PANAJI: Investors, entrepreneurs, founders, policymakers and industry stakeholders came together to network, deliberate, and exchange knowledge on a common platform on the concluding day of Antha Prerna 2021, a Startup Conclave and Entrepreneurship Summit hosted by the Startup Promotion Cell, Government of Goa in collaboration with AIC-GIM (Atal Incubation Centre- Goa Institute of Management) and Info Tech Corporation of Goa Limited
One thought echoed through the various sessions through the day-long event – Goa is an ideal state for the startup ecosystem to flourish and thrive.
Tej Kapoor, RZ Capital’s partner, explained how he has witnessed unicorn founders wanting to move to Goa. Several established companies like 91 Springboard and others have already made the shift. Drawing a parallel with Silicon Valley, he said, “Goa can be another Silicon Valley. The cost of living is considerably lower compared to the metros, the quality of life is better, and one can attain a sense of balance. The state is setting up new infrastructure in terms of an airport and better road connectivity. The future seems bright.”
Anurag Agrawal Partner, Aavishkaar Capital, agreed but added that a critical ingredient to scale up and grow is the availability of skilled talent. He said, “While the state is attractive to startups and venture capitalists, one needs access to talent. There is a severe skilled talent shortage across the globe. Goa has a well-developed education system. It has the potential to develop a talent pool of skilled professionals. For that, Goa needs to make the state attractive to talent so that it can be a hub.”
Parixit Pai Fondekar, Founder of FIERCE Kitchens, India’s only culinary incubator, spoke at the session where he articulated the state’s potential in the culinary industry. He said,
Goa is a tourist hub. The state has a vast skilled workforce in the hospitality sector, many working beyond the state.
Now is an opportunity for some of them to return and start a venture of their own. The pandemic also saw the emergence of foodpreneurs across verticals.”
Gautami Raikar, Founder of The Legal Capsule, a legal tech company that works with SMEs and large scale enterprises to automate the contract management process, said of the speed pitching around “It was amazing to be part of this pitching round at the summit and to get an opportunity to interact with prominent investors as well as networking with peers in the community.” A virtual incubee at AICGIM and CIBA, Gautami, who hails from Verna, is confident of sourcing funding for her business idea.
Bhavena Bhatnagar, Co-Founder, We Founder Circle agreed. “In addition to the founders we look at what problem they are looking to solve and why they choose to solve that problem. Their attitude is an important factor. And finally there is an element of instinct.”
According to investors, how tech is integrated into the business model and easy exit options are other factors that play a deciding role.
The Startup Conclave and Entrepreneurship Summit was hosted by the Startup Promotion Cell, Government of Goa in collaboration with AIC-GIM (Atal Incubation Centre- Goa Institute of Management) and Info Tech Corporation of Goa Limited. The summit was an effort to bring together the collective ecosystem of entrepreneurs,
innovators, investors, startups, educationists, the government and policy makers converged to create synergies that will empower and facilitate a robust startup ecosystem in Goa.