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NRIs to set up startup hub in Gujarat

by July 29, 2017 General

Gujarati-origin entrepreneurs across the world will set up a research and innovation centre in Gujarat for startups not just from the state but across the country and abroad.

Entrepreneurs who assembled in Ahmedabad for a national startup pitching event on Friday said the modern technology-based startup ecosystem in Gujarat is not as mature as they are in some of the southern states. Despite this, Gujaratis in other parts of the country and the US are eager to contribute to the startup ecosystem of the state.

“While there is a positive intent, a major bottleneck is engagement with probable investors. Our centre for research, innovation and entrepreneurship will be an important link for them. All startup hubs have at least one success story, and Gujarat also needs one to emerge on a global platform,” Jay Patel, founder of NRI Startup India, said.

About a dozen startups from across the country, including one from Gujarat, participated in the pitching session organised to attract investors.

The centre will also provide opportunities to scale up local startups and to gain from the expertise of NRI Startup India, which has networks in the US, the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.

“We plan to reach out to one million NRIs who are eager to invest in India. We are sector neutral and will focus on diverse sectors such as agri-tech, health-tech, biotech, fintech as well as future technologies like internet-of-things, artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Patel.

The organisation is partnering with IITs, IIITs, b-schools like MICA, other academic institutions as well as local startup incubators and accelerators to reach out to the promising startups from Gujarat. “We are also in coordination with institutions like iCreate of the Gujarat government. The Department of Science and Technology of the state government is doing a great work for startups,” he said.

Fintech challenge offers $1 mn

NRI Startup India has announced a challenge for startups in fintech sector and the winner will get investments worth one million dollars. It will be a pan India challenge and the finals will take place in October this year. On Friday, seven startups bagged investments worth Rs50 lakh each. A challenge similar to the present one will also be held in 50 countries, and for this, 25 clusters will be developed. Each winner will get equity investment worth Rs25 lakh, said sources.