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IIT-Madras To Host 7th Edition Of Annual Fundraising Event To Back Early Stage Startups

IIT-Madras To Host 7th Edition Of Annual Fundraising Event To Back Early Stage Startups


– IIT-Madras will host a pitching event for early stage startups at its campus in Chennai on March 10

– The event will host masterclasses, conclaves, among others, to help early stage startup founders and aspiring entrepreneurs raise funding from INR 30 Cr investment pool and win INR 3 lakh cash prize

– Founded in 1998, the IIT-Madras E-Cell incubator has fostered more than 500 startups in the past 20 years

IIT-Madras is all set to host the seventh edition of its pan-India pitching event, Elevate, from March 8 to 10. The event will provide a platform for early-stage startups to exhibit their products, present pitches for funding, and engage with fellow entrepreneurs and potential investors.

Themed “Soaring Through Shifts”, the event will host several entrepreneurship festivals, including Youth Conclave, Innovator’s Conclave, Startup Conclave and Startup Essentials. 

Elevate is hosted by the E-Cell of IIT-Madras. Founded in 1998, the incubator has fostered more than 500 startups so far. It’s one of the largest student-run entrepreneurial bodies in India and has its footprint spread across more than 25 cities. 

“Elevate is not just an event, it’s a transformative experience that marks the beginning of a visionary journey for startups”, said an IIT-Madras spokesperson.  

The event has three curated rounds – the online round, the zonal round and the finale. Industry experts reviewed the applications for the event and the selected startups will now present their pitches to a panel of experts.

The finale, which will take place from March 8-10, will see the finalists pitching to venture capital firms at the E-Summit at the IIT Madras campus. Winners of Elevate will receive a cash prize of INR 3 Lakh, access to an investment pool of INR 30 Cr to raise funding and credits worth $5,000 (INR 4 Lakh) from AWS.

What To Expect From Elevate

The three-day event will see a total of 18,000 attendees, including 1,000 startups, 50+ speakers, 30+ investors and 60+ mentors. 

The event will be attended by the likes of Abhay Singhal, cofounder, InMobi Group; Tarun Katial, founder and CEO, coto; Deepit Purkayastha, cofounder, Inshorts; Himeesh Madaan, motivational speaker and performance coach; Shruti Seth, actor and entrepreneur; Saptarshi Prakash, director of design, Swiggy; Gunjan Taneja, founder, I’MWOW; Danish Aslam, director and entrepreneur, Arjun Vaidya, cofounder, V3 Ventures, Sameer Brij Verma, managing director, Nexus Venture Partners. 

The event will host programmes to cater to startups and founders at various stages of development. 

While the Youth Conclave will focus on unlocking the latent potential of budding entrepreneurs through competitions and networking opportunities, the Startup Conclave aims to accelerate the growth of startups by offering founders, investors and enthusiasts a platform to network, gain insights, and explore funding opportunities. 

Meanwhile, the Innovators Conclave aims to enrich participants’ thought processes by exposing them to diverse disciplines and nurturing solutions to engineering challenges and market opportunities.

Each conclave will hold events such as Startup Bootcamp – a six-week accelerator programme, Product Construct – a product management case study competition, Education-21 to cultivate entrepreneurial mindsets, and Unconference to test participants on real-time problem-solving and teamwork abilities. Additionally, the summit will provide a platform to connect startups directly with top-tier incubators across India.

The Elevate Impact

Some of the past success stories that illustrate Elevate’s impact include healthtech startup Anvayaa Kin Care, Hesa Technologies, and GRIDsentry. 

While Anvayaa has expanded to 38 cities and achieved a positive cash flow status, Hesa (2021 winner) now boasts a monthly revenue of INR 100 Cr. These achievements underscore Elevate’s role in catalysing growth, fostering adaptability, and guiding emerging ventures toward success.

IIT-Madras has been at the forefront of driving innovation in the country by contributing to the growth of the Indian startup ecosystem. In January 2024, it announced its aim to incubate 100 startups in 2024, with a focus on sectors such as sustainability, green energy, quantum, and mobility.

The institute plans to close FY24 with 366 patents. It incubated 351 deeptech startups by the end of 2023 and these startups had a combined valuation of INR 45,000 Cr ($5.4 Bn) based on external investor funding.

It is important to note that student-led entrepreneurship is vital as it harnesses the creativity and resourcefulness of young minds, fostering innovation and unique problem-solving approaches. Students, unburdened by traditional norms of having salaried jobs, take bold risks and bring fresh perspectives, making entrepreneurship an attractive career choice.

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