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#CatapoooltProductCzars: A Look at the “Silently Buzzing” Hardware Ecosystem of Ahmedabad

The Ahmedabad event was hosted in Start – N – Excel, a platform connecting startups to connect with mentors,investors,incubators and accelerators to provide equal opportunities to the budding startups as in tier 1 cities.

Catapooolt Product Czars in Partnership with Businessworld and Amazon Launchpad reached out to Gujarat’s largest city, Ahmedabad on 26th of March,2018 in hunt of innovation and to tap the startup ecosystem of the city. Product Czars commenced its journey of innovation via roadshows in Pan India from 4th Feb,2018. The India’s biggest product hunt conducted its roadshow in 4 different cities (IIT – Kharagpur , IIT – New Delhi, Start -N- Excel – Ahmedabad and KTIZ – Kochi) with 1000 applications received online and 100 screened and selected for pitching LIVE in different roadshows of the country. The Ahmedabad event was hosted in Start – N – Excel, a platform connecting startups to connect with mentors,investors,incubators and accelerators to provide equal opportunities to the budding startups as in tier 1 cities. 

Himanshu Chudasama, who is a StartUp Advisor, Mentor and Investor Founder at Start-n-Excel & StartUp Tech Center says, “Start-n-Excel was fortunate to have been the Venue Partner of the roadshow in Ahmedabad, wherein 35+ StartUps turned up for the event and of those 5 got selected to the final round. The Product Czar Roadshow is giving the much sought after visibility to the entrepreneurs and early adopters for their products. This is a unique format that is an encouraging step for building entrepreneurship skills. The event also gives the Startups a networking opportunity with the ecosystem players, mentors and product experts. I wish there were more such events, so as the budding entrepreneurs get encouragement and also showcase their products.”

The event was conducted with the active support of the city co – organiser e-chai who helped in connecting with potential startups and conducting the event effortlessly.

The event was graced with a keynote by Mr.Sunil Parekh who wears multiple hats as Gujarat Ecosystem Evangelist, Founder Member Gujarat State SLIC, Board member of several incubators here & abroad, Independent Director- GVFL. India's oldest venture fund, Strategic Advisor to Jubilant Group, Zydus Group, VP at Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Founding curator AGS, an initiative of World Economic Forum and Chairman - Ficci StartUp committee, on the topic “PRODUCT INNOVATION IN AHMEDABAD”.

Sunil Parekh, quotes “Product Czars is encouraging product based innovation and that is at the very   heart of Gujarat's manufacturing economy. Most laudable & visionary initiative by Catapooolt.”

The event was then followed by LIVE pitches by top 15 hardware startups of ahmedabad of which 

1.Torchit, a navigation device named "Saarthi" to guide Visually Impaired people by identifying the proximity of various obstacles around them 

2. 4PM Bar ,a nutrition bar that gives nutrition equivalent to a big bowl full of fruits and vegetables. 

3. Smart Home Automation System, a home automation system, where one can control the home appliances using simple GSM phone or TV remote. 

4. Mobi Health, an integrated electronic device that acts a personalised health assistant by giving your medicines and monitoring various diseases on time. 

5. Staffin, a smart tiffin that follows gravity and doesn’t allow the oil to spill. All this ideas were selected for round 2 via virtual Live crowdfunding by the audience.

The pitching was then followed by panel discussion on the topic “Possibilities, Potential and Promise of Product Innovation in India”.The panel consisted of Mr.Pavan Bakeri,who serves as Director at Bakeri Engineering & Infrastructure Limited. He has been associated with Ahmedabad University and actively invests in startups across the city through Ahmedabad Angel Network and Mr.Ruchit Surati who is the co-founder of Locanix which is a SAAS based logistics tech startups along with Mr.Jatin Chaudhary as the moderator in the panel,who is the co-founder & salesman at eChai Ventures, co-founder of Sweetly & Point10, he has been actively involved in the Gujarat startup ecosystem and is very much helpful to startups and young entrepreneurs.

Adding on to it, Jatin Chaudhary, also quoted  “It was great to to have Catapooolt Product Czars in Ahmedabad. It provided a great platform to many promising product startups from Gujarat to showcase their ventures & interact with mentors. The best thing I liked was the idea of helping the startups find the early adopters & customers with crowdfunding, which I believe is most important for any startup.”

The enthusiasm ,zeal and potential of the startup community in Hyderabad was unexpectedly empowering wherein   15 startups were selected to pitch Live after pre screening of 150 applicants and 5 innovative product startup were selected for round 2 of Catapooolt Product czars.

The response on the Ahmedabad event was overwhelming with startups working passionately and ready to welcome every opportunity irrespective of geographical barriers. The major take away from the event was that, “The Make in India” initiative, which  has become the largest and fastest growing government initiative across the country designed to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development is growing at a major pace in the country. 

The startups chosen from Ahmedabad will now be doing an online crowdfunding round-2, wherein they will be running online crowdfunding campaign on catapooolt under the guidance and supervision of crowdfunding experts, coaches, mentors and guides. This round will essentially witness top 50 product startups running an online crowdfunding campaign. Out of which top 15 who raise the maximum will then move to round 3 wherein they will be a part of GRAND FINALE and will pitch live in front of India’s leading investor panel. The idea behind round 2 will be to support market validation, PR buzz, marketing blitz and creating a pre-sales funnel even before the product is out in the market. 

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