Even as the startup culture has been witnessing its first boom in India, the smaller cities are yet to see the dawn of innovation and entrepreneurship. So, taking into consideration the locational and demographic advantage of Assam which is the gateway of Northeast, the idea for creating a startup culture was conceived; and, eventually Startup Assam was formed. It is the outcome of the endeavors of some thought leaders, industry veterans and entrepreneurs; therefore Redlemon Communications, TechHelp Consulting& Barooa Infotech collaborated and Startup Assam plan was executed on 24th January, 2015. On 16th May, 2015, the official website, www.startupassam.com, was launched.
Startup Assam bridges the gap between investors and entrepreneurs, mentors startups and encourages entrepreneurship in the region. It performs the following functions-
Organising events and workshops
Events and workshops-
Till now 10 events have been organized by Startup Assam and it was on 24th January, 2015 that ‘Startup Saturday Guwahati Talks’ was launched formally in Institution of Engineers building, Panbazar, Guwahati as a networking and mentoring platform. The basic objective behind this initiative is to facilitate a networking channel among the entrepreneurs, investors and mentors so as to boost the start-up ecosystem in the region. These events are attended by entrepreneurs, investors, financial experts, students, etc.
Some startups/ entrepreneurs who have participated in these events are as follows-
• Gram Tarang Employability Training Services Pvt. Ltd. (www.gramtarang.com) – Mr. Aditya Saikia (Director) spoke about various Employability Training Services that his company provides, and the groundwork they have been doing in Assam to provide training to school and college dropouts.
• Eclat Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (www.eclatsoftware.com) – Mr. Deebendu Kumar Mistry (Director) spoke about his entrepreneurial journey and how Eclat is providing IT solutions for betterment of the region.
• Bati Energy Pvt. Ltd. (www.batienergy.in) – Mr. Gunajit Brahma (CMO) spoke about his solar company’s products and services and its achievements in installing solar energy projects in India and abroad.
• PopTales (www.poptales.in) – Mr. Maharnav Gogoi (CEO) spoke about his journey as an entrepreneur and how they got through the difficulty to sell custom T-shirts and gift wares in Northeast.
• Crowinfo – Mr. Jigyan Deep Kalita (Founder) introduced his company which works in the domain of IT services and develops websites and builds mobile applications. He also mentioned his plan to bring Guwahati’s first local rent-house search engine.
• Cellfisher- Mr. Pankaj Gogoi, Founder of Cellfisher, showcased Taxi and Auto service. This will be a dial-in service for booking Auto or Taxi by just dialling 59211. This service can be availed even by the customers who don’t have smartphone or internet connection.
• Riding Bees- Mr. Vikash Vijay showcased his Startup called Riding Bees which is a concept of affordable two-wheeler rides in Guwahati.
• Organic Majuli : Mr. Manash Chaliha who had presented his concept and story at StartupAssam first meet have been working in the organic revolution of Assam and has been able to open up retail outlets in Guwahati for organic food products .
• Goodbuy : Mr. Pranjal Konwar Ex HR Head Vodafone Assam and Northeast , who started the retail brand of 6 Supermarket stores in Guwahati in last 3years and now have exited to work on startups , mentor startupAssam for its various activities .
Startup Assam had organized Brahmaputra Valley Business Plan Contest in February, 2016. The competition was inaugurated by Dr. Arup Kumar Misra , Director , ASTEC , and was judged by Mr. Samir Baruah, Retired General Manager of Indian Overseas Bank; Mr. Amitabh Barooa , Mentor, Startup Assam; Mrs.Ruma Talukdar , Student and placement Cell, Cotton College; Ms Dipannita Jaiswal, Managing Director , DY365; and, Dr.Boddheswar Gogoi , President , People and Science Society, Assam. Umananda Dairy of Neeraj Parek and Amit Verma won the first prize money of Rs10,000 and were certifified as the “Startup of the Brahmaputra Valley “.
The startup incubation cycle usually stretches over a period of 12-18 months. The steps included in the cycle are as follows
Invite Application→ Select Startups→ Incubation:Funding, training, mentoring→ Exit: Buy out or funding
Startup Assam is already incubating four startups. These are as follows-
Cellfisher- Location based services
Tech Help- ERP for small business ente-rprises
iNovo- Soft skills training
Bharaghor.com- Online portal for renting
It provides a set of consultancy services, these are-
Preparation of project report by experts, including financials.
Arrange financing under various central and state Government schemes.
Setting up the facility and overseeing legal & financial requirements.
Establishing supply-chain for capital goods as well as raw materials.
Developing the marketing channels and assisting in preparation marketing mix.
However, as many entrepreneurs, financial experts, thought leaders and industry veterans attend the events organized by Startup Assam, these events are helpful in providing proper guidance and mentorship to the budding entrepreneurs.
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Thanks and Regards
Founder , StartupAssam