This week was full of surprises and shocks for the startup world. From Uber CEO resigning to the launching of Startup Hub, this week of a roller coaster ride for Startup founders.

Here are 11 news highlights which you should not miss this week:

Flipkart-Snapdeal Merger In Trouble

A month ago, Flipkart-Snapdeal merger was finally happening with the only hurdle remaining a go-ahead from two of India’s most powerful businessmen magnets -- Ratan Tata and Azim Premji. While back then it wasn't clear if these smaller investors in the company could act as a major road bump in the deal going through, but as it is turns out, PremjiInvest does have certain objections with the deal and has demanded a clarification on the same from Snapdeal.

DIPP To Prepare New 'Start-up India' policy, Forms 6 Different Groups

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has formed six different groups to come together to prepare new industrial policies including 'Start-up India'. The group includes members such as academicians, representatives of professional firms and government officials to prepare a new industrial policy that includes startups, innovation, taxation, MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises), among many other things. As per the time frame set by the DIPP, the draft of the new industrial policy, that the six groups are currently working on, would be ready by September this year itself.

To Build First Pod Prototype, Hyperloop India Pacts With A Bengaluru Startup

Finally here comes the news of Hyperloop India partnering with Workbench Projects, a Bengaluru-based startup. This news came into limelight, six months after the first proposal of building a modern transportation system in India.

Backed by Elon Musk, Hyperloop India is a multi-disciplinary multi-university think tank consisting of 60+ motivated student volunteers in the fields of engineering and business, interested in reinventing transportation in India. Founded in 2015 by a small group of students from BITS Pilani, the team plan is to leverage their performance in global incentive prize competitions to leapfrog transportation in India.
If we talk about the Workbench Projects, it will build the first pod prototype that hypothetically claims to be immune from weather conditions, collision free, travels twice the aeroplane’s speed, consumes low power and comes with energy storage for a whole day.

Shocking! Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick Resigns

One of the biggest shocking news of this week was Travis Kalanick resigning from its CEO post. After going on a leave of absence last week, the CEO of Uber has now stepped down. If reports to be believed, Kalanick came under pressure to exit after hours of drama involving the San Francisco-based ride-sharing app’s investors. As per the media reports, five major investors of the world’s highest valued company demanded that Kalanick resigns immediately. Investors sent a letter to Kalanick, while he was in Chicago, demanding his resignation. These included one of Uber’s biggest shareholders – venture capital firm Benchmark, whose partner Bill Gurley is on Uber’s board.

Nirmala Sitharaman Launches Startup India Hub; Plans To Organize Meet For SAARC Countries

The Commerce and Industry Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman launched the Startup India Virtual Hub, an online platform for all stakeholders to discover, connect and engage with each other. The basic principle behind developing this platform is to aggregate different offerings of the ecosystem and enable discovery by the right audience. It is an interactive platform that will facilitate learning and development, networking, mentorship, funding, etc. for startups. It will host startups, investors, funds, mentors, academia, incubators, accelerators, corporates, Government bodies and more.

Along with this, Minister also announced a new initiative, wherein a Startup exchange program amongst the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) nations would be organized which will enable startups from South Asian region to exchange new ideas and promoting interaction among them.

Good News For Startups! Government Announces New Fundraising, Compliance Norm Relief for Startups

The ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) recently notified a number of operational and compliance relaxations for startups in India. One of the relaxations that would make a real difference to startups is the ability to raise deposits from members, with exemption from procedural compliance for an extended period of half a decade.

In the latest relaxations announced in a notification dated 13th June, MCA has now specifically included startups for exemption from such procedural requirements for an extended period of five years from the date that they were incorporated.

Electric Scooter Startup Ather Energy Ropes In Dr Venkatesh Padmanabhan As COO

The smart electric two-wheeler startup, Ather Energy has roped in Dr Venkatesh Padmanabhan as the Chief Operating Officer. Padmanabha will head supply chain, quality, manufacturing, and service delivery at Ather. Padmanabhan's career has taken him to multiple countries and automotive companies. Having strong knowledge base of the operational requirements for an automotive company, his network and experience in the industry will act as a valuable asset for the company.

Mumbai Based Drone Startup To Build Two UAVs for NTPC

Infosys-backed drone startup ideaForge Technology has recently received an order from NTPC Limited to supply two highly sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) along with high-end programmatic sensors, Thermal Imaging Sensor and LiDAR Sensor. The NTPC had launched a public tender for this very purpose in October last year.

The devices made by the drone startup for NTPC will be deployed for action at the PSU’s research and development facility, NTPC Energy Technology Research Alliance (NETRA). There they will be put to use to support inspection and monitoring operations.

T-Hub Incubated Waste Management Startup Wins Intel, DST Challenge 2.0

Hyderabad-based and T-Hub incubated waste management startup Banyan Nation emerged as the winner for the Intel & DST Innovate for India Challenge 2.0, for creating a zero-waste platform to streamline and automate urban recycling operations at every stage. The startup has received the cash of Rs 20 lakh as a prize money of the competition. The company plans to utilize prize money to refine and improvize the platform and hire software talent. Apart the winning amount, the startup is planning to raise funds.

The startup has developed a smart waste technology platform that allows cities to manage city waste and recycling operations through a combination of on-field sensors like biometric attendance devices, bin sensors, GPS truck routers, DRCC and landfill management toolkits and back-end visualization and analytic engines.

SproutBox Launches India’s Largest Facility in New Delhi

Co-working chain, SproutBox has launched the India’s largest co-working facility – SproutBox Suryavilas in Okhla, Delhi’s premier business district. Spread over 15,000 square feet, it has the distinction of being the largest and only facility that offers 24x7x365 operations, to cater to the demanding and flexible requirements of its users that include freelancers, startups and corporates. SproutBox offers a co-working space, serviced office space, virtual office, or a depending on the needs of its users.

Built in partnership with Suryavilas Luxury Resorts, SproutBox Suryavilas (Okhla) will also be a full-time incubator working closely with food, food tech, and hospitality companies.

‘Zone Startups India' Becomes VC Funding Body

Private accelerator Zone Startups India has recently turned into early-stage venture capital funds. It is a collaboration between BSE Institute (a subsidiary of the Bombay Stock Exchange), Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (incubator), Ryerson Futures Inc and Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada. The Mumbai-based private accelerator, which accommodates over 55 desks and houses 60 startups, is looking to offer Indian startups with state of the art workspace, mentorship – functional, business experts and industry Panel, market development and business development support, networking and branding opportunities, funding opportunity, access to North American market and peer-to-peer mentoring.

31 Student Startup Founders Visits Silicon Valley

Thirty-one student startup founders from six states are on a week-long visit to Silicon Valley at San Fransisco to pitch, network and learn from the best at the tech Mecca under a flagship #StartInCollege programme instituted by the Kochi’s Startup Village Collective SV.CO in partnership with Facebook. SV.CO’s startup program for first-time founders is supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, the U.S. Embassy in India and has multiple state partners giving support to their respective students.

The students from various engineering colleges, who have built their startup products while enrolled in Startup Village’s digital learning program, are on a week-long visit to showcase their prototypes, learn product development and skills, and get exposure to the world-class startup ecosystem in Silicon Valley.

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