In a world where startups are gaining traction bringing about rapid change through technological evolution and relentless innovation, India has already secured the third rank just after US and China. With a young population and a government that is keen on bringing out the best and brightest by forming new policies that support startups and incubators, there is no reason why we cannot lead the chart, few years down the line.
The Vibrant Gujarat Startup and Technology Summit (VGSTS) 2018 is one such example of the government putting efforts into identifying and supporting aspiring entrepreneurs across the country, by providing them with what they need most, finance, guidance and a robust network. The Vibrant Gujarat Startup And Technology summit 2018 had a presence of well-known names as speakers, such as Meetul Patel- COO, Microsoft India, Jeyandran Venugopal- SVP & CTO, Myntra, Shruti Gonsalves-CEO SEWA Grih Rin (SGR) Ltd, C. P. Gurnani-CEO & MD,Tech Mahindra, Anil Nair- MD, Country Digital Acceleration, APCJ Cisco Systems(India) Pvt Ltd, Sunil Shah- Founder Chairman, Gujarat Innovation Society, Sanjay Saran Garg-MD, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Jaimin Shah- Chairman, Domestic Council NASSCOM & MD DEV IT Ltd, Sarika Naik- CMO, Capgemini, and more.
Gujarat government hosted the three-day summit from October 11-13, 2018. This summit was a forerunner to the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit which will take place in January 2019.
VGSTS 2018 Was A Must-Visit For All Budding Entrepreneurs
VGSTS 2018 was an ideal platform for innovators, founders, and entrepreneurs alike, from all over the country, to participate, exchange ideas, build their network, and learn from the industry experts and established entrepreneurs tip and tricks that took the latter many years and setbacks to master. The event saw the presence of investors looking for the next most-promising startup to fund.
Through The Vibrant Gujarat Startup And Technology Summit 2018, the Government of Gujarat is hoping to boost technological innovations to address various issues and optimise already existing solutions in a number of areas. The summit is defining these areas in the form of eight themes:
- Manufacturing 4.0
- Smart and Shared Mobility
- Governance 2030
- Women-centric solutions
- Maritime and Military Intelligence, and others
Participants stood to win a grand prize of a whopping $404.5k (INR 3 Cr) by applying for the Vibrant Gujarat Grand Challenge and pitching their innovative ideas that fell under any of the above-mentioned themes.
Aspiring founders and entrepreneurs entered the challenge under any of the following three categories:
Idea – Applicants presented a well-thought-out idea offering a socially-beneficial solution. Participants had to present a business plan and explain how their idea worked in a real-life scenario.
Blooming – This category was for aspiring founders and innovators who already had a product idea and a clear Proof of Concept (POC) of the same. A prototype of the product along with a few field tests was a prerequisite to qualify as a competitor in this category.
Scale-Up – As the name suggests, this category was meant for startups that have already been present in the market and generating revenue for a minimum of three months up to five years. The startups had to have functional prototypes of their product which are commercially scalable, in order to qualify to compete in this category.
In total the Grand challenge received twelve hundred applications with seven hundred for the idea stage, three hundred for Blooming, and two hundred for scale-up. The idea stage had a total of thirty awards, ten startups in the blooming stage were awarded and the Scale-up category has fourteen monetary awards and one special mention.
VGSTS 2018 TISS Talk Sessions
VGSTS 2018 witnessed over ninety speakers at the event helping aspiring founders and struggling entrepreneurs gain knowledge on matters crucial to their startup’s sustenance.
The event saw speakers from various countries and domains with expertise in a wide range of subjects. Interested participants attended the sessions of speakers whose works and domain they connected to and believed they’ll benefit from. This served as a good opportunity for attendees to interact with thought-leaders, influencers, and prominent personalities, who helped founders and startup owners with different perspectives and insights.
One of the key highlights of TISS sessions was that unlike most other panels at various events, the VGSTS 2018 TISS talk panel boasted of an impressive number of women present on it like Debjani Ghosh, President-NASSCOM, Preeti Vyas chairwoman and Founder-VYAS GiannettiI Creative, Divya C Bhatt, Business Head- Asia, Africa and Middle East, L&T Technology Services and more.
Their presence and expertise in the areas ranging from technology, law, marketing, to disruptive technologies like blockchain and data security, showed that women have taken up the baton in some of the most competitive spaces in today’s date.
Knowhow on how to make it in the startup ecosystem is not only a valuable resource but one that can save new founders costly mistakes by helping them learn from the experiences of the experts who have already been there, done that and made something big out of their efforts.
The Government of Gujarat Actively Kickstarting The Startup Scene
The Government of Gujarat aims to facilitate 2000 startups by 2021. Financing is often one of the major roadblocks budding founders face when starting their journey of entrepreneurship. Cognizant of this fact, Government of Gujarat has launched several initiatives such as the Startup Gujarat initiative, wherein the state through its various universities, R&D institutions, incubation centres, PSUs, and other private and public establishments, encourage entrepreneurs to test their product ideas, develop prototypes, and provide them with the know-how and financing required to help take off as a well-funded and supported startup.
By increasing the number of incubators available and giving entrepreneurs the impetus they need in the form of finance, know-how, and networking support, the Gujarat Government aims to deliver solutions and build a startup-ready India that inspires more young minds to take the plunge and disrupt industries which have plenty of opportunities to grow and evolve, thus leading to a technologically-evolved and advanced India of tomorrow.