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Initiative begins to take Assam start-ups to 'next level'; details here

Priyanka Chakrabarty , March 14, 2024
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Cohort 5.0 of Assam Start Up - Nest hosted innovators from across Assam

Guwahati: Barasha Sharma, Debashish Bhattacharjee, Vishal Jain, and Angshuman Goswami were among 230 participants who attended the inauguration of Incubation 2024-25 (COHORT 5.0) held at the Assam Startup - The Nest in Guwahati on March 12.

The Assam Startup - The Nest is the flagship incubation centre under the Department of Industries Commerce and Public Enterprises of the state government.

"The criteria for selection were very long and applications were professionally scrutinized", Chinmoy Phookan, managing director of Assam Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (AIIDC), told Business North East at the programme. "We had to ensure that the business ideas were sustainable, profit-generating, and employment-generating."

AIIDC has been working for a long time on the development of the start-up ecosystem of the state, Phukan underlined. “We started as beginners in 2017 and a recent ranking by the government of India declared us as leaders in terms of development of the start-up ecosystem of the country."

“Now", said Phookan, "[the state's start-up ecosystem] has to reach a level above the leader."

He informed Business North East three new programmes are being designed to suit the requirements of start-ups. "Some start-ups might be at the very beginning stage, some start-ups may be already in the business and some start-ups may need to expand their business. Considering these needs, we have designed three new startup incubation programmes", he said.

"They can establish themselves as successful startups as we have state-of-the-art structures, coworking spaces, and other mentors with them. We have a big collaboration base and have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IIM Bangalore", he said, adding that they are also set to sign an MoU with IIT Guwahati "very soon."

Assam's start-up scene now has the backing of mentors of pan-India importance, bankers keen on funding the start-ups, and a network of investors

The inauguration ceremony highlighted Assam Startup's role in uplifting the startup ecosystem in the state, with discussions on incubation, funding, and crafting an investible pitch deck. Successful incubates from previous cohorts 'Zerund India' and 'Drones Tech Lab' shared their entrepreneurial journey, inspiring the new batch.

"As many as 234 startups were selected for this cohort", Rajarshi Sarma, chief operating officer (COO) of Assam Start Up said, shedding some more light on the programme. "During the next few months, they will be taken into multiple sessions and capacity-building workshops. This cohort will help them further refine their ideas and transform them into a business platform and they will be connected to investors."

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