Over 1000 Start-Ups To Attend The First-Ever Start-Up Mahakumbh

Major venture capitalists, angel investors and incubators are also expected to join the 3-day event at New Delhi’s Bharat Mandapam

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Tuesday announced the launch of India’s first-ever ‘Start-Up Mahakumbh’, which is slated to kick off on March 18, in the curtain raiser event.

“I believe startups will be the backbone of new India. This is our time under the sun, and the sun is rising. I hope we don't miss the bus. I hope the message goes loud and clear to all startups not to lose this opportunity,” he said, asking start-ups to come ahead and take the benefits of the immense opportunities from the event, which he claimed will be one of the largest gatherings in the start-up ecosystem.

He added that the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will ensure the participation of at least one start-up from each district of the country and that the government shall provide financial and logistics support to such start-ups joining the Start-Up Mahakumbh.

“We are hoping to see 1000+ startups, 1000+ investors, 500+ incubators at the event. We have also invited 21 startup bridges countries to actively participate and engage with startups and inspire them during Startup Mahakumbh,” said Sanjiv, Joint Secretary of DPIIT.

The 3-day event, which is scheduled to be held from March 18-20 at New Delhi’s Bharat Mandapam, is a collaborative effort of industry bodies and the government. It is led by ASSOCHAM, NASSCOM, Bootstrap Incubation & Advisory Foundation, TiE and Indian Venture and Alternate Capital Association (IVCA) and supported by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), Government-e-Marketplace (GeM), Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) and food delivery platform, Zomato.

While the event is being organised by the Central government, the organising committee comprises Sanjiv Bikhchandani, vice chairman of Info Edge India, Prashanth Prakash, executive council member at IVCA, Nivruti Rai, MD & CEO, Invest India, Sanjay Nayar, senior VP at ASSOCHAM and founder and chairman of Sorin Investments, and Archana Jahagirdhar, managing partner of Rukam Capital.

AI + SaaS, D2C/Consumer brands, Agritech, Fintech, Deep Tech, Biotech & Pharma, Incubators, Climate Tech, E-sports, and B2B Manufacturing will be the major focus sectors for the event.

Speaking to Outlook Start-Up, Archana Jahagirdhar said that the focus is on bringing all the big names in the start-up and VC world under one pavilion.

Some of the big names joining the event include Peak XV Managing Director Rajan Anandan, Zomato co-founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal, Smile Interactive Group founder Harish Bahl, Razorpay co-founder and CEO Harshil Mathur and Aavishkaar Group founder and chairman Vineet Rai.

Jahagirdhar also added that the committee is focusing on driving gender inclusivity and bringing in women-led startups from all parts of India so that they get the right kind of mentorship and resources. “Until women control money, they can’t be in power. We are making all efforts to make sure more and more women-led start-ups and women investors join the event,” she said.

Several activities around mentorship, exchange of ideas and funding opportunities are scheduled to happen at the event.

"I think established businesses need to nurture startups. And I don't think we have that kind of culture yet. Larger businesses need to start funding startups not with the intention of owning them, purely with the intention to help them get bigger over time,” said Zomato’s Deepinder Goyal.

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