Startup Masterclass in Pune: ‘R&D a tool to boost growth of startups’
Startups should indulge in research and development (R&D), especially in light of India’s growing participation in several ‘megaprojects’ in space research, said professor Yashwant Gupta, Centre Director of the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), during the IIT Kanpur Startup Masterclass (SMC) 2019.
The Masterclass was held at the Indian Institute for Science Education and Research (IISER) on Sunday.
The event was attended by at least 500 local startups, 100 venture capitalists, investors, experts and budding innovators who came together to discuss the best practices for growing local startups. The theme of the event was ‘going global’.
In addition to panel discussions and success stories, the masterclass offered entrepreneurs with one-on-one mentorship sessions with experts, an opportunity to pitch investors and partner with other innovators to find crucial technology solutions to complex problems.
“Corporate investment through CSR (corporate social responsibility) and startup participation are the missing links that could buttress government in important initiatives. Any research institute would welcome this,” said Gupta.
Nitin Gadkari, minister for road transport and highways, who could not attend the event due to the implementation of model code of conduct ahead of the upcoming assembly polls, lauded the Startup Masterclass as a milestone in accelerating India’s growth as a major innovator in a letter from the minister’s office.
“The government is interested in promoting the concept of startups among India’s youth and I am happy to hear about events like the Startup Master Class,” wrote Gadkari in the letter.
Keynote speaker, V Premnath, head of innovations at the National Chemical Laboratory(NCL) and a director at Venture Centre, touched on the themes of sustainability, scalability and value accrual crucial to every startup as it looks to establish itself as a major contender in any market.
While industry norms judge any startup’s value based on its immediate profitability and the rewards generated against investment, Premnath was more interested in the idea of a “promise for the future”.
“The promise matters more than the immediate value or profitability,” said Premnath while drawing on the case of Flipkart as an example for the audience of startup aspirants.
He further examined nuances of startups trying to “build an asset” as opposed to those aiming to build revenue.