Vibrant Gujarat Startup and Technology Summit 2018 kicks off in Gandhinagar

Gandhinagar: With theme-based pavilions, innovation zones for exhibition, focused topic sessions, workshops, and demonstration of disruptive technologies, Vibrant Gujarat Startup and Technology Summit kicked off today at The Exhibition Centre, Gandhinagar.

The three-day long event co-organized by Industrial Extension Bureau (iNDEXTb), Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) and GESIA IT Association from 11-13 October, is a forerunner to the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in January 2019.

With ‘Experience the Next’ as the theme this year, the summit throws light on the way IT will transform the way we live in the times to come. The summit focuses on technology as a catalyst to entrepreneurship and the exciting array of events and activities lined up for the first time is expected to rerate and redefine Gujarat as the Living Lab for the IT industry and also as a lucrative start-up hub.

Debjani Ghosh (President, NASSCOM), in her address said, “Entrepreneurship is in the DNA of Gujaratis, and it is from here that we expect entrepreneurs to tell the world how to do business. Gujarat has the ability to do really well in the IT industry; it just needs to take the initiative and leadership to become the hub for India to grow talent and skill needed for entrepreneurship in this sector”. She added, “Gujarat’s IT industry’s contribution to India’s economy is 1% and I really wish Gujarat takes up the challenge of escalating it to 10% because there’s tremendous potential here”.

Accepting the challenge, chief minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani, who was the chief guest on the occasion, in his keynote address said, “We positively accept the challenge put forth by Ms. Debjani Ghosh. The huge participation of youth in the summit is proof that they are all set to step into the world of innovation and technology. The Vibrant Gujarat Startup and Technology Summit is a great initiative that provides a platform to entrepreneurs to meet and interact with big names in the industry. With the government of Gujarat giving the IT sector the status of an industry and supporting startups through various plans, we expect many more to be launched in the near future”.

Speaking about the IT industry in India, J N Singh (IAS, Chief Secretary, Government of Gujarat) on the occasion said, “80% startups in India are concentrated in tier 1 cities but promising startups are now coming up in tier 2 cities, including Ahmedabad. We are extremely happy to share that we have received 1200 applications for the 3 crore challenge awards and the best part is that 2/3rd of the applications are from Gujarat”.

C P Gurnani (CEO & MD Tech Mahindra), in his address said, “While Gujarat contributes to 5% of India’s population, it contributes to 22% of India’s exports. We’re sure Gujarat will take a huge leap when it comes to startups on the basis of the buoyancy of Gujarat’s spirit.”

Other dignitaries present on the occasion were D Thara (IAS, Vice Chairman and MD, GIDC), Chad Hensler (Consul & Trade Commissioner at Consulate General of Canada, Mumbai), Ulrika Sundberg (Consul General of weden, Consulate of Sweden, Mumbai), Dr. J N Singh (IAS, Chief Secretary, Govt. of Gujarat), and Mr. Vivek Ogra (Chairman, GESIA IT Association) among many other prominent names.

An edifying Plenary – Technical Session was spearheaded by Prof. Anil Gupta (Founder Visiting faculty, Honey Bee Network, IIM Ahmedabad), Dr. Louis Longchamps (Research Scientist, Dept. of Agriculture & Agri-Food, Govt. of Canada), Mr. Ray Walia (CEO, launch Pad Academy, Visa Program for Canada) among others. The keynote addresses were given by Ms. Debjani Ghosh and Mr. C. P. Gurnani.

Another interesting session of the day was the Talk on ‘Agritech’ led by Shri Sanjay Prasad (IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Co-operation, Government of Gujarat), Prof Moni Mada Swamy (Former Director General, NIC), Mr. Mandar Mathre (Entrepreneur, Enlearning Skill Development Pvt Ltd Mumbai, Maharashtra), Sudarshan Suryavanshi (CEO, Indian Society of Agriculture Professional), and Ms. Manisha Sharma Kohli (Global Program Management Leader IoT, IBM) among others.

Shri Murali Talasila (Partner and Leader – Innovation and Startups, PwC India), Shri Harkesh Mittal (Head, NSTEDB, DST*), Kunal Upadhay (CIIE, Moderator), Ms. Vered Mivtzari (Israel), and Mr. Ray Walia (CEO, Launch Pad Academy, Visa Program for Canada) engaged in an entrancing Panel Discussion on ‘Building Blocks of Sustainable Startup Ecosystem’.

Grabbing eyeballs at the venue is the ‘Experience Zone’ set up by the organizers. Visitors can interact with Mitra, the robot who has thrilled some of the biggest leaders and celebrities around the world at the zone. Also worth experiencing are the Solar and Autonomous Tractors. The Electric Bike that’s on display here is also drawing attention along with the AR and VR.

Taking forward prime minister, Narendra Modi’s vision of Digital India to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy, the summit aims to generate new ideas, select business ideas, create new enterprises, and help these enterprises identify potential clients for kick-starting their business. Focusing on applied knowledge and thought leadership, the summit targets to educate one on how to build and grow a business from the start. The summit is bringing together all stakeholders and encouraging interactions adding up to exciting collaborations.

On Day 2, October 12, attendees can look forward to ‘Gujarat Start Up and Technology Summit 2018 Awards’. Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Nitin Patel will inaugurate the award function. The awards in 21 categories will be presented to enterprises that have made Gujarat proud of its ICT strength and innovation in technology. On the cards is also the ‘3 Crore Grand Challenge’ with 25 winners to be presented with awards in the ‘Idea stage’, 3 in the ‘Blooming stage’ and 4 in the ‘Scale-up stage’.

DeshGujarat

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