital PR can help run the event in a much better way and engage internal as well as external audiences.

Third, I realized that it all about “sharing.” People love to share, people love to discuss current happenings, and I was just helping them tell the world what they were up to at that point in time!

Great ideas I saw up close:

An app to kick corruption out of the country (Awenest);

An app to find the best street vendor in a particular place (Buzz In);

An app to find skilled workers in your area (Parichay);

To mobile CRM for unorganized & informal pharmacies (Data Cure)…

… all the pitches were crazy, huge fun and amazing to listen to.

It was also fascinating to see the team spirit in each of the participants, which makes me reiterate the fact that a team can pull together and execute an idea into a successful business! After all, a great idea needs a great team to execute and make the business successful.

…and that was one hell of a weekend!

So, do you agree with me that my weekend was better than yours?

The article was first published on Shonaliburke.com



Ancita always came across as an eager learner and willing to go the extra mile. She's got good language and social media skills and uses these to her advantage. She was also dependable and I believe she would be a good asset in any organization. I wish her well for the future.

Rony Thomas, Head of Communications, Amazon


Ankita supported us in connecting with the CMO community on social media in India - she is knowledgeable, articulate, prompt and superbly organized. She is fast to learn and agile to create business impact, which distinguishes her in the projects she works on.

Rajesh Kumar Jindal, Vice President, Head of Marketing, SAP


Although Ancita was part of the PR team, she gradually started taking interest in digital communication which I believe is an apt field for her. She effectively used her communication skills learnt in PR to deliver results in digital media which is a much needed talent in the industry. We worked together on google maps and on a project called PMOAppContest chat where Ancita ably demonstrated her creative and storytelling skills. She defined the flow of the chat and was a key campaign owner. The initiative was a huge success in India. Ancita is committed, disciplined and a diligent person and I am sure she is a great asset to her team and her organization.

Abhilasha Padhy, Communications Manager, Google


Ancita is a Star performer at Six Degrees. She takes initiative and has a ‘To Do’ attitude. This has reflected in her taking up the onus of focusing her skills on Digital within the firm during the last one year and even on her own through an initiative like the SocialPowWow. She has a strong understanding of developing engaging content for audiences to increase relevance for brands. We believe that she has great potential to develop as an integrated communications professional.

Rishi Seth, Group CEO, Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees


PR professional, blogger, digital enthusiast. Driven, hardworking and result oriented, Ankita is always game to take up new challenges. Energetic and efficient, trust her to get things done. With keen interest in digital marketing she has been involved in various integrated comms campaigns and delivered successfully.

Cijo Mathew, General Manager, 20:20 MSL


Ancita is one of the most dependable people I have ever come across. She is diligent, attentive and sharp which makes her a great asset for the team as well as clients. Within few years in PR, Ancita managed to build great media relations and helped her team crack some of the best stories. She is a great team player

Priyank Dubey, Communications Lead, ESPN


Ancita and I have been working closely for 4 years now & it has been an inspiring journey thus far. It has been amazing to see her transformation from an curious social media learner to a professional digital media expert. Her knack for the understanding the digital landscape is special. While she certainly is an expert in various aspects of digital marketing but her initiative "SocialPowWow" has been really impressive. Today it's one of the most popular Twitter chats in India. She is great human being, hard worker & thinker. Her infectious smile can be an asset in any work environment. Wishing her all the success in any endeavours she chooses for herself.

Nitin Bhatia, Managing Director, Meltwater


A dedicated, smart and media savvy publicist. Her sound understanding about the real estate business and clarity of thought makes her a go-to person for all communication queries. Strong command over english language and a collaborative team player makes her a best fit for a challenging role. I highly recommend her for a profile that requires a go-getter, passionate, dedicated, knowledgeable and intelligent person.

Nikhil Savio Gutal, Deputy Manager, Marketing & Communication, Cushman & Wakefield


Ankita was one of the most diligent and hardworking students in our batch. There's a lot to learn from her, esp. her sense of punctuality, sincerity and work efficiency. It really was a lot of fun being together in the same class during our post graduation programme. I wish her good luck for all her future endeavours.

Sayani Bagchi, Area Sales Manager, Britannia Industries Limited


Ancita is an extremely dedicated resource and a great value add for an organization. Her attention to detail, intelligence and proactive approach has always delighted the people she works with and the clients she services. Ancita is absolutely great with digital media and gives creative, yet practical ideas. I wish her all the best for future!

Shreya Sabharwal, Vice President, Ernst & Young


Ancita has been a valued colleague at Six Degrees. She's focused and dedicated at work and brings in fresh thinking and approaches to mandates that she's entrusted with. Equally importantly she's a stickler for details and micro-manages things till the work gets done!

Rahul Mishra, General Manager, Cohn & Wolfe India


Ancita is a thorough professional who is particular about deadlines and quality of work. You can always bank upon Ancita on any work that is on her task list. A proactive individual who not only pushes herself but her team too.

Siddharth Kumar, Deputy General Manager, Cohn & Wolfe India


Ancita is a thorough professional and absolutely meticulous with her work. She took a lead in Digital when it was the upcoming hottest trend and that is commendable. Always ready to pitch in with ideas on a campaign,love her energy. She is and will be an asset to any organization that she chooses to be associated with. It has been a pleasure working with her here.

Pooja Poddar Jain, Account Director, Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees


Ancita is very good in her craft of digital PR and comes with sound knowledge on digital. She is a great team player and has shown great capabilities to lead any team project. She is a great colleague, it has always been a pleasure to work with her and is very easy to work with.

Shalini Gunashekar, Associate Account Director, Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees


SocialPowWow chat is one of the most innovative conversations involving small businesses and thought leaders. Ancita deserves a lot of credit for being the go-getter in bringing everyone together.

Cheval John, Founder & CEO, VallanoMedia, LLC, Houston


I'm impressed and inspired by Ancita Satija for creating an initiative as cool as SocialPowWow and making it a movement. How many young professionals go above and beyond to make a mark and leave a legacy? Ancita has set an example for others to follow. I am sure this weekly tweet chat will grow to become much more than just a chat.

Amith Prabhu, Founding Dean @SCoReInd, CoFounder @PRAXISInd & @PRomiseFdn


SocialPowWow is one of those must attend twitter chats like #TwitterSmarter #Hootchat #MediaChat with vibrant, engaged communities discussing relevant & trending topics on social media and with a smart and friendly host like Ancita!

Zen Yinger, CEO, ZenSocial, North Carolina


Congratulations #SocialPowWow for completing two years. You have always been amazing in getting interesting people to exchange views on interesting and relevant topics. You are the platform that brings out-of-the-box minds together across the globe in the world of clatter. Stay there with us -- as a friend, as a trend spotter, and stay relevant. Wishes for many more.

Sounak Mitra, Associate Editor @moneycontrolcom


I had the pleasure of working with Ancita, during my time at Burson Cohn and Wolfe. Ancita is affable and very easy to work with - great qualities to have in a team mate! She's a dedicated employee whose positive spirit helps guide the team that she’s in. Her experience and knowledge in digital, from copywriting to social media strategies makes her an asset to any organisation.

Thimah Hameed, Vice President - Regional Digital Strategy Marketing Lead, DBS Bank