Pragati – The Pan IIM Startup Conclave

Pragati – The Pan IIM Startup Conclave was conceptualized to bring together alumni of all IIMs, VCs, and investors to create a robust and exclusive start-up ecosystem. The event enabled alumni and startup enthusiasts get a glimpse of the innovation taking place in alumni startups.  It also enabled VCs and investors to reach out to high quality startups with robust business models.

The Bangalore Chapters of IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Calcutta Alumni Associations along with the IIM Bangalore Alumni Association conceptualized, planned and organized the event.

The Startup Conclave had a mix of Startup Pitching Competition, speaker sessions which saw participation of successful entrepreneurs and investors, panel discussion, mentoring sessions for audience along with stalls for Top 10 startups to enable them to have deeper engagement with the audience and investor community. The event had a houseful audience of 300+.

Start-up Pitching Competition & Investor Community Response

All IIMs across the country were reached out to invite their alumni and students to participate on the start-up pitching competition. Pre-series A start-ups with working prototypes across industries, which had at least one founder as an IIM alum, were invited to participate in the competition. 72 applications were received in a short span of time.

After a rigorous screening process, Top 10 start-ups were selected to present their ventures at the main event on 24th Feb 2018. Top 10 start-ups saw a variety of business ideas ranging from screening of dyslexia, AI based models to make sales and debt recovery more effective to effective parking and online rental marketplaces. These were also provided with stalls to showcase their ventures and engage deeper with the audience.

Investor community responded very enthusiastically to the well-designed Pan IIM Startup Conclave. Microsoft Accelerator, NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore and CIIE, IIM Ahmedabad partnered the event as Platinum, Gold and Silver Sponsors respectively. 1Crowd, Fireside Ventures, Indian Angel Networks, Matrix Partners, NASSCOM COE-IOT and Quona Capital joined as kind sponsors, wherein they would provide office space and mentoring to a few startups of their selection criteria. Several others offered to participate in the upcoming events.

Top 3 startups were chosen by the jury panel comprising of members from Pragati’s investor partners. Ashwin (Microsoft Accelerator), Prashant Goyal (NSRCEL), Shyam Menon (CIIE), Prateek Goyal (1Crowd), Vinay Singh (Fireside Ventures), Nagaraja Prakasam (Indian Angel Network), Nayan Bader (Matrix Partners), Varun (Quona Capital) and Navratan (NASSCOM COE-IOT) were the jury members for the final event. Jury members for Top 10 selection included Ravindra Krishnappa (Acebot), Rajiv Raghunandan (SeedX), Abishek Surendran (Pi Ventures), Deepak Nataraj (Angel Investor) and Koustav Dey (Matrix Partners) along with some of the stage 2 jury members.

Top 10 startups were Fabric Monde, GetMyParking, Giftolexia, RentOnGo, Resonate, Shilp Science, Stat Decision Labs,, Ubiquitous Beverages and XploraBox. Top 3 startups were GetMyParking, Giftolexia and RentOnGo.

 Speaker Sessions & Panel Discussions

Bala Girisaballa (CEO, Microsoft Accelerator), Prof. K. Kumar (Dean Alumni Relations and ex-Chairperson Academic Programmes, NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore) and Shyam Menon (CIIE) spoke about initiatives taken up the respective accelerators and incubators. Prof. G. Raghuram, Director, IIM Bangalore spoke about the institutional support to startups.

Keynote speakers, K. Ganesh, Serial Entrepreneur and Partner, GrowthStory, and Raghunanda G., founder TaxiForSure spoke about their entrepreneurial journeys and lessons learnt there in.

Revathy Ashok , an Indian Angel Network investor, moderated the Panel Discussion on Entrepreneurial Journeys. The panel comprised of Abishek Surendran, Partner Pi Ventures, Balaji Pasumarthy, Founder, Golden Square, Chandu Nair, Angel Investor, Manish Gupta, CEO, Indegene and Ravindra Krishnappa – Angel Investor & Serial Entrepreneur.

Anjana Vivek, founder of Venture Bean Consulting conducted a session on Valuation of startups.

 One-to-one Mentoring

One-to-one mentoring sessions were organized for the event participants. Abishek Surendran, Balaji Pasumarthy, Chandu Nair, Gopal Rao, Naga Prakasam, Sukumar Rangachary and Revathy Ashok conducted mentoring sessions. Audience got feedback and insights on their startup ideas through these mentoring sessions.

Organizing Team

The enthusiastic organizing team comprised of S. Vishwanthan (President), Krishna Kumar (Secretary), L. Ravindran (Vice President), Deepankar Garg , Pranay Prateek, Sanchit Krishnan, Swaraj Mishra, Suhruta Kulkarni and Vinayan Sreedharan from IIM Ahmedabad Alumni Association; Parthasarthy S. (Head Alumni Relations ), Alok Shrivastava, Manisha Aithal, Rohini and Sushma from IIM Bangalore Alumni Association and; Tushar from IIM Calcutta Alumni Association. IIM Bangalore provided excellent infrastructure and logistics support to the entire event.