Tamil Nadu startup mission launches Startup Thamizha, a business pitch reality TV show
An initiative of StartupTN, Tamil Nadu government's nodal agency for startup and innovation, Startup Thamizha has secured a funding commitment of Rs 200 crore from entrepreneurs and angel investors.
The Minister for MSME of Tamil Nadu, T M Anbarasan, launched ‘Startup Tamizha’, a first-of-its-kind business pitch reality TV show, which aims to identify 50 promising startups from across Tamil Nadu and facilitate funding for their ventures from reputed entrepreneurs and angel investors.
An initiative of StartupTN, the Government of Tamil Nadu’s nodal agency for startup and innovation, the show will have three seasons. The first season is set to go into production by February 2024 and will be telecast on a popular Tamil TV channel. The show will be produced and managed by Brand Avatar, Blue Koi, and Refex Capital.
Startup Tamizha has secured a significant funding commitment of Rs 200 crore from entrepreneurs and angel investors.
Refex Group has pledged Rs 100 crore, with Dr Velumani of Thyrocare and Pontaq investing Rs 50 crore and Rs 25 crore, respectively. Native Lead Angels is contributing Rs 10 crore, while the remaining amount is being sourced from other investors.
With 6% of the nation's population, Tamil Nadu ranks second in domestic manufacturing and third in exporting manufactured goods, said Anbarasan. The state's contribution to the country's GDP is 9%, with half of this contribution stemming from the MSME sector. This sector is dedicated to fostering balanced growth across all regions of the state, nurturing new entrepreneurs, and consequently boosting employment opportunities. Startups form the base for MSME institutions, said the minister.
The launch event witnessed special addresses by Archana Patnaik, IAS, Secretary to Government, MSME Department; V. Arun Roy, IAS, Secretary to Government, Industries Department; and V Vishnu, IAS, MD & CEO of Guidance Tamil Nadu.
Sivarajah Ramanathan, Mission Director & CEO, StartupTN, set the tone for the initiative and the event, while Dr Velumani delivered the keynote address. The other dignitaries who took part in the event were Hemachandran L, Founder & CEO of Brand Avatar, Balachandar R, Founder of Blue Koi, and Dinesh Kumar Agarwal, Group CEO, Refex Group.
“Startup Thamizha exemplifies the collective commitment of the Tamil Nadu government through StartupTN in fostering a thriving startup ecosystem, fostering economic growth, and realising the CM’s vision for a prosperous Tamil Nadu," said Ramanathan.
"A pioneering initiative, the Startup Thamizha platform aims to augment a conducive ecosystem for grassroots level, impact, and women entrepreneurship and to bring together founders, investors, mentors and support system partners for synergised growth.”
Entrepreneurs keen on joining the pitch can visit www.startupthamizha.tv to register. Applying startups will undergo a thorough five-stage screening process involving industry experts, investors, and pivotal ecosystem members. Among these, 50 startups will be selected and primed for mentorship and training, so that they are geared up to present their ideas to a mainstream television audience during prime time.
Edited by Swetha Kannan