Talks on Entrepreneurship

As planned on meetup.com, today was the monthly MSCC meetup happening at Ebène Accelerator. Though scheduled for 12h00, I actually went to Bagatelle earlier. Oh! Not I, but we, I met Saamiyah in the bus and we both were in fact going to somebody's mini birthday bash. Who? Meekshuma. She happens to be Saamiyah's friend & we met on the University of Mauritius campus during the week while some nonsense chat was at its highest level.

That way Meekshuma invited us to her birthday bash at Bagatelle. Where at Bagatelle? It wasn't planned. So, as we reached we got enough time to look for a gift & birthday card, and we even stumbled across JoKi's kids ( : Hehe! The Kirstätter gang was there for lunch.

We joined Meekshuma & her friends in the foodcourt. Good time for some networking. Quick introductions and we talked about what each of us is doing in life.

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Meekshuma & Saamiyah

We had lunch, quick chats & then as we were leaving for the MSCC meetup, Neal, Meekshuma's friend offered to drop us at Ebène. Cool! He's a lifesaver dude ( : since we were late for the meetup. Aww! We can blame that on the pizza which took 20 mins to get ready.

Now, as we reached Ebène Accelerator I was astounded to find the conference room full, although being a public holiday. Jochen was almost finishing his talk on entrepreneurship then.

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Jochen Kirstätter

Next speaker of the day was Franco. He is an entrepreneur having a software company with staff members spread across the globe. It was cool to hear about the work-style adopted within his company.

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Franco

Franco told us how he keeps pace working with people on different timezones. He offered the pros & cons. He also explained the kind of "flexible" work environment that is nurtured within his company. He stressed on importance of employee satisfaction and though being the founder of Shortcut, he considers himself an employee just like others in the company.

Then Dhiruj showed us a quick overview of his project, shoponline.mu. He explained how the idea was triggered following a bad encounter while looking for an HDMI cable. He related the difficulties in getting finance from local banks.

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Dhiruj Rambaran

We shot questions in between while Dhiruj was presenting. He was happy to answer. Most people were particularly interested with local financing. It was quite an interactive session.

Jochen proposed a short break of 10 mins & then we resumed.

Christophe from SUPINFO presented the facilities available at the University campus at Pierrefonds. He detailed the different levels in the IT courses and explained that one could exit from a course at any of those levels, resuming at a later time.

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We then had a great & informative presentation by Santosh Achari from SellFlame. He had a lengthy presentation with a number of slides but they were worth it. He introduced himself, told us a bit about his background, his staff members & how they make up a team. He then went through the slides talking much about a startup from scratch, from an idea to the final product.

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Presentation slides by Santosh Achari

Afterwards Vincent & Louis gave us a quick introduction of their company, Pongosoft. They stressed on the facilities provided by Ebène Accelerator and how it was relatively easy to set up a business in Mauritius. As at date they have a lot of Mauritian customers and shared tips that should be useful to those wishing to have their startup at the incubator.

Oops! I don't understand why but I don't have pics here. Ahaaan. Well, well, I kinda hijacked Vincent's presentation & added my share of experience when I started my company years ago. I explained how I managed with banks to get loans and how those same loans became a burden when I was literally kicked out of business due to high competition. Some exclaimed "copy cats" when I said competition. Ah! While I have nothing against business competition I still believe copy cats need to bring some value-added services when they copy a business model.

Anyway, meetup ended kind of late this time but hey, who made it today? Let's see.

Jochen Kirstätter, Pritvi Jheengut, Ubeid Jamal Ahmad, Mozammil, Shavin, Humeira, Kishan, Chet, Kev, Shamsher (Luffy), Dan, Franco, Christophe, Parvez Bhatoo, Santosh Achari, Chamburn Radha, Paul, Uzo, Nayar Joolfoo, Nawsheen Luckhun, Saamiyah Peerun, Rikesh Ramlochund, Sean Mangar, Ratna Chikhuri, Shakeel, Vincent Pollet, Louis Oberlé, Dhiruj Rambaran and me.
Photo highlights, courtesy of Pritvi & Kev

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On my end, I find the presentations would be useful to those who are planning their startups. Inputs from these entrepreneurs kinda triggered the evil ideas I still have in my head. Hopefully, I should kick-off a business venture soon, this time well prepared.


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