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CII set to launch counseling cell for start-ups in the East
Jun 23, 2017

KOLKATA, 23 June: In an attempt to help innovators and budding businesses in the East, CII is working on a plan to launch a counseling cell for start-ups with a one-point contact.

Mr J B Pany, Chairman of the Start-up and Innovation Taskforce, CII Eastern Region, said this at the Financing Innovation organized by CII here today.

According to him, this is part of an exercise to “handhold, mentor and guide prospective innovators in terms of financing, funding, and technology. “This is extremely vital to one’s success as an innovator,” he said.

“Start-ups are on the rise in the region all right, but it is also important to see that ideas are actually translated into matchmaking of funds and projects,” Mr Pany added.

The CII Financing Innovation turned out to be a lively forum where nine funding/ financing agencies such as Xelpmoc, GHV Fund & Accelerator, Catapooolt, Unitus Seed Fund, Bhubaneswar Angel Networks, Kolkata Angel Networks, Brandshoot Ventures, Webel venture Capital Fund being engaged in pre-scheduled B2B meetings with about 50 start-ups.

“The meetings were very productive, and we expect positive outcomes,” said Mr Dipankar Chakrabarti, Co-Chairman, Start-up & Innovation Taskforce, CII Eastern Region. According to him, Financing Innovation is a special CII initiative which seeks to narrow the gap between the employable and the employed through entrepreneurship building.

Earlier, Mr Aloke Mookherjea, Chairman, Howden Solyvent India Pvt Ltd. Mr Mookherjea, set the context by observing that funding agencies look at talent, passion, fire in the belly and chutzpah from the innovators.

According to him, mentoring is very important for innovators. “Funding agencies can easily spot the difference between a well mentored innovator and another who has not been coached,” Mr Mookherjea observed.

As to the “essential qualities” an innovator needs to possess for attracting funding, he said that awareness about intellectual property (IP) is a must.

Mr Mookherjea also sought to favour “a little bit of chaos along with disciplined thoughts” which, according to him, makes for a perfect “jazz of innovation”.

Mr S Radhakrishnan, President of TiE Kolkata, said developing nations are fast catching up with the developed ones in terms of innovation which is fast becoming a key pillar of an economy in creating opportunities, generating jobs. The structures promoting the culture of start-ups, thinking out-of-the-box and guidance for innovators at various levels is vital to make the start-up initiative in the country successful and sustainable, he said.

Lauding the Government of India initiative of “Start-up India, Stand up India”, Mr Manjit Nayak, Additional Director & Officer-in-charge, Software Technology Parks of India said, India is now only behind USA and UK in terms of start-ups.

“The start-up industry has grown and as on date there are 1333 recognized start-ups by DIPP. The Government of India initiatives of online training of innovators, tax benefits, changing the definition of start-ups have definitely proved to beneficial for this space,” Mr Nayak said.

Diversification of start-ups is necessary, Mr Nayak said, adding that financial support for start-ups is not an issue anymore and the funds created by Government of India for this purpose and the start-up policies initiated by 15 states of India have created a strong base for start-ups to flourish and sustain. Mr Nayak said CII and STPI may look at working together in the future to boost the start-ups in terms of handholding, mentoring and guiding.

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