One of the most important aspects for a successful Startup, I think, is a healthy startup community. Having nice office buildings and IT Parks and tax subsidies doesn't seem to work (of course not, duh!).
It's those random events, chance encounters and unexpected creative discussions (e.g. with fellow entrepreneurs, but also with your mother or grandmother...) that happen casually in a community, I claim, which can lead to those positive freak events which propells startups towards success.
In pune, this community is nicely organised by the POCC - Pune Open Coffe Club - a great platform for Pune (and beyond) based (mainly IT/Internet) startups to network, exchange information, ask questions and organise meetups.
POCC is great, definitly 'made my stay' and is one of the core reasons I like being in Pune, but I find that often the POCC meetups are not casual enough. That's why we decided to initiate 'Startup Cinema' - a casual forum and get-together for pune startups (POCC members basically) to get together, have a casual chat, watch a movie (we have a projector :-) ) , have a beer.
In fact, Startup Cinema is the product of one of those casual encounters, when Freeman, Santosh and I talked about BookEazy and felt there was a need to push 'cool' or 'indie' cinema.
So, yesterday, Thursday Nov, 6th, we kicked off Startup Cinema with 'Pirates of the Silicon Valley' (what else!). A good number of people turned up - though not as many as 'signed up' (next time, please don't sign up if you don't think you're coming, or let us know in advance so that someone else can fill your seat).
Thanks to some slight delay in setting up the movie, people had some time to chat and get to know each other. Afterwards, I think I called for a tidy up too early, would have been nice to sit, chill and hang around for a bit longer.
I think next time, I'll leve some time in the beginning to just sit and chat with some music, and a bit more time afterwards before wrapping up.
Hopefully StartupCinema becomes a regular routine for the community here in Pune, and maybe catches on beyond!