In a major move which reiterates its commitment to revitalise the country’s start-up landscape, Venture Catalysts, India’s first integrated incubation platform, has announced its operational launch in Kolkata. VCats has tied-up with Ideal Insurance and Kreative Fingers for its Kolkata expansion, with the partnership aimed at boosting the innovation quotient of start-ups in the region by enabling state-of-the-art support facilities. The development is in sync with the platform’s long-term vision of fostering entrepreneurship across the country by creating a robust and interconnected pan-India support network with significant presence in tier-2 geographies, in addition to the top metros.

The launch of the latest VCats chapter was marked in typically spectacular style – with one of the biggest start-up conclaves in West Bengal. Organised in association with Ideal Insurance and Kreative Fingers on September 2 at Hotel Hindustan International, the grand event was extremely successful and was attended by over 250 investors as well as several prominent names from the Indian start-up community. This included Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma (Cofounder & President – Venture Catalysts), Raghu Ram (Monozygotics), Dr. A Velumani (Founder & Managing Director – Thyrocare), Digvijay Singh (IAN), Shailesh Vikram Singh (Seedfund), and Naiyya Saggi (Babychakra). VCats also gave 5 handpicked start-ups a chance to secure investments by participating in an elevator pitch format.

Speaking on the launch of the Kolkata chapter, which follows close on heels of the recent VCats expansion in Lucknow, Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Cofounder & President, Venture Catalysts, said, “Conventionally associated with bureaucracy and the service-sector, the rising entrepreneurial spirit in the City of Joy, punctuated by successful start-up stories such as Wow Momos and Fusion Charts, is great news for the Indian start-up ecosphere. Venture Catalysts wants to play a leading role in supporting such a change by nurturing the culture of socially-driven entrepreneurship which distinguishes the launch of our operations in Kolkata. With an ideal amalgamation of intellect, vision and aesthetic sensibilities, Kolkata has every ingredient in the book required to emerge as an ideal start-up destination. We are looking for disruptive and socially productive business ideas out of this iconic city.”

Sharing his thoughts on the impact of the launch on the regional start-up landscape, Rahul Agarwal, Founder, Ideal Insurance Brokers Pvt. Ltd. And Managing Partner – VCats Kolkata, said, “Although Kolkata currently has some catching up to do with other metros such as New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore in terms of the number of start-ups as well as total investment volumes, the entrepreneurial outlook in the region is extremely positive. The regional expansion of Venture Catalysts, one of the most dedicated enablers of start-up growth in the country, will further boost the state’s thriving start-up ecosystem.”

“Venture Catalysts today is a prominent presence in the Indian entrepreneurial landscape because of its unflinching devotion to boost the country’s innovation quotient. The launch of its operations in Kolkata is very promising, as it will lead to greater mobilisation of investors, mentors, and start-ups in the region. Its robust pan-India network will also present promising ventures an opportunity to explore lucrative investment, mentoring, networking, and business opportunities across multiple geographies, thereby giving them a chance to achieve exponential growth and scale,” added Pankaj Maloo, Founder, Kreative Ventures and Managing Partner – VCats Kolkata .

Themed ‘Tier-2 Disruption Decoded’, VCats’ Kolkata start-up conclave began with inaugural addresses by Rahul Agarwal and Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, as well as a keynote speech by Dr. A Velumani. This was followed by two other interesting panel discussions, ‘Angel investment & its opportunities’ and ‘What, how and why: challenges and opportunities’. Raghu Ram of Roadies fame then took centre stage, talking about their journey from showrunners of the most popular reality shows in India to investors and entrepreneurs in an address titled ‘Roadies to Dropouts: The Journey of Monozygotics’. Dr. A Velumani once again graced the podium to discuss the inspiring journey of Thryocare, with the event closing with a thank you note by Pankaj Maloo.

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