MeitY Startup Hub celebrates the Iconic week of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” with its Tech-Startup Summit

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As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” celebrations, MeitY Startup Hub held its Tech-Startup Summit earlier this week. MeitY Startup Hub (MSH), an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY), focussed on promoting technology innovation, start-ups, and creation of intellectual properties. It ensures synergies among all the incubation centres, Centres of Excellence on Emerging Technologies for facilitating crisscrossing of technology resources, sharing best practices and ideas to foster creativity as well as research skills  combined with entrepreneurship, thus striving for “Atmanirbharat” or “Self sufficiency” propagated by the Government of India through its initiative – Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM).

The Tech- Summit was held with 2 Plenary Panel discussions, a Startup Expo and BSF-Bhumi Challenge Award Ceremony as key highlights.

The first session encapsulated the current scenario, pertinently the endeavours of the Government in strengthening the start-up ecosystem through its plenary session – One Vision, One Mission was organized wherein panellists comprising of representatives from the Government, namely- Aastha Grover, Head Startup India, Invest India; Dr. Manish Diwan, Head, SPED, BIRAC; Dr. Anita Gupta, Head, National Science and Technology Entrepreneur Development Board; Vivek Virmani, COO, Defence Innovation Organization; Mudit Narain, Technology Officer to the PSA, GOI.

Aastha Grover, Head, Startup India, Invest India emphasized on the measures takes to encourage start-ups include, reduction in burden compliance through reforms to, monetary support through funds/grants, market access, mentorship/ guidance enabling start-ups focus and work on growth of their core business.

Dr. Manish Diwan, Head, SPED, BIRAC focussed on the necessity of recognition of the longevity of a new venture along with other vital aspects such as access to funding, infrastructural support; stakeholder connects to make India an innovation hub.

Dr. Anita Gupta, Head, National Science and Technology Entrepreneur Development Board, highlighted the transformation of approach from being job seekers to becoming job generators and the initiatives adopted to support young entrepreneurs through fellowship programs, National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovation, etc. which serve as the building blocks for entrepreneurship. As per Dr. Gupta, the requisite handholding and guidance to startups India along with the necessary investor support can help India become a thriving startup nation which can strengthen public-private collaboration.

Vivek Virmani, COO, Defence Innovation Organization, drew attention to the challenges faced preventing young entrepreneurs to enter the defence manufacturing segment majorly due to lack of appropriate testing facilities. Vivek Virmani also pointed the need of the entrepreneurs to understand the requirement before the start-ups enter manufacturing in the defence sector.

Mudit Narain, Technology Officer to the PSA, GOI focussed on needs of consumer, needs for revision in policies for transportation, energy generation and storage, industry organization can modify the motto for the country from ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ to ‘Jai Vigyan Bharat’ thus reinforcing the concept of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiated by the Government.

Dr. A.K Garg, Sr. Director, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology summarized the significance of bridging necessary gaps in the journeys of start-ups starting from conception of an idea to development of a prototype to its conversion to a market ready product and their scaling up in the market both domestic as well as global.

In order to depict the Investment & funding landscape another session – Domestic Capital was organized comprising of renowned dignitaries and experts namely- Mohan Das Pai, Co-Founder, and Chairman, 3one4 Capital, Aarin capital and Manipal Global Foundation; Krupa Shankar, Head, Fund of Funds NIIF; Anjani Bansal, Private Sector Partnerships Lead, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Keerthi Lal Kaala, VP, Sun group; B V Naidu, Founder, StartupX Seed Ventures; Mahavir Pratap Sharma, Head TiE Global; Nakul Saxena, Head – Fund Strategy & Investor Relations, LetsVenture

Mohan Das Pai, Co-Founder, and Chairman, 3one4 Capital, spoke about more foreign investments than domestic investments in India and the reasons primarily attributable for the same include more rates of taxation for Indian investors, risky investment opportunities; absence of proper institutional investments and proper regulations for monitoring the same. Also, Pai emphasized on the need of the government to initiate development activities for start-ups, including seed funds to be set up by respective State Governments.

Krupa Shankar, Head, Fund of Funds, NIIF stressed on the requirement of judicious investment of capital, including proper exit and adequate returns to the investors through an established investment management program.

Anjani Bansal, Private Sector Partnerships Lead, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focussed on the need of a clear path for start-ups helping their ideas and products reach out to new markets including those in other countries

Keerthi Lal Kaala, VP, Sun group underlined the importance of the fitment of purpose which the corporate consider while investing in start-ups, including areas of interest, long term association, on-going trends, etc.

B V Naidu, Founder, StartupX Seed Ventures, brought to light the problems faced by deep tech start-ups during their initial phase in terms of procuring investments. Naidu suggested for creation of a corpus of funds by the government as well as liberalized policies to support start-ups.

Mahavir Pratap Sharma, Head TiE Global, laid importance on the necessary handholding, mentoring, access to market required by the startups for their expansion outside their geographies enabling greater scalability

Nakul Saxena, Head – Fund Strategy & Investor Relations, LetsVenture brought to light the need for educating the investors (including investors from non-metros), the requirement of sustainable investments and building a long term capital pool through government support.

Both the panels were moderated by CEO, MSH, Jitendra Vijay, who raised pertinent pointers for discussion keeping the audience engaged and interactive panel discussion with enriching learning and valuable insights.

To encourage innovative capabilities of some of the participating startups of the BSF High-Tech Undertaking for Maximizing Innovation, the (BHUMI) Challenge organized by MeitY Startup Hub with Border Security Force, startups were awarded in the last segment. These were namely- Vihaan Networks Limited, GEORADAR.AI, AAVRTTI Technologies Pvt. Ltd., DSRL, DezynForge, OptimusLogic Systems India Pvt. Ltd, Gurutvaa Systems Pvt. Ltd, Big Bang Boom Solutions Pvt. Ltd. were recognized through certificates of appreciation and mementos.

Ashwani Vaishnaw, Hon’ble Minister of Electronics and IT, Communication and Railways shared his words of wisdom encouraging the young student entrepreneurs to cope up with the changing technologies with their hard work acknowledging path breaking innovations in the country, heralding a new era for India on the global map.

Bhuvnesh Kumar, Joint Secretary, MeitY concluded the event by thanking all the panellists and organizers and he also appreciated the innovative student efforts and solutions by BHUMI challenge participants which were showcased.

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