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    Entrepreneurs are gearing up to network, and discuss business over a game of cricket

    SaiKIRAN GUNDA does not like anything mainstream. So when it came time to celebrating the first anniversary of his Hyderabad-based startup, Memilog last May, he chose to host a cricket match rather than cut a cake. To his surprise, the turnout (comprising friends and acquaintances, mostly from the startup circle) was more than expected. The entrepreneurs connected quite well over bat and ball. That’s when he decided to turn this unintentional and informal networking session into the Startup Cricket League (SCL).
    As the name suggests, SCL gets entrepreneurs and investors together for friendly cricket matches. Pitch sessions, and startup expos are also held. The 25-year-old maintains that SCL is a startup conference. “But nothing bonds Indians as much as cricket does,” he reasons.
    The good news is that after the success of its first edition in Hyderabad, he is taking it to three more cities this year. SCL 2 will kick off in Bengaluru at Magnum Arena on August 6. It will then travel to Delhi, Jaipur, and his home city.

    The agenda
    In the ‘Startup Matches’ segment, 16 startups from each city will clash to qualify as the top four. In between all the action, 10 startups get to pitch their ideas to a panel of investors. Apart from this, 20 ventures get to put up stalls as part of the ‘Startup Expo’. The top winners across these categories will battle it out for the title in Hyderabad in September.
    There will also be a cricket match between entrepreneurs and investors (from Inventus Capital Partners India, Helion Ventures, India Internet Fund, Indian Angel Network and more). We liked the ‘Internship Buckets’ idea through which students can drop in their resumes into strategically placed bowls. This is later shared with entreprenuers looking out for talents across fields, from content writing to coding.
    Gunda tells us, “The startups signing up should be a little past the early stage. They should have a product, and statistics like traction, sales, and the number of users, ready to share. Also, we are targetting executive-level members for the matches. That’s when the connections will be more meaningful. What will a new and young CEO get out of meeting an investor? While we are providing an informal setup, it’s a serious networking business.”
    Since IoT (Internet of things) is big at the moment, his team is shortlisting a lot of IoT, and hardware companies, for the league. To “control the quality” of participants, he has raised the registration fee from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000 this year.
    August 6. Tickets (Rs 600) on explara.com. Registrations close by June 20. Details:
    startupcricketleague.com

    — Barkha Kumari

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