Announcing BIGShift — Inc42 & DigitalOcean Join Hands To Empower India’s Tier 2 Startup Hubs

Announcing BIGShift — Inc42 & DigitalOcean Join Hands To Empower India’s Tier 2 Startup Hubs


BIGShift is an initiative to enable, engage and empower India’s Tier 2 startups

It will be hosted in six Indian Tier 2 cities — Chandigarh, Nagpur, Indore, Ahmedabad, Vizag and Kochi

5 startups from each city will get a chance to pitch in front of the ecosystem enablers and enter the DigitalOcean Hatch Program

Ever since the Inc42 website revamp last year, our mission was to bring exciting and experiential events and properties for the startup ecosystem — it has become our mantra! We’re on a 24×7 mission to bring you the facts, data, analysis, events and the best stories from the Indian startup ecosystem.

In doing so we’ve seen the world of startups through a magnifying glass and understood the trends as well as the opportunity in hitherto untapped areas, even as the ecosystem burgeoned.

Within ten years, the number of startups have gone from 7K to an impressive 49K+, with over $48.59 Bn poured in as funding over the last five years (2014-Q1 2019), and brands such as Flipkart, Zomato, OYO and Ola have become household names thanks to their success stories.

India is not just the cynosure of the global startup eye. It is indeed the hottest, budding ground for business opportunities across sectors.

Where once, cities such as the Silicon Valley of the country— Bengaluru, the maximum city— Mumbai and the capital itself — Delhi, took the cake for having the most innovative startups, Tier 2 cities are growing unlike ever before.

According to a report, 20% of the total startups in India are based in Tier 2 and 3 cities. Today there are over 5,800 startups in Tier 2 cities. And if this is not enough to raise the curiosity of the world, the total funding for these Tier 2 startups in the last five years alone is $1.3 Bn (2014-Q1 2019), according to DataLabs by Inc42.

Startups in India’s smaller cities and towns have become a juggernaut of innovation in the country amassing a large amount of funding going to startups each year. Among the successful startups, the likes of Appointy in Bhopal, DeHaat in Patna, CarDekho in Jaipur are some that have made the biggest impact.

Announcing BIGShift — Inc42 & DigitalOcean Join Hands To Empower India’s Tier 2 Startup Hubs

While the trickle-down-effect has been one of the core reasons for Tier 2 cities developing into startup hubs. The local ecosystem enablers have given these businesses the much-needed impetus by way of incubator and accelerator support, funding, infrastructure such as fast internet, transport, and legal support. Government-enabled ‘startup policies,’ state-funded incubators and various other schemes have all played a crucial role in propelling the fledgling startup ecosystems in India’s Tier 2 cities.

So, the big question is what exactly is going on in the Tier 2 ecosystem in India? BIGShift will not only familiarise the startup ecosystem with their counterparts in Tier 2 cities, but it will also empower the entrepreneurs and businesses in Tier 2 cities by giving them a platform to showcase their products, propositions and services, besides allowing them to spread their business network by connecting them with the ecosystem stakeholders.

BIGShift 2019

BIGShift is an Inc42 initiative in association with DigitalOcean, to enable, engage and empower India’s Tier 2 startups. After being received with aplomb in its first edition, which connected over 400+ startups and investors from Tier 2 and 3 cities in 2017,  BIGShift is back and this time we are travelling to six Indian Tier 2 cities. The idea is to celebrate, discover, connect the local startup ecosystem in India’s emerging Tier 2 startup hubs while empowering them through much-needed support.

What Would Attendees Get?

  • The opportunity to connect with prominent players in the local startup ecosystem
  • Learn from experts through sessions
  • Connect and learn from fellow hustlers in the ecosystem
  • Networking and partnership opportunities
  • Get access to exclusive credits and mentorship from DigitalOcean
  • Connect and engage with the Inc42 & DigitalOcean teams

The evenings at BIGShift will be free-flowing over a 3-4 hour duration. Over the course of the evening, there will be dedicated sessions, keynotes, a panel discussion which will be followed by the highlight of each evening — the BIGShift Pitch.

The BIGShift Pitch

BIGShift will also serve as a launchpad for five startups in each city. These startups will be offered the opportunity to showcase their business plans as well as products/services in front of stalwarts from the local startup community present at the event in the session — The BIGShift Pitch.

These startups will be shortlisted after a rigorous process of evaluation on parameters such as proof of concept, traction, funding, etc.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Your startup has been operational for at least 1-year but less than 5 years.
  • Your startup has not raised more than $1 Mn in funding.
  • Your startup must be registered in India or founded in India and has operations in India.

The Benefits

  • The opportunity to exhibit your startup and showcase products/services in front of people who matter.
  • Get discovered by the local startup ecosystem.
  • The top 5 startups in each city who make it to the BIGShift pitch will get a direct entry into DigitalOcean’s global startup program ‘Hatch’ that provides a host of exclusive benefits including a year’s worth of infrastructure credits, technical mentorship and access to a curated set of networking events.
  • Top 6 startups throughout the series will be featured on Inc42.
  • 3 startups will get free access to Inc42’s flagship conference — The Ecosystem Summit in November’19.

When we started more than five years ago, our mission was crystal clear — to be the authority on the Indian startup ecosystem, not just by our coverage, but also our ability to empower different facets of the ecosystem. We do this by bringing them together through our marquee, tailor-made events. With BIGShift we’re doing exactly that and bringing the local startups in India’s Tier 2 and 3 cities comprising founders, influencers, investors, government officials and ecosystem enablers to engage, network and collaborate and set the agenda for the next wave of tier startups in the country.

BIGShift is all set to kickstart and is coming to the city of Chandigarh on July 19 with the first edition. Apply now to grab your spots!

The BIGShift editions for Chandigarh, Indore and Ahmedabad are being supported by Dineout. BIGShift Vizag is being supported by Andhra Pradesh Innovation Society.

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