Hug-a-startup: The Experience.

Director: This could be the worst disaster NASA’s ever faced.

Gene Kranz: With all due respect, sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.

-      Mission Control, Houston, Apollo 13 Moon Mission

Though we could not land on the moon last weekend, but surely, what happened was (the experience) definitely a thing which has given us all the more reason to conduct the next take-off sooner.

At HAS, our approach towards the event was to attract people who could be potential hires for our portfolio companies and get them talking. Though, we were not able to capitalize fully on the gathering but we’re happy that it was a great get-together of the right set of people.

Out of some 81 invitations we had sent out, Almost 50-55 turned up at the event which started at around 1845 hrs in this beautiful office of Akosha in Okhla.

As a run up to the event, HAS team was debating the ‘right’ format of the event with all the hiring founders, till about 1830hrs on Saturday.  Finally to settle on the ‘Problem-Solving Format’.

We waited a bit for people to trickle in and unwind before kick-starting. It started off with Rishi (Learning Outcomes) discussing his problem of digitizing the answer sheets of school exams for better evaluation. Some really promising answers kept the atmosphere exciting. Following on with Airwoot (Which had a very fine discussion), then iDubba, iimjobs and One52.

We wanted founders to use the candidates as a collective pool of experience to input new ideas/ perspectives for our start-ups. Founders were open, technical and frank about problems they were facing.  For candidates, it was a chance to get into the details of understanding real-time challenges of the startups, and to approach founders armed with knowledge of their business needs / interests.

As we jogged along discussing problems intensely, the format failed to keep the attention span of all attendees. (We had failed to consider the offline attention span of our consumers) This prompted us to change the format to an informal interaction session when we saw our audiences unsettled. But, this experience gave us a lot of food for thought, which we’re improvising on for the next event.

After about an hour and a half, we moved on to the rooftop for casual networking. This was where engagements happened. People were meeting their favorite founders and vice-versa. We realized that this engagement could have been much better if the problem-discussion round was much more planned and channelized.

Nevertheless, it was a well executed experiment for us, which gave us a better view of what more could have been done with this kind of event. Being a first timer, we are happy about the traction we have achieved and the word-of-mouth has been immensely successful.

So, for us, the metric of success was the quality of people, than quantity. Founders are already connecting with people and vice-versa.

We have learnt a lot from this event and we hope to make the next event more productive with all the learning we have got.

At The Morpheus, we will always keep striving to help our portfolio in their every endeavor. As far as hiring is concerned, we will soon be back with second event. This time, More Hugs and More Productivity.

If you are one of the participants, please take some time to fill this feedback form.

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Love & Hugs

The Morpheus

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