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Huddle Global to Witness Largest-ever Investors’ Congregation

In Business
December 14, 2022

‘Huddle Global’, the two-day Startup conclave by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM)that brings together more than hundred venture capitalists and angel investors from across the globe this week, will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday.

The December 15-16 event at The Leela, Raviz Kovalam , Asia’s largest tech conclave, that seeks to open up plenty of opportunities for startups in the state, will begin at 10 a.m.

The Chief Minister will release the Kerala Startup Ecosystem Report 2022 that lists the 30 leading startups under KSUM and details out the various initiatives of KSUM which help in creating a better ecosystem for the startups and venture capitalists in the State.

Tamil Nadu IT Minister T Mano Thangaraj, Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeeve, Dr. K M Abraham, former Kerala Chief Secretary and V K Mathews, GTech Chairman, will attend the conference.

Key speakers at the two-day event include country representatives from Switzerland and Austria – Jonas Brunschwig, CEO and Consul General at Swissnex in India, Consulate General of Switzerland and Hans-Joerg Hoertnagl, Commercial Counsellor and Trade Commissioner, Austrian Embassy respectively and leading investors – Vishesh Rajaram, Ram Kartha, Edwin John, P K Gopalakrishnan, Anil Joshi, Deepika Jain, Anup Jain, Aviral Bhatnagar, Rajesh Sawhney, Niyaz Laiq, Neera Inamdar and Tej Kapoor.

Addressing a press conference here today, KSUM CEO Anoop Ambika said more than 3,000participants seeking business, investment and partnership opportunities, will attend this third physical edition of ‘Huddle Global’, billed as India’s biggest networking platform for entrepreneurs.

The winner of the ‘Grand Kerala Startup Challenge’, a key highlight of the event, will get Rs 50 lakh as prize. The challenge is open to startups registered with KSUM.

Also, a Round-table discussion focusing on promoting socially relevant startups will be organized on Dec 15 by KSUM as part of the event.

“The Roundtable will discuss ways and means to create and nurture an enabling ecosystem in Kerala for startups that focus on issues of social relevance. The roundtable will deliberate on developing policies for the development and sustenance of social startups and will help put together a roadmap for creating such social startups in Kerala”, Anoop said.

The Round table is being organized in partnership with the Bengaluru based Faizal and Shabana Foundation and the India-based Yunus Social Fund formed under the patronage of Nobel winner Muhammad Yunus.

Kudumbashree, the Kerala Government’s poverty alleviation program, social enterprises and self-help groups, representatives from social startups, NGOs, heads of research institutions and academia will take part in the Roundtable.

“The Roundtable will also discuss topics ranging from the potential of marketing Kerala’s indigenous products to a global audience, challenges that social startups presently face and possible solutions to such problems. This Roundtable will act as a preliminary exercise for the conceptualization of a Social Startup Policy for Kerala”, Anoop said.

The event will offer immense opportunities for the startups to pitch their ideas and products before industry leaders and investors looking for homegrown technologies and willing to provide financial and institutional back-up for nascent firms to take off and scale up.

“What KSUM is aiming at through such programs is to build an ecosystem that enables entrepreneurs from even rural areas to convert their ideas into technology-based ventures,”he added.

For startups, the conclave will feature sessions such as ‘Pitch It Right’, ‘Tigers Claw’, ‘Marketing Madness’, ‘Close the Deal’, ‘Meet the Game Changer’ and ‘Super Coders’.

The meetwill bring immense opportunities for startups to get mentoring from industry leaders with an in-depth understanding of various aspects of products, services, design, marketing strategies, capital structuring, fund-raising and business development.

‘Huddle Global’ will bring together globally-known startup founders, mentors, investors, industry leaders and heads of government departments to deliberate on a range of issues relating to the startup ecosystem, with a global perspective. The meet will primarily look into the scope of entrepreneurial opportunities across the world and explore the availability of financial and technical backing for startups to accelerate their growth and reach.

“Besides the already registered 800 startups, the meet will also see the participation of the government department heads whose organisations have directly procured the products of startups as part of ‘Government as a Marketplace’, a key KSUM scheme”, he said.

The event features keynote sessions, leadership talks, tech talks, startup demo, fireside chat, speed dating with investors, industry challenges, startup pitching and other business and investment-oriented activities. It will have the presence of more than 3,000 startups, around 200 mentors, 70-plus investors and more than 50 exhibitors.

The focus sectors at the conclave are Augmented Reality (AR) /Virtual Reality (VR), Fintech, Edutech, life sciences, space tech, health tech, Blockchain, IoT (internet of things), e-governance and Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML).The first day of the meet will see 100 startups pitching ideas.

Other speakers are Dr Aniruddha Malpani, Founder, Malpani Ventures; Anish Achuthan, Co-founder, Open Financial Technologies; Abhay Tandon, Head-Digital and AI Innovation, TVS; Prateek Maheshwari, Co-Founder, PhysicsWallah; Niraj Singh, Founder and CEO, Spinny; Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures; MurugavelJanakiraman, Founder, Matrimony.com; Anoop N, Principal, Investments, Chiratae Ventures; AvetaThampatty, Digital Marketing Manager, NeoLacta Life Sciences; Sruthi Kannan, Head, Cisco Launchpad; Mathew Joseph, COO, Fresh To Home; CJ George, Founder and Managing Director, Geojit Financial Services; Arjun Vaidya, Co-founder, V3 Ventures; Chetna Vasishth, Head of Content Marketing, Byju’s; Dr Vaibhav Kapoor (Pristyn Care); Vasanth Sreedhar (OffBusiness); Arjun Mohan, CEO, Upgrad India;and Kuppulakshmi Krishnamoorthy, Global Head, Zoho for Startups, Zoho Corp.

KSUM, the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state, has been organising ‘Huddle Kerala’ since 2018. The previous editions saw the country-wide participation of more than 5,000 startups, besides investors, government officials, the academia and business community.

Also present at the press meet, were Ashok Kurian Panjikaran, Business Development Head, KSUM and Ashitha V.A, Assistant Manager (PR), KSUM.