Underscoring the significance of nurturing a collaborative and innovative environment for startups, Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, accompanied by senior officials from the Union Territory, visited Startup Odisha at O-hub on Friday.
The visit comes at a significant time as Startup Odisha has been actively engaged in creating a conducive ecosystem for startups, focusing on collaboration, innovation, and societal progress, a senior official said.
During the meeting, Dr. Omkar Rai, Executive Chairman, Startup Odisha, provided insight into the unique programs and best practices that have been fundamental to Startup Odisha's prominence in the national arena. Notably, he mentioned the significant 41% representation of women founders in the recognised startups under Startup Odisha's fold, portraying a move towards a balanced startup culture.
“It's our collective commitment at Startup Odisha to work towards creating a strong and robust foundation that promotes collaboration, innovation, and progress for our startup community and the broader society,” Dr. Rai said.
The occasion was also graced by Dr. Pankaj Chandra, Vice Chancellor, Ahmedabad University, whose presence accentuated the academic-industry collaboration, a symbiotic relationship pivotal for driving innovation and offering practical exposure for academia.
While speaking to the attendees, Manoj Sinha shared insights on the evolving startup ecosystem in Jammu and Kashmir, with a particular focus on growth in the agriculture and horticulture sectors.
He highlighted the Government's steadfast support to nurture the startup culture in J&K by establishing an enabling environment, reiterating the government's resolve to foster a supportive milieu for startups, aiding in their growth and significant contribution towards regional and national economic prosperity.
Dr. Rai also accompanied the Lieutenant Governor around O-hub, displaying the ongoing projects and the active startup culture within the campus, manifesting the proactive engagement and the conducive environment that Startup Odisha has been nurturing.
Expressing his appreciation, Dr. Rai said, “The visit by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha is a significant endorsement to our efforts. It's a reflection of collective resolve at Startup Odisha towards creating a conducive ecosystem that encourages collaboration, innovation, and broader societal progress.”
Odisha has been acknowledged as a ‘top performer' in the States' Startup Rankings framework by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Government of India.
The narrative of Odisha's growing entrepreneurial activity is further enriched by several initiatives launched in 2023. The Odisha Startup Yatra and Startup Express 2023, aimed at empowering grassroots youth to explore innovation and entrepreneurship, commenced on September 11 under the guidance of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
According to a senior official, these new initiatives plan to collaborate with educational institutions across 30 districts, engaging over 25,000 students. Moreover, the representation of Odisha startups at the Expand North Star 2023 event, and the ongoing Startup Xpress initiative that conducted over 30 bootcamps across 19 districts in the previous year, underscore the state's commitment to nurturing innovation and fostering a dynamic startup ecosystem.
In 2023, Startup Xpress has set forth ambitious goals to inculcate the values of innovation and entrepreneurship among high school students across all 30 districts, involving more than 60 schools.
Dr. Omkar Rai said that the Odisha Startup Yatra and Startup Xpress 2023 signify a major stride for Odisha's startup ecosystem, now encompassing over 1700 startups.
“These initiatives are part of a broader effort to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth in the region, contributing significantly to the national startup ecosystem,” he said.