Frequently Asked Questions
I run a startup, but I’m not sure why I should attend Proto.in?
The audience at the event will consist of a mix of entrepreneurs, investors, media, technology professionals, industry associations, bloggers etc. Some startups may want to reach out to investors (VCs, angels), while some may be there for publicity; some might be scouting around for prospective partners or collaborators, while for others, this may just be a networking opportunity. At the end of the day, we do realize that capturing a sizable mindshare is important for any startup – either funding, or simply attracting your first base of users, Proto.in would be a platform to leverage.
I am not a company, but would like to attend the event. How can I register?
You can register by clicking on “Attend” on the left hand side bar which will take you to the page that will get you registered online. Alternatively you can also pick up your entry tickets from our select outlets across seven cities in the country. All the info is available there.
I have a really great idea and I’m sure it will succeed. I’d like to present it to the VCs.
We expect a sizable presence from investors (VCs, angels, fund managers) at Proto.in, so this could be your opportunity. While proto.in is not a business plan competition, you should present your case to investors in a manner that is convincing. What you present will depend on what your objectives are. You should prepare a pitch that best serves your objective, in the best convincing form.
What is the selection criteria for selecting the startups?
The startups will be evaluated by a team that understands technology and is a proven trend spotter. They are likely to look for things like the originality or innovation in your product, the executional excellence that your product delivers, your go-to-market strategy, the drive and motivation of the team, the competitive scenario in your respective space etc, before they make a decision. And remember, in case you are not short listed, this does not mean you didn’t deserve it. Its possible that there were others who had a more compelling case than yours.
I run a services-based startup. Is Proto.in focused on showcasing only product companies?
Yes, Proto.in is focused on showcasing product companies, which happens to be our niche.
When will I get to know which are the companies that has made the final cut ?
The startups that are short listed will be informed in advance but that information will not be made public. This is to maintain continued interest and ensure that nobody gets to steal the thunder from the startups, when they demo their stuff on the D-day.
What about accommodation and travel arrangements for outstation participants?
Outstation participants have to make their own arrangements for accommodation and travel. In case you need help in knowing about good hotels, please write to us; we will help you to the best of what we can.
Do the participating startups have to pay any registration fees?
You do not have to pay anything at the time of filing your nomination; in case you are selected amongst the final 15, you shall have to pay a non-refundable fee of Rs 10,000/-. That is to ensure that not all companies are levied the fee, and at the same time to screen the serious ones – we have enough stories to tell about the non-serious ones.
We are a company that presented during last Proto.in. How can I get involved with Proto.in?
Well, Proto.in is very much a forum for entrepreneurs. We would very much like to encourage our past Proto-ians (those who presented in the previous edition) to actively participate and interact with the companies that would be presenting this year and also with the other players in the ecosystem. If you presented in Proto.in, you are always welcome back, and the entry fee will be waived. Get in touch with us, and let us know in advance.
FAQs for Startups
I nominated last year, but was not short listed. Can I nominate again?
As long as you were not one of the companies that presented at the previous editions of Proto.in, you can nominate. You can also nominate if you did present in previous Proto.in events, but you have a different product this time. However, whether to allow or not is subject to the judgment of the selection committee.
Is it true that the selected companies must necessarily demo the product and not just show a PowerPoint presentation?
Yes. We suggest that you make a pitch which maximizes mindshare and gets interest to follow-up. If you think demoing your product will make the best impact, go right ahead and do it. If you feel that 6 minutes is too short for a demo, maybe you could make a compelling presentation using a recorded video of the product as an accompaniment while you explain the product vision and functionality. In the end, its your call. Also, you are free to distribute any material to the audience, to explain your product better.
Our startup is in a very tight startup mode. Can you please waive the registration charge?
Unfortunately we can’t. We are not professional event organizers. We are a non-profit organization and there is no financial benefit for any of us. The registration fees will pay for the cost of running the show. We are doing this because we want to give startups a pedestal to stand on, in an environment that is not geared towards creating innovative products. At Proto, you are likely to get counted amongst India’s most promising tech startups. You will be exposed to investors, technologists, professionals et al, besides getting coverage from mainstream/online media. That’s more than a reasonable ‘bang for your buck’.
6 minutes is way too short. I need more time to demo my exhaustive product.
Not really; remember the story behind the elevator pitch? If you have something compelling, 6 minutes is enough to get your message across. We wished we could give more time per slot but unfortunately that’s the best we can allocate. Off course, you would have to rehearse beforehand and make sure that you can tell your story in the given time.
Can I have a copy of my initial submission/ nomination.
It was a direct form on the web and I did not keep a copy.Contact the organizers; you will be forwarded a soft copy of your nomination form.
Can you help us with our presentation for Proto.in?
We will have a bootcamp for the selected startups. More details on this soon.
I’ve been selected to present – what facilities will be available to me? Do I need to bring a laptop? Can I access the internet?
We will provide you a LCD projector, access to the internet and 6 minutes to show to the world what you have. You are free to bring along anything else you may need to make a compelling case.
My presentation requires specialized hardware – how do I present a demo?
You are free to bring along anything you require for your demo as long as it doesn’t break the stage or crack the building. You should check with the organizers beforehand.
Am I allowed to bring along material (brochures/CDs/demo copies) that I can distribute to the attendees before the event?
You are free to do that, no worries.
What about the Q&A following the presentation? Is that included in our presentation time or some extra minutes are allocated for that?
The time for Questions and Answered following your presentation is not part of the six minutes. Each company will be given about three to five minutes following their pitch for some first level of interaction. There will be demo stalls setup as soon as the presentations are over so that the audience can interact with the companies in a much more relaxed and convenient manner.
In case some participating startup gets funded by investors post proto.in, would the organizers get involved in that process?
No; if that happens, we would be happy for you, but we shall have no official role to play nor promise in any ensuing developments. That said, we will do our best to network you with the right people.
What about IPR implications of showing of my product at proto.in? Will you guarantee that my intellectual property rights will not get violated?
We do not take any responsibility for maintaining your product’s IPR. That’s your responsibility. Please take your own precautions and ensure that what you show/share at the Proto.in is meant for public consumption only. We do ask for companies with a product or prototype to come for Proto.in with the understanding that if you have the product already built, you are already at the verge of releasing the service for public consumption, in return opening up for competition. That said, please do not disclose any confidential information, trade secrets or patentable algorithms without the necessary legal safety measures.
Are there any awards or prizes to be won at proto.in for the best product/technology or for the most compelling demonstration etc?
No, there are no winners or losers at proto.in; this is just a platform to showcase exciting technologies and products.
What is the usual profile of companies that are staged at Proto.in?
Our Focus is on Startups. Technology and companies that are product focused. While our main focus remains to be on technology, at times we also do showcase companies from other sectors which do have a strong background and rooting in its domain – as a showcase to learn from.
FAQ for Investors
I represent a VC Firm. How can I get involved with Proto.in?
Drop us an email through the contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.
I am an Angel Investor/HNI looking at early-stage startups. How do I participate?
Do get in touch with us through the contact form. We would very much welcome you to Proto.in
I am not a company, but would like to attend the event. How can I register?
Registrations for delegates and attendees will open soon. Join the mailing list to keep yourself updated.