Indian Startup Hubs: Startups And Ecosystem Builders In The Kolkata Startup Ecosystem

Indian Startup Hubs: Startups And Ecosystem Builders In The Kolkata Startup Ecosystem

Spread roughly north–south along the east bank of the Hooghly River, Kolkata is majorly known for two things – the Howrah Bridge and the only operating tram network in India. The city also has the third most-populous metropolitan area in India.

Kolkata, better known as the ‘City of Joy,’ is not a city which figures amongst the top startup hubs. However, the walls of the city, house within it a budding startup ecosystem with passionate entrepreneurs, great mentors, and a supportive government.

According to Angellist, there are over 250+ startups in Kolkata and with government facilities and initiatives the startup ecosystem has picked up pace.

As part of our ongoing Indian Startup Hubs series, this time, we are covering the startup ecosystem in Kolkata.

We will be covering some of the notable startups, and other individuals and groups that are building up the startup ecosystem in the city.

The Startups


Contrary to popular opinion, a healthy number of startups have their home base in Kolkata. These include verticals like edtech, healthtech, the ever-popular ecommerce, and foodtech, as Kolkata is famous for its cuisine, among many others. Following is the list of startups who are based out of Kolkata.

Just to give a glimpse, from January 2014 to September 2016, 13 startups got funded from Kolkata, raising over $87.2 Mn amount.


Founder(s): Pallav Nadhani

Founded In: 2002

Funding: Self-funded

FusionCharts is a data visualisation library (written in JavaScript) that helps the web and mobile developers generate charts, gauges, and maps used to power dashboards. Its clientele includes companies like Google, Microsoft, Intel, Infosys, IBM, Dell, HP, and Citibank. FusionCharts claims the US government is also using its products.

indusnetIndus Net Technologies

Founder(s): Abhishek Rungta

Founded In: 1997

Funding: NA

Indus Net Technologies is an IT Service, managed outsourcing & Internet strategy company that offers a combination of creativity and technology. It has offices in more than five global locations and caters to a wide range of enterprise clients, digital agencies and emerging companies across various industry verticals like BFSI, MPE, Travel & hospitality, Education, e-governance in over 40 countries.


Founder(s): Alok Patnia

Founded In: 2011

Funding: N/A

Taxmantra is an online platform that aims to understand and address the pain points of individuals, businesses, companies, and new startups by providing timely and quality tax solutions in the most hassle-free manner. This includes tax return filing, Company/LLP creation, accounting, company law compliances, and such other day-to-day business maintenance services.

lexulousLexulous (Formerly Scrabulous)

Founder(s): Rajat Agarwalla, Jayant Agarwalla

Founded In: 2005

Funding: NA

Lexulous is an online word game based on the commercial board game Scrabble. The company was rebranded in September 2008. The company claims to have more than 6 Mn players across the world. The objective of the game is to create words on a 15×15 grid using letter tiles available in user’s game rack. One can play it on all popular platforms – Android, iOS, Web and is also available on Facebook.

exactllyLa Exactlly

Founder(s): Kamal Agarwala

Founded In: 1997

Funding: NA

Exactlly is a software and solutions provider specialising in ERP, HRMS, CRM, and PMS. The company operates globally through its operations in India, UAE, Oman, Singapore, and Malaysia.  With its product suite, the company specialises in automating and simplifying the business operations for varied business verticals including cement, iron & steel, seeds, textile, construction, and chemical industry.


Founder(s): Alkesh Agarwal

Founded In: 2007

Funding: It raised $5 Mn funding in 2010 from a British company TLG Capital at a valuation of $12.40 Mn. Also, in 2008, Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL), invested $2.2 Mn in the company.

Re-Feel is a printer cartridge refilling and remanufacturing network with its presence at over 100 locations across 85 cities. It operates on a franchise model and all its stores are independently-owned and managed by its franchisees. It also owns the Club Laptop franchisee which operates in the laptop service segment.


Founder(s): Nilesh Shah

Founded In: 1996

Funding: NA

RanceLab offers retail software and POS hardware products especially meant for the retail industry. Its venture, FusionRetail™ 6 effectively helps retailers to manage all aspects of their business efficiently. The platform’s expertise also lies in working with hardware products which consist of the latest range of barcode and POS products. By using IT solutions at its best, RanceLab’s mission is to be a global retail solution provider.

a1futureA1 Future Technologies

Founder(s): Srish Agrawal

Founded In: 1997

Funding: NA

A1 Future Technologies is a creative agency specialising in corporate design and branding, website design and development, 2D/3D animation and graphic design. The company claims to be profitable since inception and is a member of respectable organisations like NASSCOM, ESC, TiE etc.


Founder(s): Andrew Morsi, Reuel Ghosh

Founded In: 2001

Funding: NA

eRevMax is the provider of online distribution, channel connectivity, market intelligence and revenue management solutions to the hospitality industry. The company delivers its premium hotel channel management product RateTiger, real-time enterprise connectivity gateway – RTConnect and LIVE OS, the single sign-on solution for the hospitality and travel industry.

metalogic-systemsMetalogic Systems

Founder(s): Arup Dasgupta

Founded In: 1997

Funding: NA

Metalogic Systems offers services in software development and software transformation. It helps companies to reduce TCO of their IT portfolio and achieve more ROI through its productivity accelerator tools and products. It currently provides services  in different countries around the globe, viz. US, UK, France, South Africa, Middle East, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and India.


Founder(s): Bipin Shah

Founded In: 2000

Funding: NA

Kovair offers integrated Application Life Management (ALM) solutions. Integrated ALM is a totally integrated set of tools and processes that help organisations manage the complete lifecycle of an application development. It connects different teams, activities, platforms, tools, and processes. It spans from idea generation to the end of the application’s life. The company offers almost 70 out-of-the-box integrations with leading third-party and open source tools such as Microsoft, HP, IBM, Rally, BMC, CA, Bugzilla, JIRA, ServiceNow and more.


Founder(s): Atul Gupta

Founded In: 2006

Funding: NA

InSync helps businesses in bridging the online and offline gap and aims to make ecommerce businesses operationally more efficient. It provides ecommerce, marketplace and CRM applications with back office ERP, through its product – APPSeCONNECT, a hybrid solution – a unique combination of cloud and on-premise integration.


Founder(s): Obaid ul Ahad

Founded In: Launched eBay page in November 2015

Funding: It raised $166K seed funding  from friends and family.

Zafraa is making an app- and web-based portal where a user can order anything from across borders and get the same delivered with equal ease as ordering from a local ecommerce platform.


Founder(s): Rohit Singhania, Anirudh Singhania, Namit Rai Surana.

Founded In: 2015

Funding: It raised an undisclosed amount of funding in August 2015 from Prime Capital Markets Ltd.

iZofy is an online marketplace that connects users with astrologers, numerologists, tarot readers, Vaastu consultants, and healers.


Founder(s): Neeraj Sharda, Sudhanshu Goyal

Founded In: 2016

Funding: It raised $45K funding at a valuation of $150K in April 2015 from Positron Internet. In May 2016, it also raised an undisclosed amount of Seed funding from two Indore-based industrialists.

Chikoop is a portal which helps in creating and managing advertising campaigns especially for users who don’t have access to high-speed internet. For a normal user, Chikoop is a free-calling platform that does not require the use of the internet.


Founder(s): Rana Dutta, Sandip Bodak, and Sunil Mishra.

Founded In: 2015

Funding: It raised $120K of angel funding from entrepreneurs from the Middle East including Anish K & Ajith Nair, CEO iAdepto Global.

Tiyo assists patients to connect with healthcare services and practitioners across India through its web and mobile platform. It currently offers 18 products and services integrated with its flagship platform for patients to connect with the doctors and deliver a complete lifecycle of preventive and primary healthcare services digitally.

bengal-speechBengal Speech & Hearing

Founder(s): Somenath Mukherjee

Founded In: 2006

Funding: It raised an undisclosed amount of funding in August 2014 from Matrix Partners. The company is also looking to raise $3 Mn funds from a private investor.

Bengal Speech & Hearing runs an audiology and speech therapy chain under the brand Hearing Plus. It aims at providing the best service available to people of all ages with speech, language, and hearing problems. Apart from Kolkata, it has exclusive hearing aid centers in Burdwan, Howrah, Siliguri, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati (Assam), Mumbai, and Delhi.


Founder(s): Nabarun Chakrabortty, Suptotthita Neogi

Founded In: 2014

Funding: It raised a $30K seed funding round from Spark 10 Accelerator.

Ornativa is a premium fashion jewellery brand which supplies 1,000+ exclusive designs of earrings, pendants, bangles, necklaces, etc. Products can be customised as per the need and desire of the customers. The aim is to bring global designs to the Indian market. The designs are updated regularly and are inspired by international trends.


Founder(s): Gaurav Dahake, Prashant Singh

Founded In: 2012

Funding: It raised $1 Mn in May 2015 from Kris Gopalakrishnan, Japanese ecommerce and investment company BEENOS.

BuyHatke operates an online product and price discovery platform in India. Its website grabs results from various online shopping portals; and provides comparisons on deals, coupons and offers, and products. It also provides price comparison Android applications, as well as price comparison browser add-ons.

Wow! Momo

Founder(s): Sagar Daryani, Binod Homagai

Founded In: 2008

Funding: It raised $16 Mn from India Angel Network in August 2015, with an initial investment of INR 30K from the founders themselves in the initial days.

Wow! Momo is a restaurant chain offering a product line which comprises momos, thukpas, and meals. It serves 11 different flavours of momos available in steamed, fried, pan-fried, sizzler, and baked variants. The mission is to make the offerings, food for all occasions and create a niche market not only for the masses but also for the upper- and middle-classes. It has over 96 outlets in 8 cities of India, with at least 36 in Kolkata alone.  It currently operates under four formats namely, kiosk, food court, high street shop with 2o people capacity and high-end street restaurant upto 1000 sq.ft. It aims to open 100 outlets, which include both kiosks and quick-service restaurants, by December.


Founder(s): Ankita Sancheti, Vedanta Kumar, Saksham Karwal, and Upasana Todi.

Founded In: 2016

Funding: It raised an undisclosed amount in a Seed round of funding in 2016 from a group of investors. This included investor Vineet Singh, founder of Calcutta Angels Pradyumna Dalmia, Head of CIIE at IIM Ahmedabad Tanvi Rangwalla, among others.

SeenIt, claimed by the founders as ‘Quora for lifestyle products’, is a community of fashion enthusiasts which allows users to do a visual-based search to find a product of their choice. After uploading the image, the SeenIt platform provides multiple website options where the exact product or a similar one is available within 30 minutes. It also helps users to know public opinion through polls and discover trends. It also launched an app in June 2016.


Founder(s): Jay Bagri, Kashif Hussain

Founded In: 2015

Funding: NA

The startup aims to make relocation simpler and cost-effective for college students. Students can pre-order essential things like linens, bath essentials, etc., to be delivered at their dorm room or PG accommodation on the day of their arrival, eliminating the tedious process of carrying heavy luggage. The website also lists local home-delivery restaurants within a radius of three kms from a particular college. Once a restaurant is listed, the students can view menus, read reviews etc. Also, one can find campus blogs including those for college-related issues and articles, along with information about fests and cultural events taking place in colleges on the platform.

yellow-strwaYellow Straw

Founder(s): Vikram Khinwasara, Piyush Kankaria

Founded In: 2014

Funding: NA

Yellow Straw is a chain of fresh fruit juice centres. Its core offerings include fresh juices, fruit shakes, fruit salads, fruit sundaes, and light munchies like toasties, and sandwiches. It claims to have 100 percent water-free juices, even for hard fruits like apple and guava. Using masticating juicers, the juices comprise more than 90% nutrients of fruits and they offer around 45 plus varieties of juices and shakes.


Founder(s): Abhishek Bajaj, Aditya Bajaj, Rohit Bajaj.

Founded In: 2015

Funding: It raised a Seed funding round in May 2016. The names of investors and amount of funding remained undisclosed. Also, it raised Seed capital of $150K from family and friends in 2014.

ZeroInfy is a Nasscom-incubated startup and an online study portal which provides video lectures from the best teachers throughout the country via different mediums. It currently provides five courses including CA, CS, CFA, FRM, and IIT-JEE. The founders have tied up with teachers from Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Jaipur, and Jodhpur.


Founder(s): Om Agarwal

Founded In: 2013

Funding: It received an angel funding round from businessman Ravi Agarwal in August 2015.

EazyCoach is a personal mentoring platform that helps college aspirants to get into their desired college by providing dedicated help from admission experts through an open marketplace. Through an online process, the startup helps college aspirants in writing of application to various colleges and mentoring them for specific exams in established universities such as Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia. Besides, it also helps financially-disadvantaged students by connecting them with corporates to provide loans.


Founder(s):  Rahul Singhal, Jyoti Singhal

Founded In: 2015

Funding: The startup has received about $250K in funding so far. This includes $100K in 2015 and an undisclosed amount of bridge funding in July 2016 from GHV Accelerator.

Applop enables smartphone users to create and customise their mobile apps without any coding. It assists business owners in providing text-based solutions, digital marketing, and payment integration solutions.


Founder(s): Sujay Santra

Founded In: 2009

Funding: It received an undisclosed amount in angel funding in 2013 through the Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I-cube-N). The investment was led by Jayesh Parekh (co-founder of Sony Entertainment Television) and Nandan Maluste (President of CSO Partners).

iKure is a healthcare-focussed tech startup aiming to bring cost-effective medical facilities to rural India. iKure’s patent-pending software platform called WHIMS (wireless health incident monitoring system) has been made available to the rural population on-field. Medical equipment is then interfaced with the software and related patient data is transferred in real-time to a hospital/formal clinic-based doctor to advise and monitor the patient.

chaibreakChai Break

Founder(s):  Anirudh Poddar, Aditya Ladsaria

Founded In: 2011

Funding: NA (Was started with a capital of INR 50K)

Chai Break offers more than 25 variants of hot and iced tea, including their speciality “royal tea”, a hot beverage blended with kesar (saffron). Moreover, customers can choose between Indian, Italian, and Chinese cuisines in most of their outlets. The company sources about 1,000 kg of organic CTC tea from Assam and 200 kg of Darjeeling tea per month. 60% of its total beverage revenue comes from tea. The startup expects a turnover of INR 20 Cr by March 2017. It further plans to take the number of outlets to 10 by the end of this fiscal.


Founder(s): Baibhav Agarwal, Abhishek Rungta

Founded In: 2015

Funding: NA

Pickji is an app-based hyperlocal logistics service developed by a Kolkata-based startup Auspice Transitos. It is available on Android and iOS. The application has been launched with an aim to provide intra-city delivery of items and allows customers to trace the status of their shipment. Besides cash on delivery, transactions can be made through Paytm, credit or debit cards. The startup is currently doing a total of 800-900 deliveries per day in Kolkata and Howrah.


Founder(s): Akash Khurana

Founded In: 2014

Funding: NA

HealthyBillions is a healthtech startup and a clinical research and data analytics company. At THB, the team aims to unlock the power of healthcare data to provide personalised care to patients, seamless and convenient patient diagnosis to doctors, as well as clinical research for a variety of healthcare stakeholders, including pharma, and governments.


Founder(s): Kaushal Dugar

Founded In: 2012

Funding: In June 2016, it raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Cameron Jones, a Singapore-­based angel investor. In January 2016, it raised an undisclosed amount of funding from angel investor Ratan Tata. In March 02015, it secured $6 Mn in Series A funding led by JAFCO Asia. The company had earlier raised an $1 Mn Seed round from Accel Partners and Horizen Ventures in early 2014.

It is a premium tea brand delivering tea all over the world, focussed on the vertical integration of sourcing, branding and distributing teas. The company works with around 150 plantations in Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri, and Nepal.


Founder(s): Abhishek Chatterjee, Jeeta Bandopadhyay

Founded In: 2013

Funding: In January 2015, it raised $1 Mn in Seed funding led by Singapore-based Jungle Ventures. Earlier, it raised $200K from Blume Ventures, India Internet Group and Harvard Angels.

Tookitaki is a data intelligence platform focussed on consumer behaviour discovery and prediction. It offers a SaaS platform to provide actionable insights and forecasting solutions on consumer behaviour for enterprises. The team recently moved to Bengaluru.


Founder(s): Mohit Daga, Rohit Mall

Founded In: 2015

Funding: NA

Pedagoge is an edtech platform for students to search and register with private coaches (both academic & non-academic) based on their individual needs. It is is an ecommerce platform based on research and market insight to make the process of choosing a verified teacher easy which fits with the personalised requirements of users.


Founder(s): Mayukh Goswami

Founded In: 2015

Funding: NA

SmartStitch aims to give customers the best experience of booking a perfectly made-to -fit formal attire and customising them from the comfort of their home. With every order booked online through a form, customers gets access to whole range of fabrics, to customisable options, and a personal designer attending them within 24 hours at their home.

ecube-energyE-Cube Energy

Founder(s): Umesh Bhutoria, Amit Bhutoria

Founded In: 2010

Funding: NA

E-Cube Energy uses energy analytics to accelerate energy efficiency in industries/SME’s. It helps companies transition to a better way of assessing, reporting and managing energy performances with its products and solutions. This includes a cloud-based Energy Information Management And Analytics System EnView, EDA centre, EE Hubs and DIY tools.


Founder(s): Devesh Mittal, Nagarjun Kota, Dipanjan Biswas, Dhruv Khanna.

Founded In: 2008

Funding:  IIT Kharagpur financed the $20K Seed round in August 2008. It then raised an angel round of undisclosed funding in January 2011.

Data Resolve Technologies helps businesses secure their data from theft and loss. Its award-winning product ‘inDefend Business’ performs security analytics for the same. The company provides integrated endpoint security from a single security-integrated platform hosted on AWS.


Founder(s): Utkarsh Lohia, Chetan Sethi, Porav Jain

Founded In: 2015

Funding: NA is an online convenience store in Kolkata catering to the daily needs of all citizens. It is an online grocery store having a wide range of products along with excellent customer service


Founder(s): NA

Founded In: 2013

Funding: NA

Forseegames is the subsidiary of Microsec Enterprise and a privately-held online Indian gaming portal, which lets users play prediction- and opinion-based games for free. The games launched by help brands in getting focussed consumer engagement with a high brand recall value and promotes consumer brand loyalty.


Founder(s): B L Mittal, Ravi Kant Sharma

Founded In: 2013

Funding: So far, the company has infused $16.4 Mn (INR 110 Cr)

SastaSundar is an online pharmacy company, operating in six districts of West Bengal. It aims at bringing innovation in creating an infrastructure to offer products and services tailored to an individual.


Founder(s): Manish Shankar, Rajiv Agarwal, Lokesh Verma

Founded In: 2009

Funding: NA

Edudigm offers aptitude and scholarship tests for engineering, medical, and school students. It aims to sort out the existing problems in the Indian education system with a belief that the key to success are discipline, and a systematic and scientific approach.


Founder(s): Abhishek Pansari, Ankit Pansari

Founded In: 2013

Funding: NA is a cricket fantasy league site where players can create a dream-team to play and win attractive cash prizes. This skill-based gaming site tests the knowledge and vision of cricket-enthusiasts, providing them a chance to formulate their dream teams and win handsome cash prizes in return.


Founder(s): Alok Patnia, Abhishek Rungta

Founded In: 2015

Funding: Funded and incubated by Indus Net Technologies and Taxmantra

Makeyourtax is a joint venture between Alok’s TaxMantra and Rungta’s Indus Net Technologies. It is an online tax return preparation and filing software for businesses, individuals, chartered accountants and tax professionals. It is also enabled to provide white label tax filing gateways to corporate professionals.


Founder(s): Abhishek Rungta, Umesh Bhutoria

Founded In: 2016

Funding: NA

Motor Tool is a joint venture between Rungta’s Indus Net Technologies and Bhutoria’s E-Cube Energy.  It is a cloud-based platform that uses big data and technology for management and utilisation of industrial energy. It aims to enable industries to optimise energy cost through performance enhancement of Electric Motors & Motor Driven Systems (EMDS), and thereby reducing overall energy footprint.


Founder(s): Ankit Jain

Founded In: 2009

Funding: NA, which operates under Senorita Creations Pvt. Ltd, is an online retailer of Indian ethnic wear. It offers a collection of ethnic wear like sarees, salwar suits, lehengas along with ethnic jewellery, accessories like bridal chunni, and handcrafted Indian ethnic footwear. The company also takes payment in eight different currencies, namely: US dollar, New Zealand dollar, Indian Rupee, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, Pound, Euro, and MYR.


Founder(s): Saurabh Suman

Founded In: 2016

Funding: NA

A fintech startup, Paydeck is a first-of-its-kind service that empowers users to use their debit and credit cards for any payment without optional recipient participation. For instance, a tenant can use it to pay the rent to landlord using his credit card. So far, its operating user base is 3,500+ with an average ticket size of INR 10,000 per user. Their current registered user base is of 17,000.


Founder(s): Rohit Kedia

Founded In: 2015

Funding: It has to date raised  $45K (INR 30, 00, 000) from the HNI’s raised  $45K (INR 30, 00, 000) from the HNI’s.

WhatsurSkill is a social networking platform and leading community for artists. It helps people in getting a stage to their talent both offline and online and earn money as well. It caters to categories such as drawing, designing, photography, singing, dancing, blogging, public speaking and others.


Founders: Deepam Jain, Saloni Jain

Founded In: 2015

Funding: NA

PrettyCarat is an ecommerce company dealing in online jewellery. The portal aims to cater to the Indian jewellery market. The team forte is in Indian diamond jewelllery which includes rings, earrings, pendants, mangalsutra, etc.

Other Startups

MoMore: MoMore is an offline chain of momo stores. It has around 10 stores in various localities of Kolkata. As mentioned on its Zomato page, it offers Tibetan and Chinese cuisines with home delivery and meal box facility.

Tyre Patty: TyrePatty is known for redefining the concept of a cafe. The place has tyres everywhere with the cafe divided into three spaces which include sections for Hookah lovers and Non-Hookah lovers, along with an ‘Aqua Zone’ beneath the seats where one can simply dip his/her feet in the water.

JunctionTV: Founded in 2013, JunctionTv offers a media analytics platform MI-3, which provides a massively scalable data pipeline and deepFlux analytics engine for processing TV and media data. Customers – including broadcasters, cable/MSO, and OTT operators, use MI-3 for TV and media data analytics, as well as recommendation and discovery services.

TestKeeda: Founded in 2012, TestKeeda is a platform where users can practice quality questions and get detailed analysis to ace through any exam. It aims to be the  ultimate destination for online mock tests for CAT, GRE, GMAT, XAT, NMAT, IIFT, CMAT, SNAP, and other MBA entrance examinations. It also got featured in BetaList as one of the most-emerging internet startups.

Mama Mia, Newton Vehicles, Paltao – are a few other startups based out of Kolkata.

Mentors And Angel Investors


Kolkata is home to a robust group of mentors and angel investors who have a vested interest in increasing startup activity in the city. Following is the list of mentors and investors based and/or interested in investing in Kolkata.

Calcutta Angels Network (CAN) is the first structured platform of this kind in Eastern India. The network has a total of 71 investors. Some notable investors on the platform are:

apurv-salarpuriaApurva Salarpuria

Apurva is the Executive Director at Salarpuria Group. He has previously worked at KPMG’s Assurance Division in Bengaluru and holds a Chartered Accountant degree. Apurva works with startups largely at a strategic level. He has over 15 companies in his portfolio, including Mast Kalander, Hokey Pokey Ice Cream, Epigamia Greek Yogurt, Bonhomia Coffee, Designcafe, Dropkaffe, and others.

Mudit Kumar

Mudit Kumar runs a fourth-generation family-owned tea business. He has been involved in other manufacturing businesses like floor-coverings, apart from trading and exports, during the 25 years of his career. During these years, he has also managed a family portfolio of different asset classes, and gained experience in making investment decisions, before he became a member of the Calcutta Angels Network.

pradumanPradyumna Dalmia

Pradyumna Dalmia is Partner at Triton Investment Advisors, a PE firm, and also manages his own family offices. He was earlier Director, SSD Securities Pvt. Ltd, a leading stock broking and financial services firm. He completed his MBA from London Business School (LBS) in 2012 and holds a BSc in Economics from the University of London. He is also past-President of the India Business Forum (IBF) and Family Business Club at LBS. He has invested in startups such as SeenIt, CarveNiche, and Catapoolt.

siddharth-pansariSidharth Pansari

Sidharth is the Managing Director of Primarc Story Venture (P) Ltd, currently operating under the brand name STORY. He also heads Primarc’s realty business Primarc Projects and Primarc’s apparel wing PGI Retail as a Director. He has been in the realty segment since 1998. He has contributed to the expansion of the Raymond textiles business of the group. He has completed his CFA from ICFAI Hyderabad.

raghav-kanoriaRaghav Kanoria

Raghav is the Director of Moni Viniyogh Pvt. Ltd – a boutique investment banking firm which runs transactions for cross border acquisitions, private equity fund raising for corporates. He has worked in SREI Venture Capital, Brand Capital, and interned with Mittal Steel, London. He also led the efforts to raise a JV realestate fund at Ambuja Realty. He holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Commerce, as well as an MBA from Leeds University, UK.

Hari Balasubramanian

Hari, post his stint as an entrepreneur for over 27 years as founder of Ontrack Systems Limited, made angel investments in several startups in diverse domains and has led investments in innovative startups in India and abroad. He is a member of The Indian Angel Network, where he contributes in deal sourcing, due diligence and mentoring of startup companies .He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Comunet Info-Systems Private Limited, Director of Mukunda Foods Private Limited, and High City Retail Private Limited. He is also an advisor to BSHPL, IvyCap Ventures and Sol Primero.

abhishek-rungtaAbhishek Rungta

Abhishek is an entrepreneur, digital strategy consultant, software architect, and angel investor. He is the founder of Indus Net Technologies, which has a team of 850+ full-time professionals supporting 200+ active clients across BFSI, retail, healthcare and entertainment sectors in five continents. He consults with enterprises on their integrated digital strategy to help them innovate and drive high ROI. As an angel investor, he helps startups to grow.

pallavPallav Nadhani

Pallav is the founder of FusionCharts – charting solution in JavaScript, and Collation – helps make more out of Microsoft’s SharePoint. He contributes to the Indian product ecosystem through angel investing and mentoring. He is currently the Founder Circle Member of iSpirt Foundation where he helps other entrepreneurs through RoundTables. He was earlier the Chief Gardener/Partner at Seeders Venture Capital (P) Ltd, a seed funding company for  technology companies in India.  Also, he was associated with The Morpheus as an investor where he invested as an LP, and also in follow-on rounds. He holds an M.S. in Computer Science from The University of Edinburgh.

srish-agarwalSrish Agrawal

Srish started the tech business way back in 1997, when he was still in college. He took the initiative of starting the first cyber cafe of Kolkata. In last 15 years, he laid foundation for startups such as  A1 Future Technologies,Logo Design Team, Animated Video, Infographic Design Team, UI/UX Design Team and the latest on the block being Testofy – Online Digital Assessment Platform. All his businesses are bootstrapped so far.

Incubators And Accelerators


The Government is an active participant in the startup ecosystem of the city. Nasscom 10K Warehouse, IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, STEP IIT Kharagpur and Innokul are a few names that provide coworking space and common facilities to startups and budding entrepreneurs.

The Government of West Bengal has also taken the initiative of setting up “Shilpa Karun Bangla Garun”. The MSME&T Department, in partnership with IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, has launched Egiye Bangla’ – apni jokhon entrepreneur, which means an entrepreneurship TV reality show.

This contest-cum-show will identify, recognise, and reward aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs having unique innovative startup ideas across all sectors. Through this TV show, the state desires to seek entrepreneurs with bright ideas, who, with a little help and recognition, may become successful entrepreneurs, creating wealth and employment opportunities within the state of West Bengal.

nasscomNasscom 10,000 Startups

Nasscom’s10K Warehouse has created a huge impact recently in creating a world-class technology startup ecosystem in the country. At the warehouse, technology entrepreneurs with innovative ideas get nurtured, mentored, as well as funded by venture capitalists and investors.

The entrepreneurs also get a chance to improve their marketing abilities by way of connecting sessions, early stage mentoring, and access to resources from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM Cloud, Kotak, etc. Since the inception of Startup Warehouses, 140 startups have got incubated so far across several cities; 25 of which have even received funding. (blockquote)

The first startup warehouse was set up in Bengaluru in 2013, followed by other cities including Kolkata, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Kochi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, and Vizag.

iimcIIM Calcutta Innovation Park

IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIP), is a startup incubator, launched in September 2014, by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta. Healthcare, education, clean technology, lifestyle and analytics are the focal points of the programme. IIP intends to promote entrepreneurship in this region with the leadership of incubators and accelerators. It provides both physical and virtual incubation. The four startups which qualified for its first batch were Doctors For You, SwitchOn-Onergy, Edwell Solutions, and Utopia.

tbiSTEP IIT Kharagpur

The Science and Technology Entrepreneurs’ Park (STEP) was established at IIT Kharagpur in December 1986, with financial support from DST New Delhi, DST West Bengal, IDBI, IFCI, and ICICI. The incubator holds around 100 companies. It also provides coworking spaces for startups.


innokulInnokul is an idea incubator and accelerator that fosters an entrepreneurial ecosystem for successful startups in their relevant environment. The team supports businesses, social ventures, and non-profits that have the potential to successfully invigorate socioeconomic development in the communities they impact. It offers expertise and funding to startups along with networking, marketing assistance, coworking space, training, and more. It is playing a crucial role in nurturing the early stage startups in Kolkata.

Indus Net Labs

indusnetlabsAlso, recently, internet consulting company Indus Net Technologies launched a digital acceleration lab, by the name of Indus Net Labs in Kolkata. Startups enrolled in the programme will get insights from industry veterans on strategy, business model, product-market fit, segmentation-positioning-differentiation, marketing plan, sales pitch and process, scaling, finance, team building, technology guidance, and management basics.

After completion of the basic acceleration programme, selected startups can also enroll themselves for the Acceleration+ programme. In this upgraded programme, startups will have access to Indus Net’s resources.

Editor’s Note

With the State Government taking a keen interest in building a robust startup ecosystem in the city, opportunities are being created for upcoming entrepreneurs in the city. This means growing  accelerator support and growth opportunities from the comfort of their hometown, as well as an option to do an early startup without any fear of getting lost in the crowd.

Initiatives like Indus Net Labs, Bangla entrepreneurship TV reality show, Nasscom 10K Warehouse, and coworking spaces will definitely add to the foundation of Kolkata as a startup hub.

Do not worry if we haven’t included your startup in the list. Just send in your details in the comments below and the list will keep growing. Stay tuned for more in the series!

Special thanks to Abhishek Rungta, Alok Patnia, Pallav Nadhani, and Calcutta Angel Network who helped us put together this article.

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