Bhubaneswar: In line with the theme “Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Startup” of the MSME International Trade Fair-2019, a seminar on “Startup Odisha: Way Forward” was organised on the day-3 of the event on Thursday.
Over 300 startups, innovators, entrepreneurs, incubators, mentors and academics gathered to chart the way forward for startups to nourish innovation in the state.
The next generation entrepreneurs received some ‘Success Mantras’ through an inspiring special address delivered by Subroto Bagchi, Chairman Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA). He stated that a startup/ an entrepreneur should focus on solving a ‘real problem’ (the world does not require one more Cool App), for which there are ‘real customers’, who would be ready to pay ‘real money’ (entrepreneurs must worship only one deity, that is, a ‘Paying Customer’), learn ‘how to sell’ and should be proud of ‘selling their own brand’ and set up & follow good governance norms/rules of business for their company.
The OSDA Chairman further said that the entrepreneurs should have ‘long term commitment’ (building business is a marathon and not a sprint) and should concentrate on hard problems, to build a business, which is sustainable (it is the difficult parts, which have rewards).
On this occasion, Bagchi also gave away on behalf of the Startup Odisha, “Seed Money Awards’’ of Rs.50,000 each to 14 successfully incubated startups of the last Startup Odisha Yatra.
On this occasion, L.N. Gupta, ACS, MSME presented the Startup journey of last 20 months during which 356 Startups, 11 Incubators, 12 nodal agencies & 1 Angel network have been registered with Startup Odisha Initiative. He added that 61 financial grants worth Rs.6.8 crore provided to Startups and Incubators speak of the commitment of support by the State to push innovation. Mr. Gupta highlighted that for building an efficient start up ecosystem, the State has been recognized as a Top Performer in Start-up India Rankings 2018 by DIPP.
Other panelists namely, R.N. Palai, CEO, OCAC, Surojit Roy (Neotia Incubation), Chitransh Verma (BIMTECH Noida), Dr. A.K. Rath from TiE, Bhubaneswar & Chairman, Hemalata Hospital, Sanjeev Mahapatra (UCCI) brainstormed on ideas such as the need to approach sector specific investors, fabrication labs for encouraging innovations in IOT, funding structures (debt funds/ micro VC funds), integration of ’tinkering labs’ at schools with the startup ecosystem and focus on solving local problems through local but replicable solutions. Subsequent sessions were conducted by sector experts in legal, finance, intellectual property and procurement to help aspiring entrepreneurs to identify and resolve the challenges.