• 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), Etta.ai (Market Intelligence), Sunfox (Matchbox-size ECG device), FashionDx (AI style recommendations), Subtl.ai (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.

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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