Odisha aims 1000 start-ups in next five years

Aug 23, 2016 0

Bhubaneswar–The Odisha cabinet on Tuesday approved a new Start-up Policy 2016 targeting to set up 1,000 start-ups in next five years.

“The policy targets setting up at least 1,000 start-ups in the next five years attracting substantial venture and angel capital to the state with sizable attractive employment opportunity for the educated youths,” said Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi.

The government would make a budgetary provision of Rs 25 crore to set up a Start-up Capital Infrastructure Fund to encourage the start-ups in the state.

Besides, it would participate in the private state specific funds for start-ups to set up operations in the state, said Padhi.

With the state government envisaging to be amongst top three startup hubs in India by 2020, the policy aims to usher in an innovation and startup eco-system through the creation of world-class incubation centres, funding and a supporting incentive structure at par with other states.

The government would provide various incentives to the new ventures for their sustenance.

Universities and colleges would be eligible for one-time capital grant of 50 per cent of capital cost excluding the cost of building up to a maximum of Rs 1 crore to set up incubation facility, said the chief secretary.

An amount of Rs 10,000 per month would be provided to a start-up for a period of one year only if it has got the seed round funding approval.

Besides, reimbursement up to Rs 1 lakh per year for three years will be provided to institutions, incubators, and industries for providing free internet, free electricity, and mentoring services. (IANS)

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15-year-old behind odd-even.com carpool has new initiative

Jul 27, 2016 0

New Delhi– Fifteen-year-old entrepreneur Akshat Mittal, who helped daily commuters of the capital to solve the problem of carpooling with his odd-even.com, on Wednesday announced the launch of his second venture ChangeMyIndia.org.

Akshat is currently associated with Gurgaon-based carpooling app Orahi’s advisory board as a technical and domain expert following the acquisition of odd-even.com.

ChangeMyIndia.org endeavours to bring its changemakers closer to everyday real-world problems faced by Indian citizens and assist them in addressing these concerns by devising innovative tech and non-tech solutions.

“When I was selected as an ‘Ashoka Youth ChangeMaker’ for odd-even.com, I was already thinking about the next challenge, how to initiate a bigger social change in India. I noticed how there existed no single repository where citizens can list all the issues that they face on a daily basis,” said Akshat.

“This was when we thought of creating a platform which brought together people who want a change and those who are eager to bring about the change came to my mind. Our mission is to get close to around one million citizens and changemakers on board across the nation,” he added.

Counted among one of the youngest entrepreneurs in the world, Akshat initiated ChangeMyIndia.org after getting selected as an “Ashoka Youth ChangeMaker” by Ashoka Innovators for the Public — a network of social entrepreneurs in the world.

The portal, which will act as a web platform for Indian citizens to list their problems/issues, will also allow them to register as changemakers and contribute in successfully resolving social grievances through collective and collaborative efforts. (IANS)

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Karnataka unveils booster kit for start-ups

Jul 25, 2016 0

Bengaluru–Karnataka on Monday unveiled a booster kit to nurture start-ups in the state with funding and hand-holding till they flourish.

“The booster kit provides software tools, cloud credits, access to mentors, legal and consulting accountants and access to government funding and government supported incubators,” state IT & BT Minister Priyanka Kharge told reporters here.

Priyanka Kharge

Priyanka Kharge

Announcing Rs.400 crore funding over the next four years as grant or equity for start-ups, micro and small IT and BT (biotech) enterprises, he said the Karnataka Biotechnology and IT Services (KBITS) would also help them in marketing and promotion.

“The KIBITS will sponsor participation of start-up entrepreneurs to attend networking events at national and international levels, administer tax incentive and assist them in patent filing,” Kharge said.

The new minister also said he plans to hold an open house event every month for start-ups to interact with department officials for addressing issues related to their operations.

The first open house will be held on August 16 at the state-run 10,000 start-ups warehouse in this tech hub.

“Bengaluru is the second fastest-growing start-up ecosystem in the world and the only Indian city to be ranked among the best 15 start-up ecosystems the world over,” Kharge said.

The state government has also set up a cell in KBITS to implement policy initiatives and provide incentives for incubating start-ups.

“A start-up portal (www.startup.karnataka.gov.in) will soon be launched to educate prospective entrepreneurs on our policy and benefits being offered under the booster kit,” Kharge added.

In partnership with the IT industry’s representative body Nasscom, the state government has set up 725 seats to support incubators in the warehouse, in which 325 seats are available at subsidised rate for setting up start-ups.

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Friday is the Deadline for TyE-Boston Program

Jul 24, 2016 0

Pallavi Singh-TiECAMBRIDGE, MA—Deadline for applying for TyE-Boston program for high schoolers is July 29. Winners from TyE-Boston will participate in TYE Global Final Business Competition 2017. In addition, TiE-Boston gives away $10,000 in prize money to local winners, TiE-Boston officials said.

“We are excited to be able to accept 25 percent more students this year,” said Pallavi Singh, Chair of TyE-Boston. “We always get great applications, and hate turning away students.  Our ability to increase our class size so much this year is thanks to our dedicated teachers and mentors.”

A number of TyE-Boston teams have won in the global competition. Chillvax, the winning team from TyE-Boston 2016, won third place and $1,000 in prize money at the TyE Global Competition held in Portland, Oregon.  Chilvaxx strives to save lives by optimizing delivery of vaccines to rural areas with the aim to prevent disabilities and death due to lack of vaccines for preventable diseases.


“TyE gave me the opportunity to innovate and collaborate at a level I never attempted before. This innovation and collaboration gave me insight into handling team dynamics while developing an innovative product as well as a viable business model,” said Abhi Sambangi, CTO of Chilvaxx. “Through TyE I have been inspired to invent solutions to real world problems while keeping the value of social entrepreneurship in mind.”

In 2015, TyE-Boston team Bijli Energy won first place and $7,500 in prize money at the TyE Global Competition held in Atlanta, GA.  Bijli Energy is a social enterprise with the idea to implement Micobial Fuel Cells that generate electricity from organic waste in the 25,000 villages in India that don’t have access to electricity.

In 2013, TyE Boston team Aajit Power won first prize audience choice and 3rd overall. Aajit Power produces centrifugal cylindrical turbine units for trucks mounted inside aerodynamic enclosures known as fairings. The product converts the kinetic energy from the incoming air particles into electricity that is used to charge the battery of the truck, thereby reducing the use of fossil fuels.

Anu Yadav

Anu Yadav

“We get such a diverse range of applicants for TyE every year and it’s so amazing to witness the progress they make from the start of the program to the final pitches; It is never too early to learn skills that help entrepreneurs,” said Anuradha Yadav, Executive Director, TIE-Boston. “Any high school student who is interested in learning about entrepreneurs and startups should apply.”

Gaugarin Oliver

Gaugarin Oliver

Gaugarin Oliver, TiE-Boston Charter Member and TyE mentor and coach to TyE global winning teams in 2015 and 2013, urged high schoolers to apply and learn about entrepreneurship through the TyE-Boston program.

“TyE is one among my favorite programs at TiE-Boston. It is amazing to see how the program that was started in Boston has grown to chapters around the world,” said Oliver. “Every year, the high school students come up impressive ideas and make incredibly professional presentation to the judging panel.”

Suneha Kadimdiwan is Program Manager for TyE-Boston. She can be reached at suneha@boston.tie.org.  Deadline for application is Friday, July 29, 2016. For application and more information, visit: tye-boston.org .


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India is youngest start-up nation with 72 percent founders below 35 years

Jul 23, 2016 0

New Delhi– Start-ups are the next big economic force in India, the world’s youngest startup nation with 72 per cent founders below 35 years of age, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here on Saturday.

“Start-ups are the next big economic force in India. Close to 4,400 technology startups exist in India and the number is expected to reach over 12,000 by 2020. India is the world’s youngest start-up nation with 72 per cent founders less than 35 years,” Sitharaman said at the Start-up India states’ conference.

Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman

India has been pegged at third place behind US and Britain in terms of the number of start-ups.

“Government is committed to make Start-up India initiative a scalable reality and to provide an environment for our start-ups to thrive in. Through the initiative, we want to ensure that the momentum is accelerated. We are determined to make it a start-up revolution,” she said.

“The government will facilitate to ensure that world’s best start-up ecosystem is in India,” she added.

The government has operationalised the Start-up India Hub on April 1, 2016 to resolve queries and to provide hand-holding support to start-ups.

The hub has catered to more than 13,500 queries received from start-ups through telephone, email and Twitter, she added.

The Finance Act, 2016 has made provision for start-ups to get income tax exemption for 3 years in a block of 5 years, if they are incorporated between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2019.

Tax exemption on investments above fair market value have also been introduced for investments made in start-ups. To avail these benefits one must get a certificate of eligibility from the inter-ministerial board of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

A ‘fund of funds’ of Rs.10,000 crores for start-ups has been established which is managed by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). The fund will invest in SEBI registered alternative investment funds (AIFs) which, in turn, will invest in start-ups.

“This fund acts as an enabler to attract private capital in the form of equity, quasi-equity, soft loans and other risk capital for start-ups,” Sitharaman said.

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Kochi among India’s 100 best start-up incubators

Jul 22, 2016 0

Kochi– The Kochi Startup Village has been ranked top among the 100 best startup incubators in India by the India edition of Entrepreneur Magazine.

The Entrepreneur Magazine survey report, that came out on Friday, assessed the incubators on the basis of several criteria, including the number of graduating startups, their success in raising funds and funding-equity and the duration of the programme.

Since 2012, Startup Village has supported nearly 590 physical and virtual incubatees in Kochi and 200 in Vizag.

Kris Gopalakrishnan

Kris Gopalakrishnan

“It is a great honour for Startup Village to be named the country’s best incubator just as it gears up for even bigger challenges in its search for a billion dollar campus startup,” said Kris Gopalakrishnan, Infosys co-founder and chief mentor of Startup Village.

The latest accolade for Startup Village comes on the heels of the National Award for Technology Business Incubator from the government in 2015.

“The PPP model of Startup Village gives its tremendous ability to create deeper impact and it has been changing the whole culture of student entrepreneurship across the nation,” said H.K. Mittal, head of the National S&T Entrepreneurship Development Board.

Last week, Startup Village launched into its second phase with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launching the online platform SV.CO that aims to provide a fully digital incubation framework to five million students in 3,500 engineering colleges across the country.

“SV.CO is the next big iteration of Startup Village, to give a world class student startup ecosystem to around five million engineering students in India, who will build the future of our nation. Our success in first phase was due to the support from public and private sector partners” said Startup Village chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar.

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India exploring involving start-ups to make EVMs and VVPAT units

Jul 21, 2016 0

New Delhi– With an eye on better technology and competitive prices, the government is exploring possibility of involving start-ups to make EVMs with the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) units, which are being currently produced by the PSUs Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL), said informed sources.

The decision to rope in the start-ups for producing the EVMs coupled with paper trail machines was taken following the cabinet decision to allocate Rs 920 crore for the purchase of the EVMs by the Election Commission.

The only caveat is that machines to be produced by the start-ups will have to comply with the security requirements, they said.

The decision to explore the involvement of start-ups for producing new voting machines with paper trail machines got the backing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a view to have better version of the machines at a competitive and cheap price.

The Prime Minister, who had in January this year launched “Start-up India movement”, had suggested that for EVMs technology with VVPAT units, “we can encourage start-ups in consultation with the Election Commission”, said the sources.

The Election Commission requires 13.95 lakhs ballot units, 9.30 lakh control units and 16.15 lakh paper trail machines. The sources said that the machines being currently produced by the two PSUs were based on old technology.

In a October 8, 2013 verdict, the Supreme Court had held EVMs with VVPATs, also called “paper trail”, were an indispensable requirement for free and fair elections as it ensures the accuracy of the voting system.

However, the top court had on July 1 asked the Election Commission (EC) as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against it for its failure to use EVMs with VVPAT in “true spirit” during the recent state assembly elections as directed by it in October 2013.

The contempt notice was issued on a plea by the Backward & Minority Community Employees Federation (BAMCEF) contending that the Election Commission has not implemented the October 8, 2013 verdict in its “true spirit”. (IANS)

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Startups to vie for SCL title

Jul 20, 2016 0

Hyderabad–Startup Cricket League (SCL) 2016, tailormade for startups to celebrate entrepreneurship and sportsmanship, was announced here on Wednesday.

The mega event will be rolled out in four startup hubs of Bangalore, Delhi, Jaipur and Hyderabad.

SCL Founder Sai Kiran Gunda

SCL Founder Sai Kiran Gunda

The winning teams from the four cities will then battle it out at the grand finale in Hyderabad on September 18 to win the title of national champions.

Brand ambassador and actor Akkhil Akkineni launched the event and unveiled the dazzling trophy for this unique event.

He also announced prize money of Rs 1 lakh as seed fund for the winning team.

“SCL 2016 is sure to be an outstanding success as the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the country would be reverberating with utmost enthusiasm. I am thrilled to be a part of this exhilarating idea and captain the Telugu team of entrepreneurial players,” said the Telugu actor.

The event will brings startups from varying sectors together along with investors, founders, mentors, incubators, accelerators and students.

SCL founder Sai Kiran said it is an opportunity for the growth of the startup ecosystem as entrepreneurs can bond with investors and other categories of influential people over a friendly cricket match.

Giants like Flipkart, Freecharge would be participating with other renowned startups like Citrus, OYO Rooms, Perk, GrabOn etc.

Some of the renowned investors who will also partake in SCL are Matrix Partners, Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital and Hyderabad Angels.

There will also be an array of creative on- and off-ground activities like Internship Bucket, Founder’s Pavilion, Startup Crossfire, Startup Pitch, Startup Power play and Super Catch. (IANNS)

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TiE-Boston Announces 14 Companies as Part of TiE ScaleUp Cohort

Jul 8, 2016 0

CAMBRIDGE, MA –TiE-Boston last month introduced 14 companies who make up the second cohort for TiE ScaleUp. TiE ScaleUp, a five-month accelerator program for companies between seed and Series A financing, provides startups a path to breakthrough growth through access to investors, mentors and classes/workshops.

TiEScaleUpCohort2“The existing accelerators and entrepreneurship programs in Boston help founders convert an idea to a product and/or establish product/market fit,” said Anuradha Yadav, Executive Director of TiE-Boston. “However, there are very few resources to help companies scale when they cross the seed funding threshold. We created TiE ScaleUp to address this gap in the entrepreneurial offerings and to work with founders on issues ranging from customer acquisition, operational excellence to growth capital, and to help take companies to the next level. The feedback we received from the first cohort participants has been extremely positive and we are so excited to welcome this second cohort.”

anu yadav photoThis second cohort follows the program’s successful launch last year.

According to Mark Abramowicz, Co-Founder & COO of Spot, one of 14 startups in ScaleUp’s inaugural cohort, “TiE ScaleUp has provided us with tremendous learning and networking opportunities. We have tried to take full advantage of our access to so many talented and seasoned entrepreneurs within the cohort itself, but also amongst the mentors of the program and even the other members of the larger TiE organization. Pitch feedback and ample introductions to relevant and interested potential investors and partners are just some of the perks of the program. The numerous lectures by HBS and other business school professors is like icing on the cake.”

This year’s cohort includes the following companies, several of them being alums of MassChallenge, Tec

Monica Chandra (Photo: LinkedIn)

Monica Chandra (Photo: LinkedIn)

hStars, Harvard i-Lab and Learn Launch: Admetsys, Advanced Continuing Education Association, Avrio, Blackburn Energy, Cintell, Entromy, HelloToken, KnipBio, Nested Bean, Neumitra, Renew Energy Partners, Rifiniti, Shearwater and Wizdy.

Startups get paired with mentors, serial entrepreneurs and industry experts in life sciences, tech, venture capital, social entrepreneurship, education, sales & marketing, legal and more.

“TiE mentors and charter members were truly vested in helping TiE ScaleUp companies learn and succeed. This form of access to highly successful entrepreneurs is a hallmark of what differentiates TiE in the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Monica Chandra, ScaleUp mentor and Managing Director of 3EDGE Asset Management.

Ranjay Gulati

Ranjay Gulati

During the program, startups will have the opportunity to engage with investors through a demo day, peer-to-peer learning through CEO roundtables, tailored mentorship and workshops taught by world-class academics and subject matter experts. TiE-Boston does not charge a fee to companies to participate in the program nor does it take an equity position.

Another strength of the program is the targeted curriculum presented by world-class faculty from the top business schools. “Many entrepreneurial ventures fail not because of an inability to attract customers, but because of their failure to evolve their organizations. I’m excited to participate in TiE ScaleUp and help founders at this critical growth stage,” said Professor Ranjay Gulati, Chair of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and ScaleUp teacher.

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World’s first Digital Incubator for students to be launched in Kerala

Jul 7, 2016 0

Thiruvananthapuram–Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, who is also the chief mentor of Kochi Startup Village, and others will launch the world’s first digital incubator for student startups, here on July 13, a statement said.

The statement by the Kochi Startup Village said the country needs more than one million new jobs a month for the next 20 years to employ all its youth and these jobs would mostly come from new start-ups if the right environment is created.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

It said the Digital Incubator, which was built over the last 12 months, has already received more than 1,000 applications from students from across Kerala as well as towns like Vadodara in Gujarat and Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh in its beta stage.

“It does not matter if you are from a village or a town. All one needs is to have hunger to succeed, and we are looking for you. Visit www.SV.CO/apply and be part of building the future of India,” said Startup Village chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar.

Gopalakrishnan said that students, especially from tier 2 and tier 3 cities, are deprived of access to the best faculty and mentors from start-up nerve centres like Bengaluru or Silicon Valley and this venture “would address the problem to a large extent”.

Students can now form teams and apply for admission to the digital incubator. Once selected, they will be guided right from selecting an idea to building a prototype and its launch to early customers within six months. Based on whether customers like the product, teams can then graduate to incubators, accelerators, raise Angel Funding, and even get acqui-hired as a team or hired to other start-ups or go for higher studies.

In a related development, the Start-up Village, the country’s first PPP model incubator, launched as a trailblazing initiative four years ago in Kerala to build a start-up culture among the state’s youth and become a blueprint for the nation, is all set for a national scale up with the Union Department of Science and Technology approving its Phase 2 in its completely digital avatar.

The Start-up Village Phase 2 is in tune with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Start-up India programme and will focus on creating an entrepreneurial culture amongst the country’s five million engineering students by providing them a completely digital incubation framework.

Phase 1’s original mandate was to incubate 48 start-ups during the period 2012-15, but it went on to receive an overwhelming 6,000 plus applications. Also, 3,000 new jobs were created by the young start-ups, which raised more than Rs 45 crore in funding.

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