Start Up pongal

“Startup Pongal is an initiative of Startup Karam aimed at bringing together all the startups and also provide a platform for upcoming startups to know more about the community.
With 4 hours of fun-filled entertainment & food, the event is sure to give you an authentic, traditional village experience.
Games like Bambaram, Goli, Gilli, Nondi, Kabaddi and Bullock Cart Ride are part of the event.”

Jan 10th 2pm-7pm, SRM University, Ramapuram Campus.


Traditional Music and Dance

Traditional Games

Traditional Food

Thai Pongal Function

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In the media

Start-up Pongal’ offers entrepreneurs a chance to network

Budding and established entrepreneurs from various start-ups across the State stepped out of their workplaces to celebrate Pongal on Thursday.

The event — Startup Pongal — was a platform for firms to network, exchange ideas, look for potential business partners and scout for investors.

“Last year, after the first edition of the event, we did an analysis and found that business worth ₹50 lakh was generated. Some start-ups even found their potential co-founders and investors here,” said Suresh Radhakrishnan, founder of Chai King and one of the brains behind Startup Pongal.

“Start-ups come with their teams for this event and it helps them understand their colleagues better,” he added.

Manick Rajendran, chief executive officer and founder of iMMi Life, a healthcare start-up, said events such as these help aspiring entrepreneurs to network with CEOs and founders, whom they otherwise do not get to meet.

The venue was set up like a village, with a bullock cart in one corner and a small traditional hut at the entrance. The event began with a folk dance and was followed by traditional games.

Sastharam Ravendran, founder, Madras Curry Cup, said, “The competition here is positive. There is no fighting for business.”

Over 400 entrepreneurs from across the State took part. More than 40% of them were women.

Jan 12 2018

The beginning of a new culture

Over 200 founders, investors and employees came together for Startup Pongal

Several members of the startup community in Chennai came together and celebrated Pongal.

Calling it Startup Pongal, more than 200 members including startup founders, investors in the startup space and employees in this sector gathered at YMCA grounds, Nandanam to celebrate the state’s harvest festival.

“As startups we migrate from different towns and villages and informal events like this are very rare. Slowly many are losing the tradition of celebrating Pongal so we wanted to come out with this initiative,” said Suresh Radhakrishnan, founder, Chai King.

“Lot of people think that startup means western culture. The organisers have shown that they still follow tradition,” said Sivarajah Ramanathan, founder, Nativelead Foundation, who had come for this event from Madurai. “This event has set a good example for youngsters in the startup community,” he added.

The event started with traditional music and dance and the entire venue resembled a village. Games including, UriadiKabaddiGoli, Thumbattam, and bullock cart ride were part of the event.

Sakthivel Paneerselvam, CEO of, said, “Entrepreneurs have come from not just Chennai, but Madurai, Tiruchi, and other places across the State.” Around 48 startups and investments firms volunteered and partnered for this event. The entrepreneurs also said that this event was a good networking platform for them, besides coming together as a community to celebrate the harvest festival.

Jan 14 2017

Start-ups log out of tech world, celebrate earthy Pongal

“It is the first time that Chennai has had such an event, where the founders didn’t come to talk about work, but instead met in an informal set-up and got to know each other better,” says GD Dharanteetharan, founder of Teleport 360. He further adds, “Some of us had met on Christmas and thought of organising an informal event to bring the start-up community together for Pongal. That’s how the idea of Start-up Pongal came about. After a couple of meetings and endless WhatsApp conversations, we finally zeroed in on the final event.”   Archana Stalin of My Harvest adds, “Each time we met earlier, it was always in a formal set-up, looking out for mentors and investors. This is the first time we got together for socialising. It’s a perfect opportunity to network.”  Dressed in traditional attire, the young entrepreneurs came together and had great fun taking part in various traditional events. Celebrations started with the Emcees (master of ceremonies) urging the participants to make their best, hero-like entrance. This was followed by a tug-of-war competition for women. “Many traditional games were organised, where people could play with catapult, spin-the-top, take a bullock-cart ride etc,” says Raja Pillai from Entrepreneurs  While some women were busy drawing kolams, the atmosphere turned vibrant when traditional percussionists began to perform. Participants got off their seats and started dancing rhythmically to the beat. “The event is by the entrepreneurs and for the entrepreneurs. Everyone took on various responsibilities. Start-ups like Lunchbox, snack experts and Chai King provided some of the refreshments. The guests were welcomed with panagam and the food served was in keeping with the tradition in mind,” says Kripa Dhevi Dharmaraj of Lunchbox.  The participants also played kabaddi. Pongal was prepared by different start-ups, followed by all the traditional activities. Everyone walked away with goodies and plenty of happy memories.

Jan 13 2017

These Chennai startups are blending food, music and dance to bring to 2018 Pongal 2.0!

As we enter 2018, we are on point to celebrate the year’s first festival, also popularly known as Thamizhar Thirunaal in TN. It is not just special only to farmers and potters but to Tamilians across the globe. With less than a couple of days left, people in metro cities have already started moving towards their hometowns. But what special celebration for those living in the midst of tall buildings? Start-up Pongal 2.0 could possibly be the answer!

These bunch of people (entrepreneurs) who always stood unique with their ideas, be it that emerged with a business idea called surprise planning, to Chai King- famed for their freshly brewed chai to prove that they are still treading the path of the unique.

According to Sakthivel Pannerselvam, “Unlike other tech start-ups, non-tech start-ups like us don’t have a forum to interact with other companies and also this initiative of ours would bring together 200+ start-ups in and around Chennai. That way it could be a good platform for all other upcoming start-ups to know more about their community,” he said, adding that “We don’t want this to be like our other meetings where it was all about business, so we thought of giving them a blend of tradition in food, entertainment and games.”

Start-up Karam, a non-tech start-up community has been doing the back-end work for this event that started today at MNM Jain college, Thoraipaakam. With 200+ start-up registrations, this is exclusively for the founder members of those companies. Entrepreneurs who had already registered themselves can look forward to a complete village theme set-up where they will be served traditional dishes arranged by organic start-ups and Thudumbaatam ( native dance form) and Bullock cart rides would be added bonuses for the next four hours.

Jan 11 2018

Startups Exchange Learnings At Parallel Pongal Celebrations In Chennai

This year, Chennai witnessed parallel Pongal celebration where 170 entrepreneurs and many aspirants got together to learn from each other.

The celebrations was a break away from formal meetings of startups and included a series of traditional activities like Kabaddi, group dances and a community Pongal preparation, which was a perfect ice breaker for veterans and aspirants to bond and exchange notes.

One of the organizers, Dharaneetharan G D, the co-founder of Teleport360 said, “The Pongal celebrations created a perfect informal atmosphere for members to get to know each other and their startup companies.”

Archana Stalin who is the Founder of startup called myHarvest, a company that helps people set up kitchen gardens at their houses, also provides gardening sessions to children at schools said, “This brought together entrepreneurs to celebrate Pongal, also gave networking opportunities to talk to 150 other fellow entrepreneurs, investors and media”.

The gathering had many young entrepreneurs; some of them had given up their corporate jobs to launch new startups. Mayilvahanan Vaganan and Kritika, owners of a company named Lunch Box also did the same. Their new company provides nutritious food to kids at school and the elderly people. During an interview they said “It was a great ambience. As entrepreneurs, we somehow overcome every challenge and it was a great platform to share and learn. Some of us mentored many aspirants. The fun activities made everything a lot easier”.

Jan 16 2017


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