The Indian Government has been promoting entrepreneurship and extending support for startups in the country through numerous programmes. With regards to the same, the Presidential Residence in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) called startups and investors to participate in an event called ‘Pitch@Rashtrapati Bhavan’ on March 7. And the startup event concluded with investors signing MOUs worth ₹85 crores (about $12.75 million) with twelve new ventures.
The Pitch@Rashtrapati Bhavan event was organized as part of the third Festival of Innovation (FOIN), which is a unique presidential initiative aimed at recognizing and fostering grassroots innovations. It also provides entrepreneurs and innovators with a platform to pitch their ideas to select members of the investor community, in hopes of raising fresh capital.
The programme, as mentioned above, was organized at the Presidential Residence and saw participation from twelve venture capital firms, 31 start-ups, and nine grassroot innovators. The event was also graced by the presence of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Rajiv Pratap Rudy (Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship), Amitabh Kant (CEO of Niti Aayog), and Infosys co-founder S Gopalakrishnan, among others.
Talking about the event’s success, CII has released an official statement saying,
As an outcome of this grand initiative, 12 venture capitalists (VCs) and investors exchanged funding agreement/ MoUs to the tune of Rs 85 crore with 12 start-ups in the areas of automobile, healthcare, medical devices, fintech, e-commerce, human resource management, unorganised retail and life sciences in the presence of the President of India.
The pitching event concluded with an address from President Mukherjee, who reminisced about the country’s rich history supporting innovation and ideation over the years. He continued saying the central government is facilitating the growth of startup ecosystem by launching initiatives such as Startup India Standup India and Atal Innovation Mission among others. He further went on to add,
In India, we have a large eco-system of 4,500 start-ups – the third largest in the world. Even then, it is not easy to start a new venture in India. Access to funding and mentorship remains a hurdle. In key parameters such as ease of doing business and R&D investment, there is scope for much improvement.
Our policies like Start-up India and Atal Innovation Mission are geared to support the start-up environment. The public and private sectors both have to play a catalytic role in further developing such an eco-system.
The President also stressed on the fact that the government now needs to build a dynamic and robust entrepreneurial ecosystem for the youth of the country. They need to come up with a focused strategy to empower the new creative minds who are looking to build innovative solutions through their startups, thus, leading the country on the path of socio-economic progress.