TechSparks 2018, India’s biggest startup conference and YourStory‘s flagship event, got off to a rousing start on Friday with Karnataka’s Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge announcing a government scheme to facilitate ideation and innovation, and create social impact. The minister launched Unnati, a scheme that will offer entrepreneurs and startup founders a chance to be agents of progress and partner with the government to solve real-life problems. An amount of Rs 20 crore has been earmarked for this entrepreneurship programme, which was fittingly unveiled at the ninth edition of TechSparks.
At the ninth edition of YourStory’s TechSparks, the founders and top brass of BigBasket graced the stage together for the first time to share their story as second-time entrepreneurs, and creators of one of the largest online grocery store. It was a rare treat, indeed, to see the otherwise media-shy founders of BigBasket come together to address a packed audience of budding entrepreneurs at a panel discussion on “The BigBasket Journey”.
Andhra Pradesh positioned itself as the startup capital at the ninth edition of TechSparks. Winny Patro, CEO of Andhra Pradesh State Innovation Cell, took to the stage and urged all startup founders to look towards the new state of Andhra Pradesh. The state of Andhra Pradesh (not to be mistaken with Telangana, said Winny Patro) already has a Fintech Valley at Visakhapatnam, uses blockchain technology for e-governance, and has a visionary Chief Minister in Chandrababu Naidu, who is aggressively encouraging startups to look at the state.
Advising budding entrepreneurs to take risks, even if that means making mistakes, C.K. Kumaravel, CEO and Co-founder of Naturals Salons & Spa, says Indian entrepreneurs should focus on solving the problems of poor Indians. Speaking on Day 1 at the 9th edition of TechSparks, CK Kumaravel, CEO and Co-founder of Naturals Salons & Spa, chose to quote Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in his own way. “India does not require job seekers, India requires job providers – entrepreneurs.
Minister of State for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Giriraj Singh on Friday said Indian startups have a huge role to play in the development of the country and in creating social impact. Speaking at YourStory‘s ninth edition of TechSparks on ‘The Indian MSME Growth Story’, Singh pointed out that the government has tripled its corpus of Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises to Rs 8,000 crore and that about 18 lakh new entrepreneurs were funded through various initiatives by the MSME ministry in the last four years.
Speaking at TechSparks 2018, YourStory’s flagship event, actor/activist Rajshri Deshpande spoke on why it’s important to go back to our villages and empower them in different ways in her talk, “Let’s Rethink Villages’. Rajshri explained at the outset that she was here to talk about villages and why they needed to be accorded top priority in the larger scheme of things.