Startup Odisha, an initiative of the MSME Department, Government of Odisha on Sep 8 announced the launch of Odisha Startup Yatra and Starup Express 2023, the newest edition of its flagship initiatives. The initiatives will be flagged off by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on 11th September. With a core focus on guiding and empowering young minds at the grassroot level in the realms of innovation and entrepreneurship, the initiatives seek to equip them for harnessing the ample opportunities within the startup ecosystem.
Through a series of engaging initiatives, including both Van Camps and Boot Camps for scouting innovative ideas, Startup Odisha will engage with educational institutions across the 30 districts in Odisha, involving 200+ colleges and 60+ schools thus impacting 25,000+ students. As part of these initiatives’ Startup Odisha will conduct 200+ van camps across colleges along with 60 van camps in various schools followed with more than 120 bootcamps generating over 3500+ ideas. The Odisha startup Yatra and Startup Xpress journey culminates with a grand finale in Bhubaneswar, where students can showcase their ideas and be awarded with cash prizes along with mentorship opportunities and legal guidance from Startup Odisha.
The upcoming edition of the Startup Yatra aims to further take this endeavour to greater heights where atleast 50 shortlisted ideas will be invited for a 3-day Acceleration programme. Thereafter, top 25 Ideas will be invited to O-Hub for the demo day out of which 10 will be awarded seed funding worth INR 3,00,000 each to develop their ideas into viable startup ventures. A dedicated Mobile Application has been developed to collect the innovative ideas from the young innovators.
Additionally, top 20 ideas from Startup Xpress 2023 will be invited for final pitching out of which 10 ideas will be awarded with cash prize of INR 10,000 each to encourage these young students and build their entrepreneurial spirit.
Dr. Omkar Rai, Executive Chairman of Startup Odisha said, “Odisha Startup Yatra and Startup Xpress 2023 marks a significant leap for Odisha’s startup ecosystem. With 1700+ startups, including 42% led by women, and supported by 27 incubators, Odisha thrives as an entrepreneurial hub. These initiatives will empower students by offering insights, idea pitching, and a pathway to the acceleration program. We aspire for this journey to enhance entrepreneurship, catalyse innovative breakthroughs, and unify the state on its path to becoming a transformative ideas hub.”
Saswat Mishra, Principal Secretary, MSME Department, Government of Odisha said, “Odisha Startup Yatra and Startup Xpress 2023 represents a pivotal moment for Odisha’s burgeoning startup landscape. It is set to empower our students, providing them with valuable insights, opportunities to pitch their ideas, and a clear pathway to help them build successful startups. the enthusiasm and eagerness of our youth to bring new ideas to life will exemplify the transformative power of entrepreneurship.”
Commenting on the importance of Startup Yatra 2023, Industries, MSME and Energy Minister, Pratap Keshari Deb said, “As Odisha marches towards its mission of 5000 Startups by 2025, Odisha Startup Yatra and Startup Xpress 2023 will be pivotal in bringing innovative ideas to the forefront. With a track record of nurturing innovation, fostering entrepreneurship, and providing robust support to women entrepreneurs, these initiatives stand as a transformative experience, poised to accelerate the startup ecosystem’s growth and success in the state.”
The past edition of Startup Odisha Yatra showcased remarkable achievements: spanning 30 districts, conducting 30 Bootcamps, hosting 114 Van camps, engaging 100+ colleges, which witnessed 1350 ideas and 10,270 students amongst which 22 top ideas were selected for the acceleration program culminating in the demo day where 11 finalists were awarded INR 1 lakh each.