Share skills, book a meeting space for free!

Construkt fest of startups, ideas kicks off

 It’s called the Freedom Space by Seats2Meet, where you meet and share skills and knowledge. You pay nothing in rupees but in social capital (skills, knowledge), the accepted currency.

So you go to www.cobaltblr.com, share your skills and book the place for free! You even get coffee, tea and WiFi for nothing! This cool concept, a roaring success in Netherlands, is now in Bangalore, bang on Church Street.

Daily Dump, a startup in Indiranagar shows a way to address the city’s mounting garbage problem through a project called Recycle Guru.

It is about helping communities recycle their dry waste and supporting the informal waste dealers in the process.

Packed with quirky art merchandise of every hue, Kitschdii on 12th main, Indiranagar is a retail outlet dipped in a heady mix of art, craft and innovation. From wacky wallets to nutty notebooks, the place is a melting pot, an exciting platform for artists to spread their ware.

Shifting the spotlight on projects such as these, the Construkt Festival (the second avatar of last year’s Startup Festival) has gathered steam in the City.

Linking entrepreneurs and creators across four communities -- tech, design, culinary, social --, the Festival is about catalyzing cross-disciplinary connection through workshops, panels, presentations, art installations, performances and more. The Festival will converge at Jayamahal Palace for a bigger splash this weekend.

Space for freethinkers

In its smart rejig of a conventional meeting place as a social platform, the Freedom Space is a first for the city. But this space does not stand alone. At the Cobalt S2M, it is linked organically to other paid meeting rooms so that creative independent professionals could encounter businessmen.

“Freelancers, startup entrepreneurs and creative crowds in the free space could easily network with others from the corporate world here. Mainstream businesses could interact with out-of-the-box ideas from the freethin­kers. The talent pool of these know-mads will be huge,” explained a Cobalt S2M insider.

To make the space even more exciting, Cobalt S2M has proposed movie nights on Tuesdays, poetry-readings and maybe, even standup shows! This action in Freedom Space might just help a hardcore tech wizard meet a graphic designer, triggering another big startup idea!

Segregation simplified

Such ideas were definitely the toast of the Contrukt Festival as it went on the Crawls, the behind-the-scenes tours. At Daily Dump, the waste management idea was king, as a volunteer helped people take baby steps in garbage segregation. She made everyone gathered play a game of sorts from a mixed bag of plastic, paper and other material. The rejects, material beyond recycling, had to be identified and their use minimised. The Dump founder, Poonam Vir Kasturi had more to say at www.dailydump.org

At Kitschdii, entrepreneur Seema Pisharody had a story to tell, as the Construkt crowd gathered. Dumping a full-time job, she had turned a collector and seller of all things quirky, a curator of kitsch art, a multi-brand vendor on the cusp of starting her own line of handmade products. Recycled tyre tubes, crafted jewellery, even a fridge magnet made from jeans pockets, her store had packed them all.

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