‘Research Innovation Incubation Design Laboratories’ (riidl), in association with HSBC, organised a ‘Demo Day’ as part of their Acceleration Program which was held on 30th July at The Somaiya School Auditorium. The event saw participation from 40 startups who got an opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors for fundings.
riidl was set up by the Somaiya Trust in 2010 to nurture entrepreneurship and innovation amongst its students, faculty, staff & alumni and is supported by Department of Science & Technology; BIRAC, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and Maharashtra State Innovation Society, Government of Maharashtra to scale the startup incubation program. riidl supports the creation and incubation of early-stage companies from ideation to commercialization by providing them with industry-specific resources, labs, government grants, investor connections, funding, intellectual property protection & patent support, HR support and mentorship. In merely a decade, riidl, being a sector-agnostic incubator, has focused on building startups across various domains. riidl has incubated over 129 startups and facilitated in creating 600+ job opportunities with a community of over 2800 makers & innovators and 2200 Bio-enthusiasts & researchers across sectors through their initiatives & programs to develop their early-stage ideas to fully functional companies; with a total revenue generated by startups over INR 292 Crores till date.
The event, ‘Demo Day’ was held as a part of riidl’s Acceleration Program, which aims to help the startup community to pitch their ideas and network with the investors. This year, the program saw participation from 650+ startups, out of which 40 startups were shortlisted for the acceleration across Fintech, Edtech, E-commerce, SAAS, Journalism, Agritech, Biotech, Food, Healthcare and an array of other sectors to pitch for funding. The event was graced by Vikas Chauhan, COO & Co-Founder, HexaHealth; ex Co-Founder, Tata 1mg, and also an alumnus of K J Somaiya Institute of Management.
The event saw some amazing, innovative and unique startup ideas out of which some were shortlisted, including Pilk, it develops tasty and healthy plant-based milk products, Innokrit, develops a no code AI platform to extract data from images and videos, Farmology, a platform that makes agritech accessible and affordable to Indian farmers, ProPlant Foods Pvt Ltd, developed ProMeat, that offers a healthy, tasty and economical plant-based chicken with much higher protein content, amazing texture and rich-delicious mouthfeel, Atlancer, a platform that offers curated freelance talent, and Orage Digital Pvt Ltd, developed Offee, an AI based assessment and content learning platform with skill mapping.
Gracing the event, Mr. Samir Somaiya, President, Somaiya Vidyavihar & Chancellor, Somaiya Vidyavihar University, said, “If you had told me 10 or 15 years ago, that there will come a time when initiatives which specifically exist to help young entrepreneurs to boost their startup ideas in India would be a reality, I would not have believed you. Clearly, times have changed and the word ‘entrepreneur’ isn’t so much of a taboo anymore. It is honestly great to see such young individuals coming up with unique ideas of their own and showcasing them with determination. It fills me with optimism and hope for the future of our country.”
Chief guest and Keynote speaker, Mr. Vikas Chauhan, COO & Co-Founder, HexaHealth; ex Co-Founder, Tata 1mg, said, “It is truly an honour to be here; being back here on campus and on this podium feels somewhat surreal. It’s great that such an initiative to help startups is being taken, because it is very important for young entrepreneurs, especially in the initial phase, to make advantage of platforms like these where they can come out and showcase their ideas, and of course get an opportunity for their ideas to be funded. If there is one thing I can say to all the young entrepreneurs, it would be that showing-up is the first step to success, and perhaps the most important.”
Thrilled about the positive outcome of the initiative, Mr. Gaurang Shetty, CEO, riidl, said, “riidl has been doing its best to recognise & enable access to knowledge, experience, and funding for the startups, as we have forged academic collaborations, industry-driven alliances, and participated in government entrepreneurship programs to reinforce the quality of the leadership team, range of services offered, good practices, scale and scope of activities, financial and operational stability and impact. It was refreshing and a delight to see so many creative and inventive ideas being showcased, and the investors present were certainly pleased to see genuine effort put behind each startup that participated. We have great hopes for the future of entrepreneurship in India; our vision is to create an ecosystem of inventions and not just entrepreneurship, which can enhance the intellectual, psychological and social development of our country in the next 10 years. With initiatives like the ‘Demo Day’ event, I am positive we will be able to achieve that.”