Udaipur has managed to create an inerasable identity for itself in the National Startup Ecosystem, with the Udaipur Startup Fest that concluded successfully this weekend at the Udaipur Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Seeing participation from around 100 Startup participants from across the country, a dozen potential investor partners and mentoring partners, the event had begun with screening and mentoring of applicants at the city (The Pitch – Udaipur) and state level (Tech4Raj) by business and finance mentors from the city as well as outside, who found it a good platform to guide through experience.
Udaipur Startup Fest, brain child of RIICO, partnering with Jaipur based incubation firm Startup Oasis and IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), was a National level event where Startups, Mentors and Investors came together to be a part of the growing ecosystem as well as to celebrate Entrepreneurship.
TiE Udaipur participated as the Mentor partner, with over 10 mentors associated with an equal number of startups, to guide them through the event.
Following the Bootcamp that was held on 5th Feb, the Grand Finale was held on 6th Feb at the Udaipur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with a day-long session of congruent multiple events.
The much awaited panel discussion on Startup Investment and Investor’s Perspective was a one hour session, witnessing participation from CIIE’s Amber Maheshwari, Manish Godha, CEO and Founder of Advaiya, Shrikanth Perepu from Hyderabad Angels, Munir Thakor of Silicon Computech, Ahmedabad and Arijit Bhattacharya from Virtual Infocom, Calcutta. During the Panel discussion, which was moderated by Amber, the members answered a flurry of queries and discussed across variety of topics ranging from startup idea management, scalability, investor apprehensions, myths surrounding seed investing, financial models, qualifications of founder members and valuations.
Shrikanth from Hyderabad was of the view that investors may or may not be sector specific so it is very important for the startup to reach out to the right set of investors, most of who are keen on light asset models. Manish of Advaiya was of the view that investors perceive strategic advantages including backward or forward integration to their existing businesses as well, while identifying the correct investing opportunity.
Valuation being more of an art than a regulated science was the reason for hyped up valuations across startups, said Shrikanth. He said that smart investors do not look at jazzy numbers or valuations and in current scenario are more concerned about the model, scalability and team. Manish said that for an investor, a startup which is more focused on growth and operations is much preferred as compared to one that is hung up on valuations. Arijit Bhattacharya summed up by saying that in many of the cases startups look at increasing valuations rather than growing a business. All participants agreed on the view that though educational qualification is not the make or break factor, it is important that the right kind of aptitude along with domain knowledge is present amongst the founders and team.
This interaction was followed by the individual pitches to investors by the selected startups and in parallel the Angel Investor Education Session, which was delivered by Kannan N. Kannan is a renowned advisor, coach and mentor with over two decades of experience in funding, investing and incubation. He has been a pioneer in startup funding in India and has been associated with various IIMs in areas of private equity and entrepreneurship. His last corporate assignment was with Polaris Software as President.