As part of the ongoing Make in Odisha Conclave 2022, Startup Odisha organised ‘Startup Odisha Ecosystem Mixer’, a platform that brought together academia, investors, unicorns and government to deliberate on the future of the start-up ecosystem in the state and the opportunities that the future held. The event held at O-Hub provided an opportunity for early-stage start-ups to interact with successful young start-up founders, venture capitalists and experienced professors. The day comprised two sessions namely, ‘Blooming era of start-ups – Looking into the future’ and ‘AMA on raising my first cheque.’
Delivering the keynote address, Dr. Omkar Rai, Executive Chairman, Startup Odisha said, “E-Commerce platform will continue to lead the creation of wealth in the start-up ecosystem, in time to come, we will see the enhanced use of artificial intelligence, block chain, immersive technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality, AVGC, electric connected and autonomous vehicles driving the start-up ecosystem. In our efforts to reach out to youngsters and transform them from ideators to start-ups, we have strived to create sensitization at the grass roots level to create a culture of ideation. Every school and college require to be equipped with tinkering labs and centers of excellence if they are to become entrepreneurs and create products. Our aim is to increase per capita income by helping start-ups in every sector at every level of the value chain. The need of the hour is to bring all stakeholders together to encourage, sustain and grow the start-up ecosystem in the state. We want to position Odisha as a promising destination for start-ups with a lot of potential. Odisha has excellent technology and educational institutions, and we should leverage this advantage to achieve the vision of the Government of Odisha to achieve 5000 start-ups by 2025.”
In her address, Smt. Rajita Kulkarni, President, Sri Sri University said “Odisha has one of the most vibrant start-up ecosystems in the country and start-ups must look at the current strengths of the State to determine future possibilities. Anything that can enhance health, wealth and time should be considered as an opportunity. Start-ups should look at solutions that enhances the quality of life for society. It is important to ride on the strengths of the state such as healthcare, Agri services, mining, hydel power and wind energy solutions.”
Dr. Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur in his address said, “Globally there are three D’s that are driving disruption. The first is digital disruption, which creates a lot of scope for newcomers with opportunities for everyone. The second is decarbonisation, which will be a great opportunity for the start-up ecosystem with new verticals emerging such as electric vehicles, and opportunities in manufacturing. Odisha, with its stable government and forward-looking policies is set to become the next IT hub and will emerge as the next destination for investment.”
Addressing start-ups present at the event, Amarendra Sahu, co-founder Nestaway in his address said, “Start-ups should no longer look only at markets which are close and comfortable but rather to markets that pay. I am convinced that product start-ups from Odisha are built here, sell abroad is actually going to create a lot of value. We need to make O-Hub a global centre of excellence and attract entrepreneurs from across India to Odisha.”
In his address, Raj Mishra, Founder, INDEA Capital, said, “The end goal for any start-up should be to become a big company. Start-ups must focus on four aspects, namely better products, better services, faster and cheaper and look for opportunities in big markets with a customer centric approach.”
Dr. Ajaya Kumar Mohanty, Director Deliotte, said, “Odisha contributes 5% of the IT workforce across the country, but the state does not get that kind of business. We have a lot to catch up with, create opportunities in the small and medium spaces rather than looking at the government and large companies to provide jobs. In order to be successful, the most important focus of start-ups should be the idea, aspiration, and tenacity. The East including China is a 30 trillion-dollar industry and Odisha is strategically located to exploit that opportunity.”
The first session was addressed by Dr Omkar Rai, Executive Chairman, Startup Odisha, Prof Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur, Prof Rajita Kulkarni, President, Sri Sri University, Dr Sukant K. Mohapatra, Chairman, NIST, Berhampur. The second session was addressed by Dr Ajaya Kumar Mohanty, Director, Deloitte, Shri Raj Mishra, Founder, Indea Capital. Mr Amit Singal, Founding Partner, Fluid Ventures, Ms Seema Chaturvedi, Founder, Awe Funds, Mr Srustijeet Mishra, Serial Tech Entrepreneur & Angel Investor, Mr Rahul Prigawat, AVP, LetsVenture, Mr Amarendra Sahu, Co-Founder, Nestaway.
Startup Odisha supported start-up Larkai Healthcare secured a funding of INR ONE CRORE from Gurgaon based Real-Time Angel Funds during the programme.