As part of bringing best practices and standards to the Startup Ecosystem in Odisha and for the effective management of its funds, Startup Odisha has roped in the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for managing the Odisha Startup Growth Fund (OSGF), said Dr. Omkar Rai, Executive Chairman, Startup Odisha, at the opening session of 30th Convergence India Expo in New Delhi on Monday.
The SIDBI will also bring its own fund for supporting the startup ecosystem in Odisha, said Dr. Rai who shared the dais with Aastha Grover, Head Startup India and Entrepreneur and Actor Gul Panag at the opening session titled “Creating a Vibrant Ecosystem for Innovation.” The Odisha Startup Growth Fund (OSGF) was initially started with Rs 250 Crore commitment from Odisha Government and has grown up to Rs 1000 Crore.
“We have roped in SIDBI for managing our fund. They will also bring their own fund. In the next 5-10 years, Odisha will be ready with a lot of funds for startups. I call upon the startup ecosystem players from across the nation to look towards Odisha for access to funds, access to markets, and for the best support system,” said Dr. Omkar Rai.
Further, Dr. Omkar Rai said that Startup Odisha is sensitizing the High Net-worth Individuals (HNIs) across Odisha to come together, form a strong network, and foster an angel investing culture in the State of Odisha so that much-needed angel investing infrastructure and support mechanism can be provided to the startups.
He emphasized upon the need to take the startup ecosystem to the grassroots level in Tier II and Tier III cities and inculcate a culture of innovation and ideation. He said that in the coming days in Odisha, more and more startups would be coming from Tier II & Tier III cities and some of these would be Unicorns.
“In Odisha, we are reaching out to the young boys and girls in Tier II, tier III cities and in the rural areas and taking the ecosystem to the grassroots levels. The kind of innovation and the fundamental idea that is coming from Tier II & Tier III cities are not even coming from Tier I cities because young boys and girls who are witnessing/facing various problems in tier II & III cities are coming up with viable solutions. That is how the startup ecosystem must emerge and grow,” said Dr. Rai.
“As far as ideation is concerned if one gets the right kind of sensitization and good connection, the culture of innovation and ideation is inculcated,” he added. We are planning to open Incubators in each district, and in every educational institution, and try to take the ecosystem at the grassroots level, said Dr. Rai.
“The startup ecosystem is not only growing in terms of numbers but also in terms of funding. Unicorns have grown from a handful to a strong 107 and also the incubators supporting startups have grown immensely,” said Aastha Grover, Head of Startup India.