iMo featured on ETNow’s Technoholik Show

iMo featured on the TV channel ETNow! Watch Himanshu, Pankaj Meena and Gaurav demo iMo on ETNow’s tech show Technoholik hosted by Sudhir Syal. Nice to have them giving us such a glowing review!


Himanshu’s Guest Article in The Scholar’s Avenue

Scholar’s Avenue is IIT Kharagpur’s campus newspaper which has a wide circulation on campus as well as with its alumni. The Oct 31st 2009 edition features a guest article by Himanshu where he talks about his experience at TC50 as well shares his pearls of wisdom on entrepreneurship and startups.

You can view Himanshu’s article here (page 7 of the magazine and page 6 of the pdf file).

Or here (scroll to page 6 on the Slideshare widget):


The Techcrunch 50 Journey

Gaurav and Himanshu at TC50 in San Francisco

It was bold and gutsy, it was meant to make the audience go wild with excitement, it was to go where no demo had gone before. Except, it failed! The first attempt at our on-stage, “being viewed by 5000 people live”, “in-front of an all star panel of judges”, “demo of a lifetime” demo, completely flopped! Eye of the Tiger by Survivor  from the movie Rocky was blaring from the speakers, Himanshu had donned a red racing helmet, zipped up his racing jacket and attempted to drive a  Formula 1 race-car on his laptop with his iPhone (using iMo). The car just stood parked in place - as if it were frozen and it felt that time too had frozen for us! Himanshu frantically hit “Connect” repeatedly onto to be staring at a “Connection Failed” error message. He walked off the stage with a failed demo.

Later that afternoon, technical glitches fixed, we took the stage again. The all star panel of judges included Marc Andreesen, Paul Graham, Marissa Meyer, Tony Hseih and Ralf Boetha. The demo went flawlessly. Everything worked like a charm, Himanshu played three video games, controlling them with an iPhone, changed into three different costumes and even swung a baseball bat at the judges. The audience loved the presentation and applause tore up the auditorium as well as the “twitterverse”. The judges had excellent things to say. We were congratulated and told how awesome the demo was everywhere we went - backstage, VIP party, the DNA lounge, while crossing the road, parking lot and even the restroom! :-) At the Awards Ceremony, we got the award for “Best Presentation” . There couldn’t have been a more perfect end to the conference. The Eye of the Tiger was befitting, Rocky had fought back and won!

Getting there

We have been huge fans of the Techcrunch blog for a long time and followed closely the conference in ‘07 and ‘08. When we submitted our application back in June, we felt that TC50 was “good stuff” and it would be a nice place to launch our product. However, we had no idea it would SUCH an amazing experience and journey. After going through the entire TC50 experience, we can state unequivocally that it the best place to launch a product for a startup. There was an amazing amount of learning and growth at every stage.

A Demo is Born

One incredible aspect was the time and energy that the TC committee put in helping refine the presentations. In getting our presentation ready, we went through several rounds of rehearsals without which there is no way we could have done the presentation with the same level of quality and finesse. I am sure that this is the same for most if not all presenting companies. Our first rehearsal was conducted remotely as we were in New Delhi, India and the TC committee (Jason Calacanis and others were in the Bay Area).

iMo is the kind of product where to demo, “a video speaks louder than a thousand PPTs”. So for our first rehearsal presentation, we borrowed a friend’s handycam and shot a small video of us using the product. You can view the original video here . During the rehearsal, Jason helped us build upon the idea and provided valuable feedback which culminated in the on-stage multipart “stripping and bat-swinging” demo. We have to admit that early-on we had a sliver of doubt on whether we’d be able to pull off the presentation. Because, hey, it was no doubt a “gutsy” and wildly off-beat presentation. We are engineers after all and while we may harbor secret ambitions of doing a U2 tribute band one day (that would be me, Gaurav), none of us had done anything remotely close to this :-) The second rehearsal that was held several days before the event at the Sequoia offices helped put the forces of self-doubt to rest. A 10/10 that Jason gave us along with great feedback from Mike Arrington and Tyler Crowley and Alex Miller helped us kick things into overdrive. We also got some very useful tips on how to crispen the presentation.

The Buzz

For any early-stage startup, getting the word out and being noticed is one of the biggest challenges. As engineers, technology is something where we feel strongly we can control our destiny but being able to get the product into the hands of folks who we believe will love it is a difficult exercise for us. This is where TC50 was such an extraordinary event for us. We got to present, meet and get feedback from not just the software industry luminaries and legends but we got a phenomenal amount of coverage in blogs (including Techcrunch of course and LATimes, Washington Post, VentureBeat, Gaming, India-centric tech news blogs). Doing this on our own (while having a zero dollar marketing/PR budget would simply not have been possible). Most importantly we signed up a large number of Beta users - the users who will finally use and consume our product and make us into a super-duper success :-) The visiblity and exposure was phenomenal and put us on the right course by creating the right “buzz”.


We also got to meet a brilliant set of companies and people at the DemoPit and made some good friends. It’s amazing the amount of talent, innovation and creativity that was packed into the room. What was also really nice was that the founders themselves were present and so the passion and energy shined through in each conversation. There was also a good representation from around the world including France, South Korea and of course us from India.

Fun Stuff

Last but not the least, we also got to have a lot of fun. The parties had great food and Himanshu getting thrown out of the DNA lounge has made for some great party conversation starters. Gaurav has been a Bay Area resident for over a decade but it was Himanshu’s first trip to the Bay Area (in fact, to the US) and we had a gala time after the conference wine-tasting in Napa Valley and hunting for the best restaurant in Chinatown and cafe in Little Italy. We missed Pankaj, our co-founder who unfortunately was not able to travel with us.

A Big Thanks

We’d like to thank the entire Techcrunch team esp. Jason Calacanis, Mike Arrington, Tyler Crowley, Alex, Heather for making this such a wonderful and memorable event!


Coming Soon!

The first generation of gaming controllers consisted of joysticks, gamepads and related simple devices.

The second generation was defined by the Wii which enabled 3-D motion sensing and control.
What’s next?

Keep checking this space to find out!