Located far away from the startup hubs – Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai – is Madhya Pradesh, the second-largest state in the country. Nicknamed as the “heart of India” due to its geographical location, Madhya Pradesh is home to 75 Mn energetic, food-loving people with a knack for starting and running successful businesses. Despite inadequate government support and infrastructure, a group of iron-willed entrepreneurs and educational institutions have established incubators, funds and other ecosystem enabling systems for startups in Indore.
To support the startup ecosystem that is slowly emerging in the city of Indore, Inc42 in partnership with Amazon India recently hosted the third instalment of its localised meetup series – BIGShift on October 14 in Indore, MP. The event brought prominent startup founders, influencers, investors, and ecosystem enablers together for an engaging and stimulating discourse about the right time to raise funding, challenges of team building and the much-dreaded fear of burnout.
For the uninitiated, BIGShift is a one-of-a-kind series of localised startup events spread across eight Indian cities, including Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar, Nagpur, Kolkata, Vizag, Kanpur and Indore. Through BIGShift, Amazon India and Inc42 are looking to support the startup ecosystem that is building up in cities beyond Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. The aim is to help bridge the gap that currently exists between the ecosystems in tier I and tier II cities by making the essential resources available to fledgeling startups in these geographies.
Amazon India, for its part, has been doing quite a bit to facilitate the growth of the startup ecosystem in non-metro cities. In remote areas where a dearth of proper infrastructure is a crippling problem for startups, firms like AWS (which works on the cloud) are working to assist promising new companies by enhancing access to pay-as-you-go IT and cloud services. Indore-based WittyFeed is one of the many names that have availed these services to scale up rapidly.
So, Why BIGShift In Indore?
According to AngelList, Madhya Pradesh houses over 400+ startups with the majority of startups situated in Indore and Bhopal. Most of these startups are working in the IT products and services category followed by ecommerce. Over the years, the MP government has established a number of funds dedicated to startups.
In October 2014, the government launched a $15.4 Mn (INR 100 Cr) VC fund to incubate and promote startups in the state, with a special focus on IT and MSME sectors. In September last year, the Madhya Pradesh government set aside another $15.4 Mn for budding entrepreneurs as part of the “Global Investors Summit 2016”. Most recently in July this year, it rolled out a new venture fund called Madhya Pradesh Venture Finance Limited (MPVFL) under the Madhya Pradesh MSME Fund Trust. The fund has a corpus of $15.4 Mn.