Start-up ecosystem gets a boost with a strong IIM Calcutta Connection, via Clarion Call, a start-up contest

Start-up ecosystem of IIMC

IIM Calcutta is at the fore front of enabling the development of technology-based start-ups and the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem across the country, in myriad ways. IIM Calcutta (IIMC) runs various programs to develop entrepreneurship and innovation, IIMC alumni are playing stellar roles as start-up founders, investors, mentors, and IIMC is associated with or supports many institutions that work directly with the start-up ecosystem. One of the key institutions associated with IIM Calcutta in doing this is the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) which nurtures and supports entrepreneurship & innovation through its Business Incubation Services, Innovation Lab and the ecosystem development activity across the country. Among the slew of value-adding activities, IIMCIP has built a program management platform / Contest Portal, which it has effectively used to facilitate the management of over 50 start-up business contests and challenges so far.

Clarion Call 4.0 is the 4th edition of the start-up business contest that is organised by the IIM Calcutta Alumni Association, Mumbai Chapter (IIMCAA-M). This year, the contest was program managed, hosted and conducted by IIMCIP. The IIMCIP developed Contest Portal very efficiently facilitated the contest from application to evaluation stage. Clarion Call was a huge success that brought together the largest group start-ups, investors, incubators onto a single platform and unearthed many promising and deserving start-ups and connected them to investors and accelerators.

Salient Highlights –

More than 1000 start-ups applied to participate in Clarion Call 4.0, which was announced on March 4th, 2021. Applications closed on April 8th and almost 550 start-ups from the 1,000+ applications received, met the eligibility criteria. IIMCAA roped in PwC as a process and knowledge partner to evaluate and score these entries and bring them down to the Top 50 finalists. These Top 50 were evaluated via multiple rounds of pitching sessions by a 25-member Jury Panel that consisted of entrepreneurs, investors, industry leaders, and the Top 20 finalists were identified.

These Top 20 finalists have been connected to investors. IIMCAA onboarded the largest group of investors (venture funds, angel networks) for single event (15 partners) – IIM-CAN (IIMC Angel Network), FInD (initiative of Mumbai FinTech Hub of Govt. of Maharashtra, supported by PwC), Lead Angels, Indian Angel Network, Inflection Point Ventures, India Accelerator Angels, Java Capital, WEH Ventures, Point One, Eagle 10 Ventures, Speciale Invest, Arali Ventures, TiE Mumbai Angels, TiE India Angels, Dexter Angels. There are about half-a-dozen active investment conversations from this. Separately, IIMCIP has committed investments worth INR 1.5 Crores towards 3 identified start-ups from among the Top 20.        

8 of these Top20 start-ups competed in a grand virtual live event on May 1st, and a special Jury of 5 (Srikant Sastri - Chairman of the Board IIMCIP, Dr. Subhrangshu Sanyal – CEO IIMCIP, Prabir Chatterjee – Angel Investor & IIMCAA Office Bearer, Subrat Pani – Cofounder OneAssist & IIMCAA member, Sushanto Mitra – CEO Lead Angels) picked the Top 3 start-ups. The winner is – Homepecked eMarketplace Services (https://www.homepecked.in), the 1st runner-up is StoryMirror Infotech (https://storymirror.com/) and 2nd runner-up is Solus AI (https://www.solus.ai). These winners have won cash prizes worth INR Ten lakhs.

IIMCAA also put together an impressive list of Sponsors - Pepperfry, HDFC SmartUp, IIFL Wealth, Ozonetel, BSE, Castiko & RBL Bank - who supported the program and the start-ups. Enabling organizations like AWS, Freshworks, Arrka, HubSpot, Razorpay and Ozonetel provided credits and freebies worth over USD 650,000 to the Top50 start-ups.

Top 20 start-ups also have the access to the Clarion Call 4.0 accelerator/incubator partners – IIMCIP, IIT Bombay SINE, India Accelerator, Huddle, Sparklehood, Zone Startups of BSE, Airtel Startup Accelerator, HTIC IIT Madras. 

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