Maharashtra Startup Week 2019: Calling Startups Across India To Lend A Hand In Solving Socio-Economic Problems

Maharashtra State Innovative Startup Policy, aimed at Nurturing 10,000 startups by 2023. Dispensing a massive capital of $71.5Mn (INR 5,000 Cr) for startups by 2022. Setting up of at least 15 incubation centres for startups in the state. Generating 500K direct and indirect employment opportunities. Setting up of two world-class accelerators at Nagpur and Aurangabad. Setting up the Maharashtra Virtual Incubation Centre to provide value-added services including legal, financial, IP, cloud and mentor-ship to startups.


In step with the state government’s policy to foster an innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystem to achieve overall socio-economic development, the Maharashtra State Innovation Society (MSInS) — the nodal authority responsible for implementing the state startup policy — introduced the Maharashtra Startup Week in January, 2018.

Unlike other startup events, the Maharashtra Startup Week focuses on paving the path of Business-to-Government (B2G) collaborations with startups in the long term. The initiative identifies promising solutions developed by startups all over India and deploys them through the government machinery to address key socio-economic challenges faced by people of the state.

The first edition of Maharashtra Startup Week brought innovative startups in the state into the limelight. This made it possible for them to get government work orders, helping them achieve greater scale in business, for instance:

  • Sagar Defence, a Mumbai-based startup, received a work order from the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to help it remove trash from rivers with floating drones.
  • S4s Technologies, a Mumbai-based food preservation startup, is now working with the Zila Parishad of Aurangabad to provide solar conduction dryers to farmers, helping improve their incomes.
  • Floating Canvas, a Mumbai-based startup, is now designing the walls of Raj Bhavan (Governor’s Bungalow), Mumbai.
  • Urvi Agrotech, a Pune-based startup, has received government work orders from the Women and Child Development department and is providing hand tractors to women Self Help Groups for further renting to farmers and make a living.

Maharashtra Startup Week 2019: Things To Know

Maharashtra Startup Week is a bi-annual event. It accepts applications from startups across seven major sectors, namely:

  • Healthcare
  • Agriculture
  • Education and skilling
  • Governance
  • Fintech/financial inclusion
  • Mobility and infrastructure
  • Sustainability

Startups from other sectors are also welcome to apply in the ‘Miscellaneous’ category.

The MSInS is now inviting applications from startups for the second edition of the Maharashtra Startup Week 2019, a five-day programme to be held from January 28 to February 1 next year. The primary aim of this event is to create a platform for innovative startups to work with the state government and bring all startup ecosystem stakeholders under one roof.

The event is categorised into three primary sections as:

Call for Applications: The MSInS has issued a notification in the month of December, allowing startups a one-month window to submit their applications. Startups can submit their applications online.

Boot Camp: After the screening process, 100 startups will be selected for the Boot Camp and then the Startup Week. At the two-day Boot Camp, finalists are guided in fine-tuning their pitches to meet the expectations of the Maharashtra government.

Startup Week: A five-day event which begins on January 28. During the event, each startup will get 15 minutes for their presentation, followed by a question-answer session with the panel. These pitching sessions are complemented with workshops, panel discussions, and networking lunches.

A jury of over 80 eminent members of the startup ecosystem and government officials will screen the applications in the aforementioned three-stage selection process.


The Big Attractions At The Maharashtra Startup Week

  • The event will facilitate entrepreneurs to engage with more than 3,000 startups and 50 partners.
  • A grand opening and closing ceremony will be organised to mark the event, which will be attended by industry stalwarts and top government officials, along with partners and startups.
  • The top 100 startups also will get a chance to pitch to core panelists.
  • The agenda for Startup Week also includes an exhibition to enable selected startups to showcase their products to venture capitalists, customers, investors, and jury members.
  • Workshops and a speaker series will also be held to help startups gain knowledge from industry leaders.
  • The VC Mixer will help startups in gaining access to investors, pitch their strategies, and get traction from venture capitalists to earn funding.

Why Should Startups Apply?

  • The final list of 24 winning startups will be eligible to receive work orders from the MSInS of a maximum of $21.3K (INR 15 Lakhs) on behalf of various departments of the Maharashtra government.
  • The startups selected as winners other than the above-mentioned 24, in the overseas expansion pitch session, will get a chance to earn $21.3K (INR 15 Lakhs)  for their market development programmes.

Who Can Apply?

Startups from across in India can participate. Interested startups must have a minimum viable product and/or service and must be ready to demonstrate their proof of concept in front of the jury; idea-stage ventures will not be eligible.

The startups will be judged on various parameters such as:

  • Unique value proposition
  • Leadership teams
  • Social impact
  • Technology advantage
  • Sustainability and scalability

With the Maharashtra startup week having all the attractions for a pure win-win for startups, one will surely notice a beeline of applications from startups across the country for the upcoming mega event.

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