IIM Kozhikode officially closed the 5th edition of its Annual National Investor Start-up Meet, Start-O-Sphere’ 2020, here, yesterday. Organized by IIMK E-Cell team with support of IIMK Live, a business incubator of the institute, the two-day event (Feb 01-02, 2020) was a massive success with many allied activities like Entrepreneurial Workshop, Bouncer – the idea validation event, panel discussion, movie screenings, guiding startup enthusiasts and students understand nitty-gritty of starting up and further gave them a chance to validate their Idea & business model.

Start-O-Sphere’ 2020 received 457 startup registrations from across the country and varied industries, including healthcare, wellness, manufacturing, and fintech. Out of these, a list of 40 startups were curated for attending the summit at the campus and showcasing their ideas to the IIMK community and a select group of 15 marquee investors including Vinay Bansal from IP Ventures, Arjun Rao from Speciale Invest, Vinod Keni from Artha Ventures, Sparsh Kumar from Unicorn VC and Vatsal Kanakiya from 100x VC. The investors went about evaluating the 40 startups on numerous parameters like quality of the team, execution ability, and unit margins. They further shortlisted ten startups for final evaluation to select for prospective investments. As a result of this, 42 deals were initiated, 97 connections made, and 58 mentorship plans established. 

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Debashis Chatterjee, Director IIMK, said “Every year the student community at IIM Kozhikode comes together to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation by creating a platform that strives to connect startups with investors. Another key objective for Start-O-Sphere is to sensitize the students towards the startup ecosystem. The students were able to relate their classroom lessons with real-world experience of startup founders of building a business from ground up, something which we at IIMK deeply believe in. Our distinguished faculty from departments of finance, strategy, marketing, and humanities visited the startup stalls to understand industry challenges and help mentoring them with the application of management theory to their specific dilemmas.” 

Professor Keyoor Purani, faculty co-ordinator for E-Cell noted, 'StartOsphere, organized by Entrepreneurship Cell of IIM Kozhikode students, doesn’t aim only at bringing the emerging startups and investors together, it also attempts to evangelize entrepreneurship among the student community on campus and the greater community in Kerala. It is delighting to see this meet getting bigger every year.'

As part of the event, E-Cell also additionally conducted an insightful series of speaker sessions and panel discussions. Among them, Mr Vinod Keni of Artha Ventures on ‘Idea Validation’, Mr Vinay Bansal from IP Ventures, Ms Nidhi Saraf, founder and CEO at Key Venture. And Mr Sparsh Kumar from Unicorn VC; were the prominent speakers and panelists. An idea validation event, 'Bouncer', where budding startups were allowed to endorse their ideas by professors of IIM Kozhikode, was the other important highlight. A detailed workshop on Ideation, MVP, Marketing and Fundraising was also conducted by Harinath Pudipeddi, IIMB Alumnus and Co-Founder of Headstart, with 14+ years of experience in health tech.    

About Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode

Started in 1997 with its Postgraduate Programme (PGP), the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK) is on a high growth trajectory today, offering widest range of academic programmes in the field of management education. These include Fellow Programme in Management, Executive PG Programmes, Management Development Programmes and Faculty Development Programmes. IIMK set up a Satellite campus at Infopark, Kochi, in 2013 dedicated to Executive Education. IIMK has also the unique distinction of launching a PhD (Practice Track) programme for working professionals besides bringing in new dynamic courses in Women Leadership and MS-Finance, in the year 2019-20. The institute is also home to IIMK LIVE a first-of-its-kind startup incubation programme. 

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