The Spark Fest – Igniting Young Sparks - Start-Up Hyderabad
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The Spark Fest – Igniting Young Sparks

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The Spark Fest stands as a single hotspot for passion and talents from all the domains there is for the youth to explore. Learn and along the way, discover your true self. From Arts to Academics, Science to Style and Poetry to Painting, domain boundaries are simply excuses to stop you from excelling at your passion. Boundaries stop potentials. Spark fest pushes those boundaries and aims to let you find the real you. You will find your passion and work towards making wonders. You will also meet people with inspiring stories. You will find and be a mentor to people. You will also find inspiration and be an inspiration to people. You will learn to become awesome and also teach people on how to become awesome at Spark Fest.

The idea of creating an event, so epiphany – inducing for people who are passionate about their talents excited Vihari Eyyuni and Balamurali Pandranki. They both immediately co-founded The Spark Fest. Sitting out in the Moonshine Project, Vihari and Murali met an old friend Vikram, who is a passionate blogger and networker. He fell in love with the idea of making one’s passion as their profession.

The Spark Fest stands as a single hotspot for passion and talents from all the domains there is for the youth to explore. They can learn and along the way, discover their true self. “If at the end of the Spark Fest, I were to ask any 1 of the 2000 attendees ‘What their takeaway was from the fest?’ and if any 1 of those 2000 say that they have found a profound clarity of how they can fuel their passion and shape a life out of it, I would consider my mission accomplished”, Murali said.

The event aims to spark, true to its name, with great speakers who include all of the stars of today who are fuelled by nothing but passion and hard work. Thushar Lall ( founder of Indian Jam Project); a YouTube music sensation, Tanya Nambiar (Singer and Musician); a melody queen, Haleem Khan, the famed Kuchipudi dancer stand as an example of breaking stereotypes while rising towards success. We have great entrepreneurs such as Vivek Satya Mitram(Founder and Editor in Chief @ Adviceadda.com) and Shruti Chaturvedi (Founder at chaipani.com) who could forget the guy who gave us the greatest Anu Aunty video, the one and only Varurn Agarwal; author and a young millionaire. We also have Bhuma Akhila Priya; the youngest MLA there is in India

The Spark Fest 2016 is the biggest youth festival in the country and we will celebrate this at our very own T-HUB Gachibowli, on 17th and 18th of December, this year. It aims to incubate the ideas and passion of thousands of youngsters across the youth base in the city and as well as the state in entirety. Come and celebrate passion like never before. Say goodbye to boring lectures and unambiguous power talks. Tickets are available at www.thesparkfest.com for Rs.1000. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to attend the Spark Fest 2016.

A Pursuit for Passion and Perfection: Balamurali Pandranki

There are a lot of factors that drive individuals towards specific goals. But what if the only goal you ever have is Passion? Balamurali Pandranki is one such individual who believes that passion can make any person live his/her life to the fullest.

Starting off from very humble beginnings, Murali migrated to Hyderabad after his father’s demise and due to financial constraints. Brought up by a single mother, Murali always had a special attraction towards technology and the electronics involved in it. “I was always fascinated by the idea of building electronics and have been among the top performers at every science fair I’ve been to since my childhood” He reminisces his school days.

“I never had enough money to pursue my passion i.e, electronics. I used to help out my juniors and peers at school with all their projects at any science fair. I then realized that I could make projects and sell them to these students. That has to be the point where I started my step towards entrepreneurship even without knowing of the existence of any word as such.”

Murali had to choose a career path which guaranteed his placement and earning opportunities as he saw that he has to start earning quickly in order to support his mom. Polytechnic gave him a path but even after an impressive 600 rank in CEEP, he had to take CIVIL engineering as his domain. Murali was unusually attracted to coding and learned to code all by himself. He was seen a lot in the CSE department at college than his own. Doing ample justice to his own stream simultaneously, he became an efficient coder in a very short time. All he had was a small personal computer at home which belonged to his aunt. “I like coding.” Says Murali “I believe that self-learning is what makes you passionate about anything. If you force a kid to do math, he will end up hating it. You let him figure out the brilliance of it and he will like it and maybe even find it passionate. Let a person loosen up on his/her interests and trust me, it will sure make him/her passionate.”

Murali saw that being a government owned institute, his college lacked all there is which made a private college better one. He thought that this is not the way a college should be operating and decided to pull a few strings, reset up the defunct student body and started developing his college. This

got him thinking that his college needed a portal

online for all the student needs. A social networking website for the students in the college. Along with his friend Basheer, he collected funds from friends of about Rs. 3000 and started on his project called myfriends.com. “I did not have an internet connection back in the day. Those were the days when Aircel offered free 3G services in the morning. I used to get up early in the morning at around 5AM and use that internet for all my needs. Code and develop the website, THEN go attend the college.” Even with all the efforts, myfriends.com turned out to be a failure due to the lack of awareness of social media among his college friends.

During his second year, Murali started out on his next venture, civilstack.com. It was an online stop for every civil engineering student for his/her academic needs. He went on to pitch the idea at the Bentley Conference but as it turned out that there was a similar idea in works, he had to drop out of it. During which came in his semester examinations and Murali was nowhere near prepared for it.

I’m not proud of what I did but I got caught with a chit in the examination hall and got debarred from writing the exams for the entire semester.” He says. He received a lot of heat at his household but that did not deter him. He went on to intern at a private company for his CIVIL project and built those guys a website and thought that he was on the right path all along. Coding was his passion.

“That incident to me proved to be a beneficial one in a way “he recounts.

His 5th semester was tough one where he had to clear all his semester and previous semester subjects all at once. He managed to clear all of those with a flying 80% aggregate and cleared ECET with a statewide 250 Rank.

He had a fork on the road now. CIVIL or CSE. He began doing freelance projects and at the same time, started his engineering at Mallareddy Institute Of Technology And Science in the CSE stream. He had a few months to spare till the date of joining during which he went on to intern at Coherendz under the tutelage of Arpita Soma (Founder YoGrad!) on the way. He began to design and sell School Management to schools and that went on quite well. He met the Aadi and Subash of August Fest at the Elevator Pitch at Lamakaan, Hyderabad and was a part of the team of August Fest too. Murali realized that college had nothing much to offer to him as all of which he was to learn at college is pretty much the stuff he already had a great grip on. He felt that the theoretical/outdated curriculum was not his cup of tea and he had a big passionate career out in front and decided to drop out after 1 month of college. He started a company called Codedeft technologies which went off well but had to stop for a few reasons.

Murali found a new interest in ethical hacking and mastered it too very soon and started conducting Hackathons in the year 2014. Once at an event, Murali encountered an individual who wanted Murali to meet his brilliant co-founder. This co-founder turned out to be an attendee to his earlier hackathon.” He said that my Hackathon introduced and inspired him in the IoT domain and was a life changingevent to him. That was when I realized that I had it in me to inspire people to pursue their passion”. Murali started continuing and expanding his work of conducting Hackathons under the brand name of Progress Works (2015) and there was no turning back. Murali believes that passion can fuel any person to be the best of the version he/her always will be. “Sometimes all you need is aggressive passion towards something. Talent is always optional” says Murali. These ideals of his towards passion stood as the pillars of the foundation of The Spark Fest.

The Spark Fest stands as a single hotspot for passion and talents from all the domains there is for the youth to explore, learn and along the way discover their true self. “If at the end of the Spark Fest, I were to ask any 1 of the 6000 attendees ‘What their takeaway was from the fest?’, and if any 1 of those 6000 say that they have found a profound clarity of how they can fuel their passion and shape a life out of it, I would consider my mission accomplished,” Murali added.

“The Spark Fest is an innovative and epiphany-inducing venture. I have an incredible team by my side. I have Shaista Fatima at the Operations end, Vihari Eyunni; My go-to guy for everything, my wordsmith P.Shiva Rama Krishna, Vikram; the networker and Spandana Gangavaram; a diary to keep me company all the time.Chaitanya, Tabreez are amazing guys to work with, compromise of my team” Balamurali says with a beaming smile. The Spark Fest 2016 is the biggest youth festival in the country coming this December 2016. Tickets are available at www.thesparkfest.com

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