Startup Odisha, an initiative by the MSME Department of the Government of Odisha, orchestrated STARTUP UTSAVV 2024. This event, dedicated to commemorating the ethos of innovation and entrepreneurship, brought together industry leaders, government officials, startups, incubators, academic institutions, mentors, and various other stakeholders within the ecosystem.
The event had the honor of being attended by distinguished personalities such as Pratap Keshari Deb, the Minister of the Department of Industry, Energy, and MSME; Subroto Bagchi, Chief Advisor of the Government of Odisha for Institutional Capacity Building; Dr. Omkar Rai, the Executive Chairman of Startup Odisha, and other prominent figures from the world of startups and entrepreneurship. In addition, the top 10 student innovators from Startup Yatra and Xpress, women entrepreneurs, winners of the Millet Innovation challenge, and top 20 startups of Fundstack 3.0 also graced the occasion. These leaders shared valuable insights into the state's commitment to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.
One of the most notable events of STARTUP UTSAVV 2024 was the felicitation ceremony which recognized outstanding contributions across various categories. The ceremony celebrated excellence in incubation and applauded the exceptional contributions of entities such as KIIT Technology Business Incubator (Successful Incubator of the Year), AIC-Nalanda Institute of Technology (Supportive Incubator of the Year), and DBT ILS Bioincubator (Emerging Incubator of the Year). It also acknowledged the entrepreneurial talent with awards such as Newrup Tech Solutions (Student-led Startup of the Year), Aurassure (Women-led Startup of the Year), and BookingJini (Emerging Startup of the Year). Noteworthy mentions were also given to startups that made a mark on the international stage in 2023-24, including Larkai Healthcare, IG Drones, TransportSimple, BonV Technology, and Lex Protector. Further recognition was extended to Larkai Healthcare, BonV Aero, Curebay Technologies, Aurassure, EzeRX Health Tech, Beamer Food & Beverage, Trustless Pvt Ltd, Inofinity Research and Development, Bookingjini, and Phoenix Robotix for their commendable feat of raising external funds in 2023-24. Lastly, the ceremony honored the winners of the Odisha Millet Innovation Challenge.
During the event, strategic alliances were formed with industry giants such as the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), Indian Steps & Business Incubators Associations (ISBA), The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), and National Innovation Foundation (NIF) through significant Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs). Additionally, Startup Odisha and SIDBI have signed an agreement for the SIDBI Seed Fund Programme.
Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, said, “To nurture a strong pipeline of entrepreneurs for the future, Startup Odisha conducts the Odisha Startup Yatra and Odisha Startup Xpress for college and school students respectively. We have reached more than 36,000 students, receiving a record-breaking 4,400 innovative ideas. The top 100 student ideas have been selected and felicitated today, and I extend my heartiest congratulations to these future entrepreneurs. As we envision a sustainable future, let it be a future of collaboration, inclusion, and shared prosperity. I wish this Startup Utsavv proves to be a catalyst for new ideas, partnerships, and innovations that will propel Odisha to new heights.”
Minister MSME, Pratap Keshari Deb, said, " Amidst Odisha's natural abundance, I encourage our dynamic youth to transcend the conventional notions of job-seeking and embrace the empowering role of job creation. Recognizing the pivotal moment, we stand in, the government is steadfast in extending robust support for youth entrepreneurship. By nurturing their entrepreneurial acumen, the youth of Odisha can weave dreams into reality, illuminating a path towards a brilliant and promising future for both themselves and our state."
Dr. Omkar Rai, Executive Chairman, Startup Odisha, said, “Startup Utsavv 2024 marks the celebration of the diverse achievements within Odisha's startup landscape and duly recognizes the successes crafted by startups, entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, and other stakeholders of the Startup ecosystem. The success so far in Odisha's startup ecosystem would form a bedrock and a strong plinth for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Odisha to make future strides that would place it on par with the best and most progressive startup ecosystems across the globe."
"With over 1800 recognized startups, including more than 700 women-led ventures, and an impressive Rs 500 Crores in external funding, the event echoed the thriving spirit of innovation in our state. The triumphant resonance of initiatives like Startup Yatra & Xpress, bolstered by the support of the Odisha Startup Growth Fund (OSGF), underscores our collective commitment to propelling Odisha as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. Reflecting on the celebration of achievements by startups, incubators, and stakeholders, the electrifying spirit of the event was palpable. From commemorating the Startup Mela last year to rejoicing in the 2023 accomplishments, the journey has been remarkable. Awards were bestowed, marking a gratifying moment as the innovative ideas of young minds took center stage."
The Ask Me Anything session with Shri Subroto Bagchi was highly successful and engaging for all participants. During the session, Bagchi emphasized the need to focus on developing solutions that address real-world problems and urged people to shift away from a traditional job-centric mindset. He also highlighted the importance of women entrepreneurs as role models, encouraging them to come forward and inspire others. Bagchi shared invaluable insights on scaling businesses and navigating challenges with confidence, providing a roadmap for entrepreneurial success. Overall, it was an informative and inspiring session.
The event was the launch of the Startup Yatra Booklets. These booklets provide valuable resources for aspiring entrepreneurs. The event aimed to foster connections among participants and featured enlightening sessions. These included a Masterclass on Design Thinking by Ghanshyam S, Founder of Edler Hub, and insights from Harkesh Mittal, Chairman of SISFS, on the Role of Academic Institutions & Incubators. Dr. Bijay Kumar Sahu, Senior Regional Manager at NRDC, also shared his expertise on Innovation, Technology, and Intellectual Property Institutional Support for Entrepreneurship. The day concluded with inspiring success stories shared by notable startups from Odisha, including Partha Pratim Das Mohapatra, founder of EzeRx, Abhinash Sahoo, Co-founder of BonV Aero, Bodhisattwa Sanghapriya, founder of IG Drones, Priyadarshi Mohapatra, founder of Curebay, and Sibashish Mishra, founder of BookingJini.