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The Madras Chamber of Commerce (MCCI) has  launched SEE (Startup Entrepreneurial Ecosystem) to mentor and provide an ecosystem for startup companies.

The MCCI plans to support non-IT startups and will focus more on manufacturing and service startups. The ecosystem will provide guidance, mentorship and endorsement to startups in these sectors. “We have good talent and equipment to help start-ups. Being the oldest chamber we have large industrial groups as members. Each of them come with different expertise like finance, legal, marketing, manufacturing and together we can help start-ups,” Mr. S. G. Prabhakharan, President of MCCI, said.

The SEE will consist of a panel of experienced mentors who will guide the budding entrepreneurs on the workability of their business plan so that they receive the funding.

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The chamber has formed a 12-member committee for this purpose. The plan is to assist to new startups. However, the chamber is also open to advising existing startups. “At this point of time, we are not getting into investing nor are we looking at a revenue model. But at an individual level members of the chamber can invest. We will help start-ups connect with banks and the right source for funding,” added, Prabhakaran.

“Tamil Nadu has over 8.44 lakh MSME units registered and nearly 6.4 million people employed in them. More than 80% of startups are from the manufacturing and the service sectors, but the focus is more on IT startups. So we will provide our support and guidance for them. We do not look to help them economically,” said Prabhakaran at the launch of the SEE.

Tamil Nadu is host to a galore of startups. A ballpark calculation shows that there are more than 1200 technology startups in the state and 750 out of this are based out of Chennai. Experts say that there are close to 600 new startups coming out each year in Chennai alone.

Prabhakaran is confident that SEE will help facilitate startups and promote entrepreneurship in collaboration with like-minded business groups. Said he, “Our endorsement will pave way for the startups to get the visibility and thereby the funding.”

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