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Women Startup Summit – Ecosystem For Women Entrepreneurs In India To Be Promoted

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The Women Startup Summit was held recently in Kochi and was hosted by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM,) in association with the Indian Women Network, under the Confederation of Indian Industries.  The summit brought together various women entrepreneurs and women leaders from different parts of India, who shared their experiences and stories with a crowd of students and aspiring entrepreneurs.

The main topic of the day long summit was to tackle the problems which restrict the women of Kerala from entering the field of entrepreneurship.  The topic was discussed by the speakers of the summit, which included Kerala State Planning Board member Dr. Mridul Eapen and Kerala IT Secretary M. Sivasankar.  Mr. Sivasankar listed the three main reasons which stop the women of the State from venturing into the business sector.

 

The first of the three reasons he stated was “social barriers,” such as girl students not being able to put in more study hours at their school or college because of strict hostel rules imposed for their safety.  The second reason cited by Sivasankar was the increased need for experienced woman with professional experience of 5 to 10 years heading “brown startups.” The third reason mentioned was the lack of women coordinators at the KSUM Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centres. 

 

Dr. Mridula Eapen said the lack of awareness among the women of Kerala about their potential may be a factor in less women opting for a career in the field of entrepreneurship.  She stated in her inaugural speech, “The proposals and points emerging in a meet like this will have their resonance in the policy making decisions of the board. The summit is definitely a strong step towards women empowerment.” 

 

The meet also hosted the “She Loves Tech 2019 Global Startup Competition,” with Dr. Nusrat Sanghamitra of CyCa OncoSolutions winning the competition.

 

Despite having a high literacy rate only few women from Kerala are willing to venture into the field of startup.  Kerala Government organized the Women Startup Summit in an effort to eliminate this problem and encourage the women of Kerala to participate more in the startup industry.

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Daily Basket Creates BBisabully Over Being Sued By Big Basket Over Usage Of Basket

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Big Basket is India’s first online shopping platform which revolutionised the way people bought groceries.  It is easy to spot Big Basket’s vehicles and delivery agents all dressed in bright green colours.  The ability to order quality vegetables and groceries and have them delivered at the doorstep was one of the main reasons why it shot to fame.  Since then online grocery shopping has become commonplace with the arrival of Dunzo, Amazon, Flipkart and many other small scale businesses.  

Big Basket found itself in a bit of news which it would have liked to avoid.  News about a small two man bootstrapped startup named Daily Basket being sent a cease and desist order by Big Basket began doing the rounds on social media platforms.  The whole issue began when Big Basket said Daily Basket was copying their app, user interface and their name.  Big Basket claimed they came across a filing named Daily Basket when checking the trademark registry and felt it was a combination of the registered trademarks bigbasket and bbdaily.  

The bootstrapped startup Daily Basket has no means to mount a legal battle against the six year old unicorn Big Basket.  So, Ramesh Vel, one of the founders of Daily Basket, began a website named BBisabully to call out Big Basket’ bullying.  The website gives a brief overview of Daily Basket which says they are an online grocery delivery platform based only in Coimbatore.  The Big Basket notice contains the following points according to Daily Basket:

  • Stop using the domain name dailybasket.com.
  • Discontinue the mobile apps.
  • Stop all the operations immediately.
  • Transfer our domain name dailybasket.com (Which is premium btw, and costs a little fortune) to them immediately with free of cost.
  • Pay their legal team of 2 lakh rupees to cover the legal notice.
  • Do not use a similar domain containing “basket” as a prominent feature ever again.

ALSO READ: Big Basket Founding Story And Its Recipe For Success

The website BBisabully also lists out reasons and visual evidence as to why Daily Basket is completely different from Big Basket and how the former is not copying the latter.  There are many brands in the market which have the word ‘basket’ in their names like Milk Basket and Nature’s Basket by Godrej.  If going by the logic of Big Basket that Daily Basket copied their name, then Nature’s Basket predates Big Basket by six years meaning Nature’s Basket could unleash the same claims on Big Basket.

 

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Funding

Carl Pei’s Nothing Invites Retail Investors 

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Carl Pei said the time came for him to leave OnePlus and focus on other interests, following which he resigned from OnePlus in October 2020.  Since then, Pei had been working on his new startup in the audio hardware sector.  Carl Pei unveiled the name of his startup which is now called as Nothing, on January 27th, 2021.  Since the unveiling of Nothing, Pei’s startup has attracted a lot of attention from Silicon Valley and venture capitalists.  

Carl Pei now seems to be emulating his success formula at OnePlus with his new startup Nothing.  OnePlus is highly customer centric, because as a company they take in inputs from their consumers and adapt them to their products.  Pei seems to be using the same strategy with Nothing, as he invited retail investors to invest in his new startup.  Normally a startup raises Series A funding to begin product development and then goes on to Series B and so on.  For a normal retail investor to invest in a stock, they could only do it at the time of an Initial Public Offering (IPO) at the time of which the company would be valued highly.  However, Carl Pei is letting in investors from the beginning.  

ALSO READ: Alphabet Invests In Carl Pei’s Startup Nothing

This lets the investors be a part of the product development process and makes Nothing more personalised.  Moreover the investors would also act as promoters for the products.  Currently, there are $ 1.5 million worth of shares available.  Users can invest a minimum of € 50 and a maximum of € 20,000.  However, the demand to invest is off the charts and was unexpected as Carl Pei confirmed there was an interest worth of $ 10 million from 8,700 users.

Nothing’s first wireless earphones will be unveiled in the summer of 2021.  Nothing aims to build an ecosystem of listening devices which talk to each other.  Initial investors of Nothing include the likes of Tony Fadell (Principal at Future Shape and the Inventor of the iPod,) Casey Neistat (YouTuber,) Kevin Lin (Co founder of Twitch,) Steve Huffman (CEO of Reddit,) Liam Casey (Founder and CEO, PCH,) Paddy Cosgrave (Founder of Web Summit,) Kunal Shah (CEO of CRED) and Josh Buckley (CEO of Product Hunt.)  Alphabet’s investment arm Google Ventures was the latest investor in Nothing as they invested $ 15 million.

 

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Funding

Startup India Seed Fund To Be Disbursed From April 1st

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There is no doubt India has a strong foothold in the startup ecosystem.  India currently ranks third in the world for the number of startups, next only to the United States of America and China.  This was possible due to the Indian Government’s initiatives to develop the startup ecosystem and also due to a strong presence of unicorn startups like PayTM, Zomato, Unacademy and many more.

The Government of India announced it would begin to disburse INR 945 crores seed capital from April 1st, 2021 under the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme in a  bid to boost the startup ecosystem in India.  These funds would be distributed through select incubator partners all over the country.  This scheme will be implemented by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT.) 

In a gazette notification, DPIIT announced that Startup India Seed Fund Scheme will provide financial assistance to startups that have been recognised by the DPIIT and incorporated not more than two years ago at the time of application.

ALSO READ: How The Events Industry Is Impacted By The COVID-19 Pandemic

The Startup India Seed Fund Scheme will have a common central application on the Startup India portal for startups on an ongoing basis.  An Experts Advisory Committee (EAC) will be formulated to oversee and monitor the overall execution of the scheme.  The EAC will evaluate and select the incubators for allotment of the seed funds and place measures for the efficient disbursement of funds.

The government also mentioned preference will be given to startups working in the areas of agriculture, education, food processing, healthcare, social impact, waste management, water management, financial inclusion, biotechnology, energy, mobility, defence, space, railways, textiles and oil and gas.

 

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