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  • Wednesday, April, 2024| Today's Market | Current Time: 01:47:03
  • Bangalore: The one-day 100 Cube Start-up Conclave began at IIM Sambalpur with the inauguration of the I-Hub Foundation, the physical and virtual incubator by the Union Minister of Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Govt. of India, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan. Established under Section 8 as a registered company, I-Hub Foundation will play a pivotal role in nurturing and supporting innovative ventures across diverse sectors including textiles, arts & culture, agriculture, healthcare, financial & digital inclusivity, tribal entrepreneurship, and sustainability, among others.

    Spearheaded by the Ministry of Education, GoI, the 100 Cube conclave endeavors to establish 100 startups on its premises, each with an approximate valuation of INR 100 Crores by Odisha’s centennial celebration in 2036. The conclave witnessed the august gathering which consisted of Prof Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur; Prof Manoj Kumar Tiwari, Director IIM Mumbai; PM Prasad, MD, Coal India Ltd; Amrendu Prakash, CMD, Steel Authority Of India Ltd; Sanjiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Finserv; Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra, MD Parry Enterprises; Nagaraja Prakasam, Author & Angel Investor; Jayanti Mahapatra, CEO & Founder Manikstu (GOAT Bank); Nirmit Parikh, Founder Apna; and Avinash Punekar, CEO iCREATE, faculty members and students. The event also witnessed the signing of an MoU for the establishment of the Center of Management Education in Angul, Odisha, by IIM Mumbai and IIM Sambalpur.

    While addressing the audience, Shri Pradhan emphasized the significance of the 100 Cube start-up conclave and said, “Start-ups at the conclave are the wealth creators, jobs creators, and creators of economic opportunities for the bottom of society.” The Union Education Minister envisioned healthcare, textile, agriculture, mines, and minerals as the priority sectors for startups and said, “Education institutions like IIM Sambalpur are natural places for mentorship, given the talent pool of faculty.” He also stressed that there is no shortage of resources in the country today; however, the challenge lies in linking resources with new ideas. Incubation centers like I-Hub will facilitate this. Finally, he emphasized the need to monetize startup ideas, products, and projects.

    Sanjiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Finserv, said, “It’s a pleasure to be part of the 100-Cube Conclave, especially considering the ambition. This is an apt opportune time, given India’s status as the fastest-growing economy and its trajectory to become the third-largest economy globally. India is already the third-largest startup nation, with over one lakh eleven thousand startups registered with DPIIT, and there are 111 unicorns.” He further said, “The key is having an idea, identifying the market, building a strong team, and executing well. The opportunity provided by India and Odisha is unparalleled.  I believe in aiming for 100 startups by Odisha’s hundredth year 2036, let’s set an additional goal of having at least ten unicorns.”

    Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur, expressed immense pride in hosting the 100 Cube Start-up Conclave with a goal of creating 100 startups, each with a turnover of 100 crores, in the next ten years by Odisha’s centennial celebration in 2036 and said, “Our unique proposition focuses on promoting local art, culture, and intellectual industry in regions rich in mineral and mining resources. We aim to add value to these sectors. Moreover, we are working towards establishing Odisha as a hub for startups and entrepreneurs.”

    Prof Jaiswal also said, “At IIM Sambalpur, our vision is to nurture individuals with an entrepreneurial mindset, which is aligned with our core values of Innovation, Integrity, and Inclusivity. We are proud to announce that we are the first institute in the country with the highest gender diverse MBA classrooms, with over 60% female students in our first-year MBA program.”

    Earlier the conclave began with an informative Master Session on Branding & Scalability for Startups. Followed by an insightful Fireside Chat where Sanjiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Finserv, shared his experiences and insights into the world of entrepreneurship and business.

    PM Prasad, MD, CIL; Amrendu Prakash, CMD, SAIL; and Sanjiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Finserv, also shared their vision for the future of entrepreneurship in India. On the occasion, Sulochana, a master weaver, shared her inspiring journey and insights into traditional crafts and entrepreneurship. The inaugural session concluded with a vote of thanks by Prof Diwahar Nadar, Faculty, IIM Sambalpur.

    A video showcasing the 100 Cubes initiative and the I-Hub Foundation was also screened for the participants. The event also featured an exhibition showcasing 50 startups from Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Bargarh, and other districts of Odisha, allowing them to interact with VCs and angel investors.

    The conclave concluded with Startup Open Mic session which provided a platform for startups and students to voice their expectations from the ecosystem. The session emphasized on the needs of the startups to the institute and other stakeholders to take necessary action. The session was spearheaded by Sanjiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Finserv; Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra, MD Parry Enterprises; Nagaraja Prakasam, Author & Angel Investor; Jayanti Mahapatra, CEO & Founder Manikstu (Goat Bank); Nirmit Parikh, Founder Apna; and Avinash Punekar, CEO iCREATE.

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