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, which received an overwhelming response. 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 06 ‘Success Mantras’ through an inspiring special address delivered by Shri Subroto Bagchi, Chairman Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA). Shri Bagchi stated that a startup / an entrepreneur should :(i) focus on solving a ‘real problem’ (the world does not require one more Cool App), (ii) 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’),(iii) learn ‘how to sell’ and should be proud of ‘selling their own brand’,(iv) set up & follow good governance norms /rules of business for their company, (v) have ‘long term commitment’ (building business is a marathon and not a sprint) (vi) lastly, should concentrate on hard problems, to build a business, which is sustainable (it is the difficult parts, which have rewards).On this occasion, he 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, Shri 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. To move to the next stage, the State plans to nurture high potential start ups through continuous grooming and mentorship. In order to expand the catchment area of innovation, setting up of district startup facilitation cells and encouraging academia to introduce entrepreneurship and innovation in the curriculum are under consideration. In the keynote address, Srikumar Misra, Founder and CEO of Milk Mantra, applauded the Startup Odisha’s efforts in building up a strong foundation for startups in the State. With the single minded objective of aiding high potential startups to breakout and scale up, he emphasized the importance of areas such as policy amendments, ground level reforms in banking & labour and applied research for commercialization of ideas.Other panelists namely, Sh.R.N. Palai, CEO, OCAC, Sh Surojit Roy (Neotia Incubation), Chitransh Verma (BIMTECH Noida), Dr. A.K. Rath from TiE, Bhubaneswar & Chairman, Hemalata Hospital, Sh 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.