The road to startup success has always been a tough one, and many will tell you the risks involved in taking a new idea to market. 9 out of 10 startups fail to make it big, but this has never discouraged true innovators from taking the plunge in entrepreneurship. 2020 may not have been a great year, especially for startups, but the most challenging times often come with the best opportunities. We've seen many success stories globally where perseverance and innovation have greatly rewarded those who believed in their vision.
Innovation and entrepreneurship have been a core value at e-Zest, and we've always promoted these values within the industry. e-Zest was founded amid the 2000 DotCom Bubble, which had impacted global economies, with a vision to create job opportunities. We have always believed in the spirit of entrepreneurship and encourage out-of-the-box thinking. With our belief in these values, we have now for many years hosted the Startup Summit a platform, that brings together industry experts, startup founders, investors, and entrepreneurs to create a platform to brainstorm, collaborate, and accelerate startup growth.
#StartupSummit2020 was a 100% virtual event for entrepreneurs and startups to collaborate, brainstorm, and learn, hosted by e-Zest in partnership with Fresco Capital. The event was attended by expert panelists, bay-area investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs who have worked with startups to share their insights with fellow startups. The online event was seamlessly conducted online with participation from startups around the world. e-Zest's Chief Evangelist Girish Chandra and Stephen Forte, Managing Partner at Fresco Capital, played the moderator's role for the event.
#StartupSummit2020 started off with the session by keynote speaker Amey Mashelkar, who heads JioGenNext, an incubator by Reliance Industries to offer incredible opportunities for startups to benefit from collaboration with large enterprises. Amey spoke on the 'Five tenants for startups' working with corporate accelerators and innovation programs, touching upon what they should be focusing on to collaborate and succeed. Amey shares, "I was delighted to see the audience's interest in building startups. Entrepreneurs are the real change-makers and nation builders. As a part of my work, it is an honor to support their vision to build large companies from India."
Followed by a panel discussion with some of the bay-area investors who shared their perspectives on Indian startups and tips for startup owners when they approach investors for funding. Moderated by Stephen Forte, the expert panel featured Ludivine Noirel, Founder of Bridgestern, Rajiv Raghunandan, Managing Partner at Arali Ventures & seedX, and Sunitha Ramaswamy, President of LetsVenture. Stephen sums up the entire conversation as "The startup landscape is looking a lot different today than it was a few years ago. With institutions and investors open to innovation, we're seeing great opportunities for startups to leverage their ideas for achieving further growth. Localized startups will define the next growth in geographies like India, Asia, Latin America, and other emerging markets using digital for scaling their presence."
The final session was a discussion with some of India's featured startup Co-founders sharing their experiences, focusing on the crucial aspect of finding the right co-founders and team to help achieve the startup's vision. The Co-founder Panel featured Ashwini Kumar, General manager MPOWER Financing, Patanjali Somyaji, CTO at Capital Float, and Sumit Sinha, Co-founder & CEO at Phable. Each founder touched upon their growth story and gave insights to attendees on the journey of finding the right team and the critical role they play in ensuring the idea gets implemented in the market. As Patanjali Somyaji puts it, "Startup founders need to focus on finding the right set of people, those who are hungry to learn, believe in the startup's vision and are ready to work long hours to achieve the dream. Today, the stigma attached to entrepreneurship and startups has gone away, and we see several success stories of startups being founded right after college or set up by founders who are in the early stage of their careers. This is a great time for startups, and I believe there is much more to look forward to as this perception is carried forward."
The event saw startup founders/participants get answers to some of their most pressing concerns and was greatly appreciated by the audience, which consisted of mainly early-stage startup founders. With technology playing a more significant role in our lives in the new normal, we foresee many more opportunities and startup growth stories in the near future!