8 great ideas and entrepreneurs from the Tamil Entrepreneur Forum 2015

Yesterday I attended and participated on the panel and judged the Tamil Entrepreneur Forum 2015 event. It was a gathering of about 200 folks from the Tamil community all over the US. This was the first time we had a pitch session and Lena Kanappan introduced the format as a way to support early stage entrepreneurs.

Tamil Entrepreneur Forum
Tamil Entrepreneur Forum

There were about 30-50 companies that applied and 8 of them were chosen to present at the forum. Here are their ideas. There were 3 winners, and I’d love your perspective on who you like.

1. ElVitae: A personal branding app and service that’s focused on being the next generation version of About.me. Their goal is to help individuals build their personal brand using the mobile phone alone and help them showcase their portfolio, successes and work beyond LinkedIn and Twitter. ElVitae was “Elevate your curriculum Vitae”

2. FixNix: Already successful in India, FixNix helps smaller businesses manage their Governance and Compliance during audits. Especially useful for regulated industries such as Banking, Healthcare, etc. which have compliance requirements, they have significant customers in large banks and Indian enterprises.

3. IandMyDoc: A ZocDoc clone for primary care physicians, I and My Doc helps you book appointments, schedule visitations, manage your vitals and keep track of your electronic medical records.

4. Indian Moms Connect: An online blog, eCommerce site, Subscription service and community for Indian moms in the US (and looking to expand in India). They problem they were trying to solve is that Indian moms have a lot of questions when they have their babies – and unlike in India where their mom or in-laws provide a lot of that advice, in the US they are unable to get that support. This was an online community to help them.

5. StoryTruck: NetFlix for Indian books and magazines. They want to go beyond just Indian books, but right now they primarily have licensed books and comics for Indian kids. They have over 1000’s of downloads and a working product with 2 book publishers on board. Their focus is on vernacular (native Indian language) content initially.

6. Sway: Mobile phone based budgeting for Millennials. This app is a new generation version of Mint, but with a lot more “fun” elements to help the millennial generation plan, manage and spend money wisely. Initial traction with several 100’s of users.

7. YumPlate: AirBbB for neighborhood food. If your neighbor is cooking something, they can post it on YumPlate and you could buy it from them. We had invested in a company called Imly before in India.

8. Zailoo: A price comparison app for car rides. The app helps you understand the cost of your Uber, Lyft or SideCar (and others) car ride from point A to B, before you get on the car. That way you can know and compare costs before your go on your ride. A month old and already featured on Product Hunt.

The founders were all pretty enthusiastic and had good early traction (most of them) to prove that their idea had merit.

Sway, Indian Moms Connect and FixNix were the 3 winners.