Guwahati: Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati BioNEST successfully hosted the second edition of the ‘Kickstart 2.0 Industry conclave‘ on February 14 and 15 to create a unique template in North East India to explore avenues for Market Creation, Technology Transfer, Product Commercialization, thereby helping the startups across India by promoting their Market Reach and Business Expansion.
BIRAC sponsored BioNEST at the IIT Guwahati Technology Innovation and Development Foundation of Research park and Free Flow Venture Builders hosted over 80 Startups across India, primarily from North East India who showcased their products to Investors, Healthcare Providers and Enablers.
The esteemed presence of Dr Siddharth Singh, IHIDMS, Commissioner & Secy, Government of Assam, as the Chief Guest graced the event. Sherry Lalthnagzo, IES, Economic Advisor, NEC Shillong, and Girish Krishnamurthy, CEO TATA MD, graced the event as the Guests of Honor.
During his inaugural address Dr Siddharth Singh, IHIDMS, Commissioner & Secy, Government of Assam, emphasised the need for technologies and innovations in the field of healthcare accessibility, organizing patient load at hospital OPDs and the products that can optimise efficiencies of hospital ICUs.
Speaking during the event, Guest of Honor, Sherry Lalthnagzo, IES, Economic Advisor, NEC Shillong expressed the huge potential NE has to offer in terms of biodiversity and human resource and stressed the need of building of strong startup ecosystem.
Meanwhile, Girish Krishnamurthy, CEO of TATA MD, enthralled the audience during a Plenary talk where he showcased TATA MD initiatives in point-of-care diagnostics and solving healthcare accessibility problems in the Indian system.
The key attraction of the event was the startup’s pitch battles. The conclave hosted 20+ of India’s top investors, both VCs and Angel Investors, including Hyderabad Angels, Mumbai Angels, GenVantage, Encubay Angel Network, Dextor Angel, FAAD, Realtime Angel Fund, WeFounder Circle. This was achieved through partnering with a boutique Venture Building Partner – FreeFlow Ventures, who were also responsible for cumulative investment intent management from the visiting delegation. It is notable that the number of unique intents for the startups was over 80 with a cumulative investment intent being upwards of 120+ crores via the equity and debt routes.
Outlining the institute’s Incubator network and explaining the cutting-edge infrastructure that can be pivoted for product development and building the generation next startup ecosystem in NE, said Prof. Parameswar K. Iyer, Officiating Director, IIT Guwahati.
Prof. Dipankar Bandyopadhyay, Head of Jyoti & Bhupat Mehta School of Health Sci. & Tech. and Principal Investigator for IITG BioNEST added that “It is very encouraging to see huge participation by startups from North East and across India and encouraged them to collaborate with IITG and NE ecosystem.”
FreeFlow was able to engage with a pool of 600+ Indian Startups and founders amongst whom, 30 startups pitched in front of 25 esteemed investors representing various investment sensibilities.
Along with this, a parallel Doctors’ Conclave was also concluded as a part of Kickstart2.0 involving 6 specialists professors and HOD at Guwahati Medical College Hospital, one from TATA MD and one from Apollo Hospitals Chennai.
During the interaction with Health tech startups and researchers, the doctors spoke about the existing technology gap between what is required and what is available and identified some of the major areas which will define the progress of health sciences in the NE of India and India as a whole. 20 such areas were identified through vibrant discussion and interactions, these will now be further followed up by deep dive discussions in the interdisciplinary environment that has been created.
Dr Muralidharan, Apollo Hospitals Chennai and Dr Taslimarif Sayed, Director & CEO, who joined Online, CCAMP engaged the audience during their Plenary talks. A delegate from Indian Army visited during the event and interacted with the startups with product ideas and innovations that could be deployed in Armed Forces.
The delegate interacted with 15 selected startups that are working in point-of-care healthcare and drone technology. There were engaging Panel Discussions on Business Planning and GTM Strategy, Brand Building and PR, and Aspects and Strategies of Business Sustainability where stalwart panellists put into perspective the key attributes of entrepreneurship and how to strategise the journey of any innovation from MVP to market and build a successful brand and build customer trust.
Also, the panellists had a session on Incubator sustainability & challenges, and Sustainable Grassroot Ecosystem where the discussion was focused on how to bridge the gap between the grassroot entrepreneurship ecosystem and the mainstream market and how can a successful revenue model for an Incubator can be built.