In a bid to boost the entrepreneurial spirit and help contribute towards the Start-up India campaign, The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) hosted its flagship conclave called TiEcon Delhi 2017, in New Delhi on December 15-16, 2017. Themed ‘Re-Imagining Success,’ the conclave, TiE noted, provided a platform for entrepreneurs to connect with potential mentors, investors and collaborators. “More than 150 speakers engaged in 50 different sessions aimed at reinvigorating the entrepreneurial spirit among the attendees—most of them start-ups—along with exciting start-up pitches, deal flow sessions, and mentoring and networking events,” TiE, which is a not-for-profit, global community of entrepreneurs, said in a statement. Delivering the keynote address, Jayant Sinha, minister of state for civil aviation, said that drones are the next big thing and are set to emerge as game-changers for start-ups in India.
Earlier this year, the civil aviation ministry had unveiled draft norms for the operation of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, for civilian purposes. Also, Ashok Dalwai, additional secretary, Union agriculture ministry, talked about the need for policies that promote climate-smart agriculture and technology interventions that can double farmers’ incomes. And Ramesh Abhishek, secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, talked on topics related to technology interventions in government practices and challenges in the Indian start-up and SME ecosystem. The conclave also hosted leaders such as Rajan Anandan, V-P, Southeast Asia and India for Google. As an angel investor, he has invested in 10 start-ups in the last one year. Other prominent speakers included Sonam Wangchuk, founding director of SECMOL (Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh); Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder & chairman, Bharti Enterprises; Rahul Sharma, co-founder, Micromax; Neeraj Bharadwaj, MD, Carlyle India; and Geeta Goel, V-P, Mission Investments, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
Topics such as social entrepreneurship, how to build a mentor network, scaling the venture, what is the right time to exit, stories of survival of entrepreneurs, logistics and last-mile were covered. In addition, TiEcon Delhi highlighted investors, entrepreneurs and accelerators through programmes such as the TiECONIC Pitches, which, TiE said, provide potential entrepreneurs with a platform to present their business plans with three major verticals: Angel & Seed, VCs and Incubators & Accelerators. Start-ups had a chance to participate in a curated investor-entrepreneur meet with private equity firm SAIF Partners. This year, TiE tied up with QGLUE, the design venture of QAI (Quality Assurance International), to host what it calls is India’s first Design-led Entrepreneurship Award. It highlighted entrepreneurial ventures that are driven and led by design, with a focus on the ‘human element.’
In fact, 21% of the global ‘unicorn’ start-ups across all sectors have co-founders who have embraced design or come from a design, arts or human-centred background, including architecture, design, music, visualisation, fine arts and media arts. Lastly, there was the Auto-Tech and Mobility Award that gave winners an opportunity to partner with auto manufacturers to expedite the process of bringing their solutions to the market.