Central India’s first startup expo held at IIM Indore

Indore: The first ever start-up expo of Central India-iExpo 2017 organised at Indian Institute of Management Indore on Sunday provided a platform to young entrepreneurs to seek advice and learn from the distinguished minds of the business world.

Organised by the Entrepreneurship Cell(E-Cell) of the institute, the event witnessed overwhelming response from investors and mentors – appreciating the enthusiastic startups from different fields like drone mapping, food, lifestyle, education, careers guidance, agriculture, healthcare, research, logistics, astrology, chemical, data analytics, environment and entertainment.

The investment partners namely, ah! Ventures; Reddy Futures, Venture Catalysts, White Unicorn Ventures, Swan Angel Network, Z Nation Lab, Calcutta Angels and Ankur Capital participated in the event.

The inauguration ceremony saw addresses by IIM Indore dean (Academic) Prof Kamal K Jain, senior faculty Prof DL Sunder, and others.

In his address, Jain gave examples of various achievers and highlighted the need to focus and pursue our dreams to make a difference to the world. “iExpo is such a dream which has come true – to create a platform where start-up, investors and students meet to explore mutually rewarding collaborations.”

Sunder spoke of the supportthe institute offers to entrepreneurial aspirants including mentorship while on campus and virtual incubation even after they graduate.

He talked about the various events organised by the E-cell. “One of the initiatives taken up by IIM Indore is a course on entrepreneurship orientation that is offered as a core subject to the first year students.”

He also mentioned that the institute was in the process of setting up an incubation centre and is considering offering an entrepreneurial stream during the second year of the post graduate programme.

E-Cell Secretary and PGP participant Shubham Gupta said that iExpo aimed to create an ecosystem for the start-up with the mentors and investors to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship. The inaugural ceremony was followed by a short Investor Introduction Session wherein the investors briefed the gathering about their own organisations and they type of start-ups they were planning to invest in. This was followed by presentations from the 35 startups participated in the event.

The afternoon session was dedicated to stall presentations by the startups which helped them share their company ideas, objectives and future plans with the investors.

The event came to an end with the closing ceremony – with a keynote address by Rahul Panicker, cofounder and president, Embrace Innovations. He talked about his innovative device- Embrace Warmer which acts as an incubator for the premature babies and shared his learning to achieve success. Panicker said – ‘Six babies are born every minute out of which 25-30% babies are premature. They aren’t able to get proper care – may be due to lack of facilities in the hospitals in remote areas, or lack of electricity. Hence the concept of Embrace Warmer came up, which is more like a blanket, is very affordable and acts like an incubator,” he said.

He noted that starting with saving the lives of 2000 babies in the year 2012, today this device has saved lives of more than 2.5 lakh babies across 15 countries. Panicker hoped that more events like this would be conducted in future.

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