The first edition of CONNECT.X Hangout was organized by IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, in partnership with NEDFi, in Guwahati on November 30. Characterized as Assam’s “largest startup networking gathering”, the event aimed to bring together startups and relevant organizations and individuals through promoting in-depth interactions, interspersed with speeches from industry experts.
Chairman and managing director of NEDFi, PVSLN Murty, attended the event as the chief guest, along with SK Baruah, executive director, NEDFi.
With a turnout of over 140 startup founders, service providers, startup enthusiasts, and industry professionals from the region, the highlight of the gathering was a session led by seasoned startup advisor and investor, Nagaraja Prakasam (partner, Acumen Fund & founding angel, IAN Impact).
The experienced industry leader elaborated on the distinctive strengths and resources of the Northeast region, and how startups can leverage these resources with modern technology to establish sustainable and profitable ventures. He also unveiled his book, ‘Back to Bharat: In Search of a Sustainable Future’ during the event.
Addressing the audience, NEDFi CMD, PVSLN Murty, said: “The germination of the startup ecosystem in Northeast India could be traced back to 2017 when the prime minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 100-crore dedicated startup fund for Northeast India. Since then, the startup ecosystem in the region has been evolving conspicuously with many innovative startups emerging on the block. This networking meet by IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, in association with NEDFi, is being attended by a few investors as well, and one may expect some of the startups participating in the event to attract funding.”
In his opening statements, chief operating officer of IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, Pranjal Konwar, briefed the audience about the purpose behind hosting the networking gathering. “Establishing a supportive platform for startup founders and stakeholders to connect, interact and forge symbiotic relationships is essential for furthering the development of the startup ecosystem in the region. This realization has prompted us to launch CONNECT.X Hangout, a unique networking initiative,” he said.
CONNECT.X Hangout is a subset of the overarching initiative, CONNECT.X, which is a large annual event set to be organized next year and is anticipated to draw participation from all over the country. Networking and exposure are two critical areas in Assam’s startup ecosystem that require effective attention. CONNECT.X is projected to address these specific needs by constructing a reputable platform that will attract the participation of startups, mentors, investors, and corporations nationwide.