iWeekend Pune | Mentors
Pratik Surana

Having earned Doctorate in HR, he has total 18 + years of experience in the field of training, mentoring, operations & Management in both India as well as International Markets. He has done business with various US, UK, European and Asian clients. He is a linguist and has done his specialization in English Language, phonetics and Linguistics during graduation. He has recently authored a book called “Cooldown Before You Burn Out!”


Navin is currently a co-founder and CTO at ReliScore.com. He is creator of PuneTech.com, a portal for the tech community in Pune. He did his PhD with David DeWitt in Computer Sciences from the University of Wisconsin in 1999, and B.Tech. in Computer Sciences from IIT-Bombay. He is interested in a number of areas of computer science, including: highly scalable systems; distributed and fault-tolerant software systems; text search, information retrieval, and analysis of unstructured information and understanding of what drives online communities.

Arun Prabhudesai
Arun Prabhdesai

Having worked for over 15 years in I.T Industry across the globe, Arun returned back to India to pursue his dream of starting on his own. He has been quite active in Startup and Entrepreneur community is always in forefront in advising upcoming Entrepreneurs. He heads the Technology for Enhance Education.

Ashish Mehta

Ashish is the co-founder and CEO at Sokrati. Ashish oversees the Product Strategy & Business Development at Sokrati. He brings over 8 years of Digital Marketing & Product Development experience to Sokrati. He was part of Paid Marketing Team at Amazon.com where he managed Channels like Comparison Shopping, Search & Affiliate network. Ashish was involved in product strategy, P&L for traffic acquired for various Amazon Product Categories, and partnership / negotiations with top affiliates like Google, Yahoo, Shopping.com, etc. Prior to his Amazon stint, he worked at Marketing & Acquisitions department at Capital One – overseeing SuperPrime Credit Card portfolio. He earned a Masters from Carnegie Mellon University (batch of 2003) and a Bachelors from University of Mumbai, India.

Vikas Kumar
Vikas Kumar

Having over twelve years experience in the software industry with the majority of it as a CTO of Brainvisa which I founded along with my partners in 2000. After having exited Brainvisa I have been investing and working with various start-ups in various domains.

I also co-founded SME Networks which is India’s first Network dedicated to SMEs and aims to create the largest transaction platform for service providers reaching out to SMEs.

My specialties are strategizing, technology, advisory, and investment.

Anil Paranjape

After a long career in the Semiconductor industry in the US, I am now based in my hometown of Pune (India) where I manage an early-stage VC firm based in Pune, focusing on Cleantech, Healthcare, and Education. In my investment role, I come across many entrepreneurs in various businesses of all types and I help many of them with their funding needs, strategy, business development, technology-based operations, and end-user marketing. Here, I primarily focus on Cleantech, Hospitality, and Consumer Internet. Besides this, I co-own a hip restaurant chain in Pune and actively manage it. Lately, I have also started serving on boards of companies as an investor representative or an independent board member.

Before this, I built a new business venture in the retail technology space for Intel Capital in India. During my stint at Intel capital before 2006, I focused on business incubation and investments in Retail, Social Media, Healthcare, and Consumer Electronics verticals, based in Portland, Oregon.

Prior to Intel Capital, I spent 13 years developing and managing design methodologies and CAD tools to manage Intel’s Pentium-II, Pentium-III, Pentium-IV and i7 microprocessor designs.

Ajay Hiraskar

Business professional with extensive experience in Sales, Marketing, Training & IT services. Managed various sales channels within the Telecom & IT industry in India and Australia. Contributed extensively to 2 telecom start-up operations in the Indian market. Have managed global sales operations with revenues exceeding USD 100 M. Passionate about helping others evolve in the field of personal development & develop social media skills. Goal is to actively help individuals & small enterprises succeed by mentoring & coaching for success.

Ayan Bandopadhyay

Ayan has over 5 years of experience in entrepreneurship & consultation with respect to brand positioning and product launching strategies. An entrepreneur by choice, he formed his advertising firm in Pune in 2008 after working in the markets of Mumbai, Chennai and Pune. Before joining NEN, Ayan consulted and developed creative brand strategies and soon bagged advertising contracts for his firm across industry verticals ranging from Business Schools to Counseling & Education Academies, real estate projects, fitness studios, new-concept restaurants, beauty lounges, a microbrewery, hotels, interior designing companies, gourmet stores and consultation firms. He has done his MBA in advertising and marketing communication from International School of Business and Media, Pune.

What is iWeekend?

iWeekend is an intensive and innovative experience that brings together talented entrepreneurs and professionals of different profiles to select ideas and bring these ideas to reality by collaboratively developing a business plan and a prototype, all in one weekend.