Atal Incubation Centre BIMTECH sucessfully Conducted Investor Summit Connect2023
Connect 2023, a two-day long national-level virtual investor summit was organized by the Atal Incubation Centre- BIMTECH came to an end with the dusk of the day on 31st January, 2023. This meet was relished by more than 1500 audience comprised of 13 panelists, 24 start-ups, 40 investors, and the rest as attendees. Connect 2023 was designed to strengthen the tie-ups with various stakeholders in the ecosystem. The whole nitty gritty of start-up mentorship was facilitated in this mega event, and the lightning rod was the eminent speaker who enriched the participants’ existing knowledge base and inspired them to reach future heights. There was a blend of sessions, including the start-up pitch, which has gone further to initiate the theme for the year 2023, as #connectreconnect.
Ms. Sakshi Dwivedi led the opening ceremony of Connect 2023 and greeted all the dignitaries, participants, and people who were present at the event. Dr. Abha Rishi, CEO at AIC-BIMTECH connoted the welcome address while elaborating on the genesis of the event and further igniting the spark among the participants. Dr. Harivansh Chaturvedi, Director, and Professor at the Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH), took the agenda forward and emphasized the commitment of the nation after the G20 presidency and how a start-up can significantly contribute in this regard. His reflections on the contribution of women entrepreneurs in this ecosystem are also noteworthy. Guest of Honor, Ms. Neha Nagpal, Senior Manager at Invest India carried the discussion forward while taking the participants towards the journey of the Startup India initiative and its future outlook. The next guest of honor, Mr. Rohit Gupta, Program Director, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), embarked upon the various policy initiatives and support mechanisms available for the startups, and Mr. Chaitanya Suvanam, Managing Partner, IDFC First Bank, stated how IDFC First Bank is providing support to all the ecosystem stakeholders.
The event launch was followed by two parallel sessions entitled “Betting on the Jockey, Not on the Horse (BJNH)” and “Two Voices: India and Bharat (TV: IB),” which were moderated by Mr. Karan Pal Chauhan and Mr. Shreyas respectively. The BJNH session emphasized the founder’s focal qualities that are most valued by investors, as well as how a founder’s vision can act as a prerequisite for the success of a startup. Mr. Vikash Gupta, Co-Founder & Director at WhaleTank talked about his perspective as a seasoned investor, and serial entrepreneur and pointed out the symbiotic association between the founder and investors. Ms. Neiharika Rajiv, Partner at Encubay Angel Network mentioned the relevance of background checks and due diligence aspects while betting on the idea stage of any start-up. She also spoke about the need for the inclusion of female investors in the ecosystem. Mr. Koushik Sekhar, Co-Founder at Enlightenvc.online differentiated between value creation and valuation aspects and gave insights into the journey of a founder from the idea stage to the growth stage. Another parallel panel discussion on ‘TV:IB’ revolved around determining the challenges & opportunities a startup faces and also understanding crucial steps to curb the gap between different geographies of India. Mr. Kumar Mayank, Founder & CEO at Zimyo, some light on the value of having wide networking and the importance of creating a positive work culture, which helps an organization grow. Mr. Arnav Gupta, CEO at We360.ai has highlighted the value of access to the specialists for mentorship, particularly for geographically challenged startups. Mr. Ashish Khare, the founder, and CEO of MentorKart emphasized on the startup ecosystem in smaller cities, which is facing various challenges like limited resources & exposure. He also expressed the belief that language can be a limitation, is a mental barrier, and that entrepreneurship is far more enjoyable. Following the sessions, 12 startups presented in front of 40+ investors in a startup pitching session.
The second day of the event was even more exciting and started with the two parallel sessions ‘Funding Winter: Not all Doom and Gloom (FW: NADG)’ and ‘What went Wrong: Learning from the Big Misfire (WWW: LFBM)’ moderated by Mr. Sanyam Dhingra and Mr. Kartikey Manan, respectively. Mr. Amit Singal, Founding Partner, Fluid Ventures, opened Session FW: NADG by stating that start-up is a cyclic process that he witnessed in 2016. He also highlighted critical factors that enable firms to focus more on value than valuation. He expressed his concern about the uniform global valuation model and emphasized customization by incorporating sustainability, revenue streams, prospective market share, and market size as factors for ensuring credibility. Mr. John Lim, Partner, Meet Ventures- Singapore, presented the global view by separating firms into early stage and current market value (CMV). He said early-stage investments have increased value by 45%, whereas CMV investments have decreased to 25%. He noted that most firms in Singapore and Southeast Asia are early-stage and might see liquidity. The perspectives of Vcs and MnAs on funding winter were provided by Dexter Capital’s Associate Director Vijetha Shastry, who also stated that due diligence and tech diligence are critical success factors for any firm. He emphasized that MnAs are not against beginning, particularly if succession is a concern, since this may help gather skills, technology, and market intelligence. Ms. Bian Li, Founder, of The Hungry Lab, discussed how funding winters may help companies and investors to evaluate the financial flows during this period. She also advised businesses to prioritize unit economics, internal efficiency, debt finance, and other essentials like the 3R mindset/startup: Reactive, Resilient, and Regenerative. Ajuka Mahajan, Co-Founder & CEO of Book My Jet, stressed in a parallel session on WWW: LFBM that forming a partnership without doing due diligence is a huge mistake. She has mentioned that the hunt for funding should be after the pilot testing & more attention should be given to the customer’s money. Mr. Sourabh Deorah, CEO of Advantage Club highlighted the identification of the right stakeholder. Mr. Vipul Sharma, Founder & CEO of chqbook.com underlies the customer landscape, which can protect the firm from various risks. The founders must focus more on becoming a face that can help them in terms of funders as well as customers.
Again the ceremony of the pitch session started between 12 start-ups and 40+ investors which was also witnessed by the different audiences on social media to gather insights on how pitching must be done.
The event concluded with more than 20 startups. These entrepreneurs had the opportunity to present in front of over 40 investors from diverse industries and regions of the country.