February 15, 2021
Assam Startup – The Nest hosted “UDYAM” on 13 February to celebrate the 2-year journey and success of the initiative, in the gracious presence of the Honourable minister of Industries and Commerce, Sri Chandra Mohan Patowary.
The event was attended by Dr. KK Dwivedi, IAS, Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce; Pabitra Ram Khaund, ACS, Secretary, Industries & Commerce; KJ Hilaly, ACS, Additional Secretary, Industries & Commerce; and Bipul Das, Managing Director, AIIDC, along with a number of government officials, academic partners, corporate, investors, and start-ups.
Alongside encapsulating the impact created by the 76 incubated start-ups and the ecosystem development drives undertaken by Assam Startup in association with IIM Calcutta Innovation Park in the last 2 years the event also witnessed the handing over of MASI grant of Rs. 70 lakhs to 14 startups. Out of the 14 grant recipients, 7 are Assam Startup incubatees, while the rest are from the ecosystem doing remarkable work towards addressing the key local challenges with innovative startup solutions. This was the second round of grant disbursement following the Rs. 3.29 crores grant awarded to 31 startups who had applied for financial benefits under the My Assam Startup ID last year on 7 June by the Honourable Chief Minister Sri Sarbananda Sonowal.
Speaking on the occasion, Patowary expressed his delight to see the amount of works being done to develop the startup ecosystem in the Assam within a span of 2 years. He congratulated the start-ups, and the team of Assam Startup and IIM Calcutta Innovation Park for making this initiative by the Government of Assam under the aegis of Industries and Commerce Department a success. He assured the startup entrepreneurs of every possible support to take their start-up ventures reach heights that no one can touch. The minister also spoke, at length, about the boundless prospects of tea start-ups in the state. He further requested Vivek Goenka, the President of Warren Tea Ltd. and Chairman of Indian Tea Association, who was present on the occasion, to study the prospects of the tea industry and the tea start-ups in Assam.
Addressing the gathering, Patowary further said: “The 21st century will be dominated by deep technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Everything (IoE), Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Time is ripe for us to ponder over where we stand, where we should stand, and where we will stand in the future.”
The evening also witnessed the launch of 3 Nano Incubation Centres in 3 districts of Assam, viz., Kokrajhar, Dibrugarh, and Cachar. Taking the Hub & Spoke model a step ahead, the Nano Incubation Centres will carry the incubation activities at The Nest to the far-flung pockets of Assam, so that the aspiring startup entrepreneurs in those pockets can take advantage of the incubation program under Assam Startup. It’s also interesting to note that following a number of Faculty Development sessions and interactions with the academia, The Nest has facilitated the launch of 8 Spoke Incubation Centres, each at Bineswar Brahma Engineering College, Birjhora Mahavidyalaya, Sonapur College, Jagiroad College, North Lakhimpur College, Nowgong College, Debraj Roya College, and Duliajan College.
Besides, the occasion was marked with the unveiling of the Annual Impact Report and the launch of COHORT 3.0, with 103 startups on-boarded for the 6-month incubation program.
Earlier in the evening, the Chief Investment Officer for IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, Hamant Kr Borah, spoke about the inclusive ecosystem development model in Assam that could be effectively replicated by other states of India. He further informed about IIM Calcutta Innovation Park’s investment worth over Rs. 1 Cr, in forms of equity and grants, in 7 incubated startups from The Nest, with a few more investments further lined up for this year.
The Chief Operating Officer of IIM Calcutta Innovation Park for Assam Startup, Pranjal Konwar, called for a unified effort and appealed to all the government departments to join hands in realizing the vision and mission of the Assam Startup initiative to create a thriving startup ecosystem in the state.
Assam Startup – The Nest, has, so far, provided incubation support to 76 startups, who have together earned revenue of Rs. 42.6 Cr, impacted 3.4 lakh lives, and created direct and indirect employment opportunities for more than 44 thousand people. 39 of these start-ups have together raised external funds worth Rs. 12.2 Cr. The third batch of 103 startups is currently gearing up for the 6-month incubation program.