Startup Expo 2017 promises to put you on the Runway to Success

By Team YS|22nd Aug 2017
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This story is brought to you by Lufthansa

That the entrepreneurial spirit is ingrained in our DNA is evident from the fact that India has consistently been one of the top five countries in the world, be it in terms of the number of startups founded, investments made in these startups, or the presence of incubators and accelerators that nurture them. The ecosystem has been steadily evolving with several initiatives from the government and private sector encouraging innovation.

One programme that has been giving wings to entrepreneurial aspirations for the last four years is the Startup Expo, an initiative by German carrier Lufthansa, in partnership with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), global advertising agency McCann and venture capital firm YourNest.

This year, the Startup Expo is being held on August 23 in Gurgaon and is the culmination of a series of mentorship camps held across nine cities over July and August. Don’t miss your chance to meet the right people who can guide you on the path to success. Just register here for the Startup Expo 2017!

Come to where it’s all happening

Last year’s event saw over 10,000 participants and 235 startups in attendance. Entrepreneurs got an opportunity to showcase their businesses, explore partnership opportunities, and interact with investors, industry experts, mentors, corporates, support agencies, industry associations and government bodies. An estimated 700 meetings were held and startups also went on to get funding based on these meetings. This year, over 500 one-on-one meetings have already been scheduled between entrepreneurs and investors. Many more are in the works.

One such beneficiary was Apeksha Jain, Founder of The Gourmet Jar, who showcased her brand of artisanal, hand-made jams, relishes, preserves and condiments before a big audience at the Expo. “We weren’t actively looking to raise funds, but it was an interesting opportunity,” she recalls. While there, hers was one among many startups that pitched to the Chandigarh Angels Network (CAN), which was also looking out for brands to invest in.

“It was great to get feedback from a variety of visitors,” says Jain. “A whole lot of people attending the Expo tasted and liked our products.”

These are hand-made products, made in small batches using only natural ingredients and contain no preservatives or additives. It was an idea that Vineet Khurana, VP – Operations at CAN, found intriguing. Less than six months later. The Gourmet Jar had wrapped up seed funding from CAN. Jain is using the money raised to scale operations and expand beyond India.

“We wanted to network for fellow investors and discover investible startups – and our experience went beyond what we had expected,” shares Khurana, adding, “We are sector-agnostic and the Startup Expo features so many different sectors. Startups today are more focused about their business model, profitability and scaling up, so we’re looking forward to it this year too.”

This year, you can meet investors from a host of venture capital firms, including Sequoia Capital, IDG Ventures, Kalaari Capital, Matrix Partners, JSW Ventures, Indian Angels Network, Venture Catalyst, International Finance Corporation, Mumbai Angels, Calcutta Angels, Chandigarh Angels, among others.

About 200 exhibits spanning several sectors provided delegates with a cross-section of some of the most innovative business ideas of the year. This year, the number of women entrepreneurs exhibiting has more than doubled. And last but not the least, participants interacted with 30 investors at the Startup Expo, gaining valuable insights into the best way forward for their business.

Slated to be bigger than ever, this year’s event is all set to have thousands of entrepreneurs in attendance, along with diverse stakeholders from the startup ecosystem under one roof. The event also offers corporates, government agencies and investors a chance to explore fresh approaches to their operations and business by collaborating with startups across various sectors.

Says Raman Roy, CEO & MD of Quattro BPO Solutions and a TiE board member, who has been a part of the Lufthansa Runway to Success from the beginning, “Delhi/NCR is the number one destination for startups today. We are even more excited than last year about the second edition of the Startup Expo.”

What’s in store at Startup Expo

Startup Expo 2017 gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to

  • Showcase your ventures (apply here to exhibit)
  • Attend insightful workshops and expert talks
  • Attend sessions conducted by the TiE Institute
  • Interact with the right people in the Investor Zones
  • Leverage opportunities with experts at the Networking Zones
  • Check out a special showcase of food entrepreneurs

Networking is one of the mainstays for any startup entrepreneur looking to get ahead, and you will find enough opportunities at the Startup Expo, with special designated networking zones.

Participants will also get to attend workshops, mentoring sessions, and network with those who can open doors to new opportunities. The Startup Expo features talks by industry icons such as Pramod Bhasin, Founder, Genpact, Chairman, CLIX Capital Services and President, TiE Delhi-NCR, Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder & Vice Chairman of Info Edge, Dr. Saurabh Srivastava - Chairman Emeritus of TiE Delhi-NCR and Sunil Goyal, Founder & CEO at YourNest. It’s also a great chance to interact with the government, represented by Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary at the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

Energy levels were high at last year’s Startup Expo. Says Alok Mittal,Co-founder and CEO of Indify Technologies, a board member of TiE Delhi and a jury member of Lufthansa Runway to Success, “I could not believe my eyes – there were thousands of entrepreneurs and the amount of energy there was amazing. I haven’t seen a bigger startup showcase. When people visit, they will find what they’re looking for.”

Successful entrepreneurs who will share their learnings, insights and their journey include the likes of Nidhi Agarwal, Founder and CEO at Kaaryah, Deep Bajaj, Founder at PeeBuddy, Ankur Jain, Founder at Bira, Raghav Verma, Co-founder at Chaayos, Ambarish Gupta, CEO and Founder at Knowlarity Communications, Puneet Chawla, Founder & CEO at Jaypore, Rahul Singh, Founder and CEO at Beercafe, Raghav Chandra, Co-founder at UrbanClap and Peyush Bansal, Founder & CEO at Lenskart. These experts will deliberate on a wide range of topics that can propel startups to growth and success, including the fundamentals of building strong go-to market and customer acquisition strategies; marketing and branding; pitching correctly, structuring investments and negotiating for fundraising.

The Startup Expo is a culmination of the mentorship camps held across the country since 2016 in a bid to bring local mentors and mentors from different cities to meet entrepreneurs.

“Matching entrepreneurs with mentors becomes important because it is more relevant to their operating environment and the kind of business they’re looking to build. And this (series of camps) was a great opportunity to involve all chapters of TiE,” says Mittal, adding, “The impact of mentors attending these camps is almost immediate. There’s a strong local connect. Many of these businesses don’t even need VC funding because they can probably generate good returns even if they cannot become a billion-dollar company.”

It’s your runway to success

The Startup Expo is part of Lufthansa’s Runway to Success initiative—now in its fifth season—which gives small and medium enterprises (SMEs) a platform to showcase their business on a global stage.

This unique, multi-staged programme is jointly organised by Lufthansa, TiE, and India’s premier business TV channel ET NOW. In the past four years, it has attracted some of the country’s most pioneering and innovative entrepreneurs, who have gone head-to-head in a challenging competition that rewards exceptional ideas and execution.

“Today the startup ecosystem has evolved a lot in India. Lufthansa, through this programme, has played a key role in catalysing that evolution,” says Roy.

The competition this year is fiercer than ever before. This time, the programme has more mentorship camps across several cities and an exciting televised competition on ET NOW. The show will showcase inspiring business stories and serve as a platform for startups to battle it out and win fantastic prizes. Head over here to know more.

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to network with some of the best names in the industry.

Sign up today to be a part of the Startup Expo 2017!