India Diary: A Trip to Pune

Another early start on the busses as we made our way to Pune. It was interesting watching the sun rise and the city stir as we drove south east. We drove past some of the industrial parts of the city but as we left Mumbai behind the city thinned out.

In Pune our first stop was the Bhau Institute of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership. The institute is linked to one of the oldest engineering schools in India but its mission extends into the community – with 2/3 of the startups being external to the school. We were introduced to the institute by its CEOVijay Talele who demonstrated a real passion for the institute and the work being done. The building has a unique design, being circular and with centre focused on a tree, the mix of organic shapes and the brutalist concrete was a really nice contrast. We were introduced to a number of startups currently working within the institute. It was really great to hear what the teams were working on. I was impressed with a number of the technical projects, some really innovative technology emerging, I thought Flytbase and ShunyaOS looked particularly interesting.

We then headed to the Venture Centre where we were introduced to the program there by Manisha Premnath. I don’t have much experience or knowledge of health startups so it was great to listen to a couple of them share their experiences with the group. The Q&A style format worked really well and it was great to hear directly from the startups themselves. Sachin from Module Innovations was a really great speaker and I personally got a lot out of his discussions.

After a quick tour we were back on the bus and on our way back to Mumbai for our last night there. I had a great time in Mumbai and after the weekend had just started to get a feel for the city (or part of it we were in!). Rather early tomorrow however we were packing up and heading to Bangalore for the last leg of the trip.

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