Vineet Rai, Founder and Chairman, Aavishkaar Group wins Lifetime Achievement Award at the India Startup Fest 2023

In the Pic: Vineet Rai with all the winners

Mumbai 14th August: In a significant milestone Vineet Rai, Founder and Chairman, Aavishkaar Group won the Lifetime Achievement Award for ‘Excellence in Impact Investing’ at the India Startup Festival 2023 by Chief Guest, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan, the Founder of Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence in Sathya Sai Grama, Karnataka.

In the Pic: Vineet Rai presenting the Keynote at India Startup Festival 2023

Vineet also presented the Keynote Address at the inaugural session of the Festival where he spoke on the theme, “Innovation at the Bottom of the Pyramid” and shared insights around his pioneering journey, the need for enabling and empowering Rural Entrepreneurship and the significance of Rural India, a growing trillion-dollar economy.

More about the India Startup Festival 2023:

The India Startup Festival (ISF) 2023 recently concluded in Bengaluru. The ISF in its second year was a three day long event from August 10 to August 12 and it commenced on a high note with 30 investors pledging a total of 125 term sheets. The most promising startups among them were recognized with cash prizes at ISF 2023 and will receive mentorship from leaders within their respective sectors. These select startups were chosen from the Investor Connect Workshops held in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, the USA, and the UK.

The India Start-up Foundation, a non-profit organization aimed at fostering the growth and advancement of the Indian Start-Up ecosystem is organizing the event. The ISF Exhibition was inaugurated by the esteemed Chief Guest, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan, the Founder of Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence in Karnataka.

Some other eminent people present on the occasion include J A Chowdary, a pivotal figure in the Indian Tech Industry as Chairperson and Convenor of the India Startup Festival, alongside Dr. Siva Mahesh Tangutooru, Deenanath Harapanahalli, and Achyut Yerragangu, co-founders of the India Startup Foundation, and other dignitaries. The keynote addresses were presented by Prashanth Prakash, Chairman of Accel, and Vineet Rai, Founder of the Aavishkaar Group.

In the Pic: Vineet Rai with Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai at India Startup Festival 2023

The event was attended by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan, Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Priyank Kharge, Minister of Information Technology and BioTechnology, Karnataka, NS Boseraju, Minister of Minor Irrigation, Science & Technology Department of Karnataka as well.

Over 100 startups have been meticulously selected by the startup jury and they showcased their ideas to investors, including angel investors, Venture Capitalists (VCs), and High Net Worth Individuals (HNIs). The event is set to welcome over 10,000 startups hailing from nations such as India, the United Kingdom, Japan, and various other countries. The ISF 2023 conference aims at presenting an opportunity for founders of startup enterprises to engage with fellow entrepreneurs, notable figures within their respective industries, and potential financiers. ISF 2023 hopes to provide a platform for interaction, networking, and partnership among startups, governmental entities, industrial entities, and investors.

According to JA Chowdary, the Chairperson & Convener of the ISF, the festival is in line with significant endeavors of the Government of India (GOI) like Start-up India, Digital India, and Make-in-India. It aims to congregate over 10,000 start-ups, propelling their mission and contributing to the realization of an Atmanirbhar Bharat. The overarching vision is to re-envision the start-up landscape within India, emphasizing the creation of solutions to challenges at the grassroots level, he said.

The central objective involves fostering innovation and entrepreneurial activity in rural domains, thereby generating employment opportunities and motivating young individuals to creatively employ technology and knowledge in addressing real-world issues, Chowdary said. This endeavor seeks to stimulate growth and cultivate a sustainable ecosystem in rural areas, ultimately fortifying the foundational pillars of the Indian economy, he added.

Vineet Rai, Founder of Aavishkaar, underscored the significance of prioritizing sustainability and profitability over valuation for young startup proprietors. He highlighted the substantial contribution of the rural economy, constituting 50% of the overall Indian economy. Notably, rural India accommodates over 20 million non-farm-based enterprises, surpassing the count in urban areas, which stands at approximately 16 million enterprises, he said. The rural economy’s valuation approaches $1 trillion, surpassing that of numerous global economies, he noted, while also encouraging a shift in focus from current endeavors to potential gains.

Prashanth Prakash, Partner at Accel, talked about the maturation of India’s venture capital ecosystem and viewed the prevailing funding winter as an opportunity for companies to attain sustainable growth. Prakash said the “Bharat 2.0” segment is poised for substantial consumer market growth, with rural India contributing over $500 billion to consumption. Furthermore, within the top 30% of rural tier 2 and 3 segments, expenditures exceeding $10 billion across 12 categories, including food and non-food items, are anticipated, he said. A wave of innovative startups targeting and resolving challenges in this sector of India has emerged, he noted. He also spoke of emerging startups in the climate tech space.

India Startup Festival begins. 30 Investors commit 125 Term Sheets: To read the exclusive coverage in Times of India: Click Here