Fund-raising is a key issue that plagues the scaling of startups in India. Finding the right investor who would also benefit from their idea through equity is quite a herculean task for an entrepreneur amidst rapidly growing competition. This year, Entrepreneur India held its 7th Annual Convention, bringing together innovative start-ups to present their ideas in front of the esteemed set of investors who could help them scale up their start-up.
The event that was held on July 18-19 saw as many as 11 cutting-edge start-up ideas pitting against each other, among which, four start-ups were short-listed to present their idea on day-two of the convention. Some prominent judges were Muthu Singaram, CEO, Founder VIBAZone, Madras HTIC Incubator; Saumyajit Guha, Principal, Jaarvis Accelerator; Anil Chhikara, Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor, CEO Marco Polo Ventures; Ashish Gupta, Founder, Benori Ventures LLP; Amit Mishra, Founder-ID8VC, Government Startup Advisor, Start-up TV Evangelist; Sumit Dhanuka, Founder & Managing Partner, Precog Innovation Partners & Venture Investment Advisor, SAR Group Family Office; Krishna Chokhani, Partner, Zone Start-ups India; Damnish Kumar, CEO & CoFounder, YoGems& Mentor Chair - Delhi Chapter- IIT Global Mentorship Program; Gagan Ghai, Managing Partner, Venture Catalysts; Vikas Choudaha, Head, Godrej Incubation Centre; Nitin Shakdher, Founder & CEO, Green Capital; Natasha Singh, Founder & CEO, Vajor.
The start-ups were from a broad spectrum of sectors, including education, FMCG, retail, consultancy, technology and finance. One of the prominent investors, Nitin Shakdher said, “Level of entrepreneurship has really gone up and higher in India at present, specifically in terms of different industries that entrepreneurs want to look at.”
Some of the most innovative participants were Teaser, Groctaurant Food and Elogi. During the session, the founders were given three minutes to pitch their ideas to grab the rare opportunity of convincing the investors to fund them. The meticulous pitching came to an end when the Editor-in-Chief of Entrepreneur India, Ritu Marya, announced the winner as UClean.
ABOUT THE WINNER
A CLEAN VICTORY : Among the diverse range of start-ups, UClean captured the eyes and interest of our the investors. As the name indicates, UClean is building India’s first organized chain of laundromats (laundry stores) focused on encouraging the DIY (Do It Yourself) culture.
Talking about the Start-up Kick-off session, Arunabh Sinha, founder of UClean, said, “We’re building UClean as a hyperlocal concept where each store exclusively caters to the neighbourhood in and around the store. Entrepreneur India provided us with the perfect platform as we got the opportunity to interact with several aspiring entrepreneurs who loved the idea of UClean.”
Arunabh is optimistic about his start-up which will help people do their own laundry in the way they want, using technology and franchising as its backbone. All the UClean stores are exclusively powered by Alliance laundry system – USA- world’s largest manufacturer of commercial laundry systems.
(This article was first published in the August issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)