At a two-day event held in Bengaluru, entrepreneurs showcased their ideas while industry experts debated the power of automation.
Demo Day 2018, organised by Startups Club and Kotak Mahindra Bank in association with Startups India, brought together aspiring entrepreneurs and industry experts from across India. For the sixth edition of Demo Day, Startups Club travelled to 24 cities and shortlisted 100 startups; 30 of them made it to the semi-finalist list.
The two-day event was organised at KTPO, Whitefield, Bengaluru. Twenty-five early stage startups from 24 states battled for the grand Rs 10 lakh cash prize, with Modulus emerging as the winner. Modulus makes temporary portable structures that can be used on construction sites. The startup at present is focusing on the B2B market.
Prayasta, one of the semi-finalists, won Rs 1 lakh from Dell Technology and Services for being chosen as Dell Powered Startup for Demo Day 2018. The Bengaluru-based startup focuses on manufacturing 3D printed, personalised breast implants for breast cancer patients and augmentation seekers. Blessings Palms was adjudged the jury’s special winner.
The sessions spotlighted industry experts like Padmaja Ruparel, Co-Founder at India Angel Network and Founding Partner of IAN Fund; Michael Marks, MD of Innoventure Partners; Sameer Garde, President India and SAARC at Cisco India; Anish Srikrishna, President of Times Learning; Mustafa PC, Founder and CEO of iD Fresh Food; Julli Hiio, Deputy Head of Mission, Estonian Embassy; Shekhar Bhandari, Senior Vice President and Business Head-Global Transaction Banking and Precious Metals, Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited; and Rajendra Dandapani, Business Solutions Evangelist, Zoho Corporation.
The main theme of discussion amongst industry experts was 'The Power of Automation' in education, health and fitness, automotive, and others.
Salma Moosa, Founder and Managing Director, Startups Club, said, “To see how far we’ve come as a startup ourselves is inspiring. We are overwhelmed with the turnout this year and awed at the calibre and finesse demonstrated by the semi-finalists at Demo Day 2018. Startups Club has always wanted to be the one-stop solution for all those who would like their ideas to be seen through in the real world, solving real issues. We have had a great journey so far and look ahead to many more exciting expeditions.”
Also present at Demo Day was Arnaud Castaignet, Head of Public Relations, Republic of Estonia’s e-Residency Programme.
“India is a huge country and is a top priority in today’s world, not only for us (Estonia) but for any country doing business. One of the factors is that India houses some of the best IT specialists with customers in Europe and the US; this makes Estonia a better option to set up a business venture,” Arnaud said.
What makes the country entrepreneur-friendly? The policies, ranging from ease of tax filing, administrative approvals, and legal requirements to name a few. It takes only 190 euros to register a company and run it online from anywhere in the world, and it takes just three to four weeks to receive the approval of application for e-Residency. Technology adoption in Europe is quicker than in India, making Estonia a prime location.
Arnaud explained, “When you start a startup there are various issues, from administrative to legal proceedings, we have fixed them all. When you become an e-resident of Estonia, you become a part of the country’s startup ecosystem; you get the same rights as any European companies in the market. We also have Startup Estonia, which provides visas to entrepreneurs for trade and investments.”
He added, “We focus on your (entrepreneur’s) business ideas and have paved the way for you to work on your ideas with required support. Also, you become eligible for certain grants from the European Commission.”
Apart from multiple young entrepreneurs signing up, Mukesh Ambani becoming an e-resident of Estonia earlier in this year also made news.