Last week, Shared Electric was invited to present at the Lift Conference‘s maiden event in India, Lift India. The one-day conference was held in the beautiful setting of National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in Bangalore, India on Saturday, 31. October.
It all started the evening of Friday, 30. October with the Swiss Innovation Night at the quintessentially Swiss destination MövenPick Hotel in Bangalore. Here, Shared Electric was invited to join the group of six Swiss startups who pitched their ideas. The pitching session was followed by a networking dinner where we got a chance to interact with the guests and friends of Switzerland. Swiss delicacies with the power of transporting one back to Switzerland were a special attraction.
Lift India was a one-day, invitation-only conference that featured inspiring talks by experts and startups, interactive masterclasses and hands-on workshops, as well as an exhibition.
The event was themed around the power of (big) data: the visualizations, interpretations and how we can leverage them to solve problems. The keynote session The Naked Truth About Data gripped everyone’s attention. It featured two very interesting talks demonstrating the real power of the big data, what happens when we start visualizing them in an easy-to-understand way. What stories could be told with visual representations of data?
Shared Electric participated in the afternoon session of the event which began with a pitch on the Lift stage. In the pitch, we announced the launch of SolarFamily.ORG and for the first time publicly discussed our product Solar Family Installers’ Toolkit.
SolarFamily.ORG is an online platform where electricity generation data from all every single solar panel in India will be captured and shown in an easy-to-understand way. It will be open to receive and showcase solar generation data from 30. November. This will be the world’s largest renewable energy data collection initiative capturing bulk of India’s grand 100 GW solar plans.
We were also invited to join in two panel discussions in the afternoon session.
One focusing on the cross-border innovation, the Swiss-Indian connection in particular. Here Karl discussed the journey of Shared Electric as a Swiss startup navigating the corridors of Indian bureaucracy and market supply chains. Interesting was the point raised that while it is usually quite easy to make connections with people in business world in India, making the right connections are not trivial and thus, the journey from the first step of connection to the subsequent step of collaboration is difficult.
The second panel discussion was on Indian innovation, the startup ecosystems revolving around data in particular. Why are there so few data driven startups in India and what pitfalls to avoid while trying to build one. I was a part of this panel and we discussed the key necessity to convert the data collected into achieving the required action, is the context of presenting the data. The actor on the data, say an end-consumer of electricity, should clearly understand the impact his small part and his tiny actions make in the big picture. I discussed Shared Electric’s field test in Balangir (Read here) where we used simple traffic lights to convey the complex messages about the status of power system to households in rural India.
In parallel to the afternoon’s panels, were ongoing workshops and demonstrations by other Swiss startups and unravelling of the story behind the showcased Data Canvas: Sense your city project.
To end the event was a great short-talk on the unique ability of the world’s greatest companies and business leaders is to innovate more than once, to reinvent. It is not enough to differentiate yourself from competition just once, key to sustained market domination is constant innovation and reinvention, pushing the boundaries.
Overall, the Lift India conference was amazing and a unique learning and networking experience for Shared Electric.