On May 2, five startups, qZense, eShipZ, SpiderG, Aerchain and Gmetri, took centre stage at the JioGenNext Basecamp Demo Day, hand-selected and nurtured by the accelerator. These five startups are the latest addition to the 136 startups that JioGenNext has accelerated, since the inception of the programme in 2014.
JioGenNext Demo Day has provided promising startups a platform to showcase their potential and pitch to investors and venture capitalists in the last 5+ years, with many growing into successful startups.
Hosted by YourStory and JioGenNext, the JioGenNext Demo Day May 2020 took place online for the first time ever. The startups pitched in real-time to key stakeholders - investors, customers, i-bankers and GTM partners in addition to 1000+ viewers, who watched the Demo Day live.
“This was the first time that the JioGenNext Demo Day was executed virtually. It was really exciting to share our journey of the programme and the progress we have made. We are raising our next round of funding and we believe the Demo Day will catalyse our outreach to the investor community and the larger ecosystem,” said Rubal Chib, the CEO and Co-founder, qZense, a startup that building a next-gen IoT device for quick, accurate and non-destructive internal quality grading of fresh food.
Harsha Kadimisetty, Co-founder & CEO, Aerchain, an end-to-end e-procurement platform for large enterprises to run their e-auctions and gain a significant cost advantage, said, “The JioGenNext Demo Day gives us an opportunity to connect with key stakeholders, both on the investors and enterprise side, truly enabling us to achieve our business goals faster.”
Startup advice from JioGenNext and Reliance leaders
In addition to the startup pitches, Sanjay Mashruwala, Managing Director Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd and Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, Board Member, RIL and Chairman - Reliance Innovation Council, also addressed the Demo Day viewers. The leaders reiterated their belief in startups and also shared an interesting perspective on how startups could rise above the adversities.
In his video, Sanjay Mashruwala said that while startups have a lot of ideas and are armed with enthusiasm, they need mentoring support to chart the success roadmap.
“And, here we have been helping the startups get a perspective on what it takes to succeed. We enable them to interact with the various teams at Reliance, partly to gain from their experience and their knowledge, and also to understand how the ideas, services or products that they are developing can be utilised in the real world. Wherever possible, we also enable integration with Reliance, so that they can get a kick-start to their businesses, after which they can hopefully proceed on their own and be successful.”
In his video message, Dr. R.A. Mashelkar spoke about the positive narratives that have emerged amidst the current crisis. “Firstly, there is a unity of purpose. There is solidarity. We are getting to see the whole world coming together with a larger purpose of saving the world", he said, adding that the crisis has also given time for everyone to pause and reflect, and ironically, bought the world closer in the times of social distancing through social media.
“However, one of the biggest impacts has been how the crisis has accelerated change. What was predicted to happen 10 years later is happening now. Digital learning and remote working have become the new normal.”
Dr R.A Mashelkar also spoke about why it’s not the time for recovery but for reinvention and why in every adversity there is an opportunity. Sharing a key piece of advice for startups, he said, “Fail is the first attempt in learning. Your last mistake is your best teacher. There is no substitute for hard work, so we must work hard silently and let success make the most noise.”
As a firm believer in startups, Dr R.A. Mashelkar called upon the startups to innovate.
“Young startups are my hope. They say an innovator is one who does not know it cannot be done. And, you are that. Making impossible possible is your KRA.”
Powering the growth of startups
JioGenNext has been a strong catalyst in empowering India’s startup ecosystem. It advises and mentors founders for launching their startup in the Jio ecosystem and supports them through strategic investments and commercial partnerships.
“Jio, in many ways, is 'the world's biggest startup'. And, today, they are not just growing but also creating opportunities for startups like GMetri to grow, both within the Reliance ecosystem and outside,” said Utsav Mathur, Co-founder of Gmetri, a cloud-based authoring tool for enterprises to create, publish and analyse usage of Virtual Reality web applications.
The six week full-time programme helps disruptive startups build their business from the ground up through a two-stage approach which involves intensive mentoring and a Proof-of-Concept with RIL / Jio. The programme then tracks each startup’s progress from the point of view of acquisition and/or long-term commercial partnership.
“Getting accepted into the JioGenNext Accelerator programme helped us connect with the leaders at JioGenNext as well as RIL and the larger ecosystem. We have grown nearly 300 percent in the last five months,” shares Shashi Tripathi, the Co-founder, Eshipz, a Saas solution platform that reduces the cost of first mile logistics for brands and retail companies.
Ashwani Kumar Singh Rathore, Co-founder & CEO, SpiderG, a book-keeping and payment platform that enables micro-merchants to collect their regular payments on time, added, “For me the biggest take away is the clarity of thoughts I got here. I have really got my focus and confidence back by attending sessions which were really thought-provoking. During one of the interactions, Amey, shared - build a business which your customer will love. And, that thought drives me today.”
Reaffirming its commitment even amid adversities
By taking the Demo Day online, JioGenNext has not only given a platform for its startups to showcase their potential but has showcased how the accelerator continues to strengthen the innovation ecosystem and nurture the growth of startups even amid adversities.
Applications for the JioGenNext Basecamp Batch 12 closes on May 7. Apply here.
For more information: click here.
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