startup office
  • 40 startups shortlisted to pitch, and 11 succeed in raising funds
  • towards specific short-term outcomes to help tide over the slowdown
  • 18 investors from funds and VC firms across the country participated

Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship(CIE), also known as CIE@IIITH is a DST approved incubator operational since 2008 organises UNPITCH – an unconventional pitch event to help startups tide over lockdown triggered slowdown.

A 3-day online funding pitch event was just organized to help seed revenue, bridge funds to tide over the squeeze, or funding from corporate angels. A unique feature of the event was that all pitched for funds against specific short-term outcomes and market results.

It was organised in partnership with Headstart, PWC, TiE & TheCapitalNet, the initiative received a tremendous response from startups and investors. 180 startups applied and over 15 VCs/angel investors along with 10 corporates participated. The series provided an exclusive platform for nationwide tech startups to raise bridge/growth funds as they grapple with the current lockdown situation.

40 of the 180 startup applications were shortlisted to pitch. It was a successful 3-day long intensive pitching from 21 – 23 of April. The categories consisted of Revenue Seeding (25 Lakhs) aimed at Seed fund & GTM mentoring towards first customer, Bridge Beyond Lockdown (>50 Lakhs) focussing on bridge funding for 1-3 year old startups and Corporate Angels (10-50 lakhs) comprising of Angel fund with market access, from corporate biz leaders.

Startups such as Mashinga (Voice AI assistant), Authbase (Cybersecurity), (Market Intelligence), Sunfox (Matchbox-size ECG device), FashionDx (AI style recommendations), (Document intelligence bot), Apxor (Product Intelligence platform), Paymatrix (Short-term Credit for Individuals &Businesses), Stack Finance (Social banking platform for Millennials) and Zaggle Media (Influencer marketing) were a few among the 40 who pitched. Covering diverse sectors & domains including Fintech, AgriTech, Edutech, Cybersecurity, Fashiontech, Retail Analytics, Gaming and Deeptech.

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The list of VCs included Blume, 100xVC, Inflexor, SRI Capital, Mantra Capital, IAN, Chennai Angels etc. and corporates like Intel, Accenture, Infosys, Vodafone, SPI Edge etc were a few among over 10 who attended the session.

The event led to a lot of follow on investment and business interest shown by the VCs and corporates. CIE@IIITH will also invest INR 5 lakhs in each startup selected after the final pitch, under each category.

UNPITCH is part of CIE@IIITH’s Resilience Unlocked Series with core focus on guiding startups during the current lockdown through virtual programs & talks.


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