Bhubaneswar:16/1/23; Startup Mela 2023, the maiden effort of Startup Odisha, aimed at orienting youth toward startups, innovation and entrepreneurship by showcasing Odisha’s Startup Ecosystem was inaugurated today by state MSME Minister Pratap Keshari Deb in the presence of MSME Principal Secretary Saswat Mishra and Executive Chairman of Startup Odisha Dr. Omkar Rai.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in a written statement said, “I am happy that Startup Odisha has been recognised by Government of India as Top Performer. Startup Mela is a great platform that will motivate our students, innovators and startups to demonstrate Odisha’s entrepreneurial zeal and will inspire the startup culture at the grassroots and institute levels. I wish the Startup Mela all success.”
In his keynote address, MSME Minister Deb said, “The mindset of the community should change. We want entrepreneurs in Odisha. We need to start manufacturing to compete at the national level. We cannot remain in a service state. The west is providing us with a huge opportunity in terms of manufacturing and we should make the best of that opportunity. The national average of conversion of the intent into grounding is 20%, however, our average conversion in the two previously held MIOs has been 32%, which is 12% more than the national average. Even if we can ground 30% of the last MIOs intent, we would be effectively creating more than 2.5 lakh jobs, with an additional revenue generation of around Rs 40,000 crore for the government and opportunities for around a lakh of people in Odisha.”
Delivering the opening comments, Dr. Rai said, “It is the vision of our honorable Chief Minister Patnaik for Odisha to be in the top three in the startup ecosystem of the country. Startup Mela 2023 is another step that we have taken to achieve that vision where students will be advised as to how to access the ecosystem and convert their ideas into products. We have also for the first time come up with the concept of Brand Ambassadors from carefully chosen academic institutions. We believe it is the student community that will bring about the next transformation in the State.”
Advising the student community on how to avail of startup incentives provided by the State government, the MSME Principal Secretary Mishra said, “There is a misconception among many youngsters that any new business initiative is a startup and qualifies for startup incentives of the Government. We need to understand that every new business is not a startup as understood by the Government of India or State governments.
Targeted at students of various institutes, B-Schools, and schools spread across the state, the inaugural day of the two-day Startup Mela 2023 also witnessed a host of interactive sessions for students and featured special sessions including a hackathon, roundtable discussion with incubators, student startup quiz, panel discussion with investors, master class on legal and intellectual property compliances and ‘Ask Subroto Bagchi’— a programme where Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA) Chairman Bagchi, a renowned business leader and entrepreneur, interacted with students and shared insights and mantras with young entrepreneurs and students.