World Startup Expo, Is It For Me? 7 Myths Busted


The World Start-Up Expo is set to take place in Bengaluru from November 21-23, 2016 at the Bangalore International Exhibition Center. It is touted to be the largest start-up meet in Asia, with all relevant stakeholders likely to be in attendance. If still undecided on whether you should head to Bengaluru for the 3 day expo and the largest gathering of all relevant stakeholders in the start-up eco-system, read this out –

#1 I’m Not Really Into IT

Well, Kunal Kapoor who started Ketto may disagree. So may Varun Aggarwal, Co-founder of Alma Mater and Sarthak Paul, CEO of Mean Metal Motors. But then again, almost all start-ups in today’s market utilize IT to market their product or service, even if their product or service is not technology centric. From online retail stores to healthcare providers, almost everyone, be it a start-up or an established business, needs to have and does have an online presence and incorporates technology to reach out to its customers. Even the mundane task of booking a cab or hailing an auto has now been made easier through IT. So if you don’t feel your start-up needs IT or feel your business plan does not depend on IT and can do without, don’t go.

#2 Who Cares About Networking?

business networking

As a start-up entrepreneur, does it really matter if you are in touch with industry experts and influencers? If the product or service is good, customers will come on their own, won’t they? At the World Start-up Expo, you will get to meet innumerable entrepreneurs like yourself, and if you are so inclined, may even end up brain storming on additional new ideas, ventures and even symbiotic collaborations. Meeting and interacting with hundreds of venture capitalists and angel investors, most of whom will also be looking for a venture to invest in, may be a waste of time.

You may even find it more distracting interacting with industry leaders and experts who do on occasion act as mentors for start-ups. What may be invaluable insight and a forum for getting questions of new entrepreneurs answered, may not necessarily interest all entrepreneurs. If you feel you have all the answers, pass this one up.

#3 My Start-Up Challenges Are Different From Others

No good ever came from learning from other people’s mistakes or successes. Hearing about other entrepreneurs’ trials and tribulations may seem a tad boring. After all, what insight or knowledge can Amit Gupta, Co-Founder of InMobi, or Sandeep Aggarwal, founder of ShopClues and Droom possibly share to help your start-up?


Listening to past trials of start-ups which are successful today may possibly afford start-ups today an insight into what to expect. Mistakes made by entrepreneurs may shed light onto unexpected issues that you can address today rather than facing the brunt later. But what good will that achieve?


#4 Incubator Hunting Ground, Not For Me

Incubators and accelerators are always on the look-out for new and interesting start-ups that they can help, aid and nurture to reach success. Incubators also offer infrastructural support, mentorship as well as their cross sector expertise for business decisions the start-ups need to make at an early stage. With over 300 incubators and accelerators likely to be attendance, there is a good chance that most of the start-ups who think they need an investor or funding, are likely to get an even better offer from an incubator.

In fact, many incubators will be actively looking for start-ups at the Expo that they can nurture into big billion dollar businesses, as opposed to start-ups seeking out incubators. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. It’s too easy and convenient. If you prefer to slog and cold call incubators on your own, this Expo may not be for you.

Also read: “World Startup Expo 2016, Asia’s biggest Startup event is here to help you succeed

#5 Ocean Of Participants, So What?

In a snapshot, the participation diaspora looks like this:

  • 3000+ start-ups
  • 500+ Investors and high net worth individuals
  • 1000+ corporates
  • 300+ incubators and accelerators
  • 2000+ coding enthusiasts and professionals
  • 50+ industry speakers and experts
  • 20+ government and industry associations

There are just too many people attending. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd, especially when there are over 3000 start-ups that are going to be present and actively seeking out incubators, accelerators, potential investors or possible mentors. You may not be able to locate or actively engage a potential investor, corporate or industry expert, even though it seems that the number of participants (other than start-ups) attending is likely to be more than the number of start-ups present. If you truly feel this way, don’t go.

#6 The Cost Of The Passes is Exorbitant


Start-up passes range from USD 150 for basic access to USD 600 for total access. That amounts to approximately INR 50,000 for full access, for 3 days, including lunch. That seems a bit too much, especially considering the sheer number of potential investors and mentors this Expo is concentrating into one event so all start-ups in attendance have a good chance to network over 3 days. And yes! You  heard it right, you can claim  free visitor Passes too.  You may be better off seeking investors and mentors on your own by cold calling or e-mailing them on their official e-mails and waiting for a reply to set up a meeting.

No point in spending a fixed amount and having access to potentially all relevant stakeholders at one event, where you have three days to interact with investors and mentors, who have come specifically to meet start-up like yours. Right?


#7 There Is No Time Left

The Expo is scheduled for the end of November, 21-23 to be precise. It’s almost the first week of November at the time of writing this article. That’s not enough time to prepare and print out a pitch deck, read up and research on industry experts who have confirmed attendance, print business cards, pack bags, make hotel reservations or reach out to a friend or relative who stays in Bengaluru, and book tickets. There is just too much that needs doing and 20 days or 480 hours or 28,800 minutes is just not enough.

In conclusion, the World Start-up Expo in Bengaluru is going to be the largest gathering of start-ups, investors, industry associations, corporates, incubators and other stakeholders imaginable. At the Expo, there will be conferences where panels of industry experts and successful entrepreneurs will share their insights and experiences. It will give start-ups the opportunity to network with experts, other start-up entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and incubators, all at one event. This Expo is making it extremely easy and convenient for start-ups looking for mentors or investors to find the right partner.

Any hard-working start-up entrepreneur, who believes in conventional wisdom as well as labor and time intensive techniques to set up meetings with investors and other stakeholders and wants to learn by making his own mistakes, may find this Expo unhelpful.

If, however, you are not one of these “hard-working” entrepreneurs, you can book your passes here.


Also read: “World Startup Expo 2016, Asia’s biggest Startup event is here to help you succeed

The World Startup Expo is an initiative by Cocoon Ventures:


and Organized by Trescon Global:


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