Takeaways from ET Soonicorns Summit 2023: Celebrating future unicorns, maritime startups, spacetech, deeptech and more
Amidst this backdrop of a burgeoning startup ecosystem, the Bengaluru edition of the ET Soonicorns Summit 2023, held on August 26, 2023, served as a confluence of visionary leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and stakeholders, all driven by the common goal of shaping India’s technological trajectory.
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ET Soonicorns Summit 2023: Bengaluru Edition – Watch Now
“India, today, has become the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem, with more than 98,000 DPIIT-registered startups that are building from India, for India and for the world… There’s no better time than today for startups, entrepreneurs and innovators – from across India and Digital Bharat – to rise up and build innovative solutions that can transform industries and make them future-ready,” said Sarbananda Sonowal, Hon’ble Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India at the recently concluded ET Soonicorns Summit 2023.
The ET Soonicorns Summit 2023 featured eminent thought leaders including Sarbananda Sonowal, Hon’ble Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India and Priyank Kharge, Minister for Information Technology (IT), Bio-Technology (BT), and Rural Development & Panchayat Raj, Government of Karnataka who shared insights on the state’s innovation role as the Keynote speakers.
Emphasising on the need for policy ‘reset’ to accommodate emerging technologies during his keynote address at the ET Soonicorns Summit, Priyank Kharge, also highlighted instances where lack of understanding led to bans on services like ride-sharing and excessive taxes on online gaming firms. “Sometimes just because the government does not understand the technology, we panic and we ban it; we say your business is illegal,” he said, adding: “We have a lot of examples, but a classic case is Ola, Uber and Rapido … They’ve often faced bans in different cities, just because we don’t fully understand ride sharing.”
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The Karnataka IT Minister also participated in an open house session where he engaged in a Q&A session with entrepreneurs, investors, and tech enthusiasts. He also took a query from Pepper – an AI powered robot and a special guest at the ET Soonicorns Summit 2023 from the Roboseum in Gujarat Science City.
The summit featured discussions on governance challenges, the benefits of going public, and the challenges of investing in deeptech and manufacturing startups. Additionally, Rajat Tandon, President of IVCA, offered perspectives on startup investments and venture capital’s impact, while Purushottam Kaushik, Head of Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution – India at the World Economic Forum, discussed technology-policy intersections. Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Aarin Capital and Manipal Global Education, shared valuable insights on investment strategies and the roadmap for building more resilient startups.
Read More: ET Soonicorns Summit 2023 Highlights: From insights on the great startup reset to the maritime spotlight track & more
Navigating new frontiers of growth: Spotlight on the Maritime Industry
The focal point of the summit lay in its ability to illuminate the emerging sunrise sectors that are poised to shape India’s technological evolution. The maritime startup sector emerged as a highlight, with the summit celebrating those pioneering the reinvention of the traditional shipping industry. A dedicated Maritime Track, graced by key stakeholders and the Hon’ble Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, painted a compelling picture of the future of maritime startups. Maritime startup founders like Capt. Dhruv Sawhney, Co-founder & CEO, ShipsKart; Johns T Mathai, Co-Founder & CEO, EyeRov and Pradhnesh Bhonsale, CEO & Director, Logstar provided a glimpse into their company’s audacious vision to revolutionise the maritime landscape and showcased their innovations and solutions to reinvent the shipping industry.
Thematic Report Launches:
The summit saw the release of two thematic report launches: one on the maritime startup sector and another on the Future Unicorns of Karnataka. These reports provided insights into emerging sectors and potential unicorns, shaping India’s startup landscape.
Tracks that Paved Pathways
The ET Soonicorns Summit 2023, further spanned across a diverse range of thematic tracks, each offering a comprehensive exploration of India’s startup ecosystem. The Unicorn Playbook track featured top unicorn founders such as Smita Deorah, Co-founder & Co-CEO, LEAD; Ankush Sachdeva, Co-founder & CEO, ShareChat; Amit Kumar Agarwal, Co-founder & CEO, NoBroker and Amrit Acharya, Co-founder & CEO, Zetwerk sharing invaluable industry insights on resilience, scaling, profitability and more.
The Soonicorn Spotlight track, on the other hand, showcased upcoming players like Vimal Kumar, Founder, JusPay & Builder of Namma Yatri app; Yamini Bhat, Co-founder and CEO, Vymo and Nishchay Ag, Co-Founder & CEO, Jar who are redefining the tech landscape.
The Digital India, Digital Bharat track saw Sanjeev Gupta, CEO, Karnataka Digital Economy Mission delve on why the future unicorns of India will emerge from Digital Bharat whereas the Scale 2.0 track delved into strategies for growth and impact, and the Future of AI track explored the innovation prospects within the realm of artificial intelligence including the boundless opportunities and potential that AI offers in shaping the future.
Diving into specialised domains, the summit ventured into the realms of deeptech and spacetech. While the deeptech track uncovered the untapped potential of deeptech startups and also deciphered the possible impact of the draft National Deeptech Policy, the Spacetech track harnessed the success of Chandrayaan 3 to illuminate the trajectory of India’s space tech sector, poised for unprecedented growth. Lastly, Anmol Garg, aka Corporate Baba, performed a closing standup act, adding a unique flavour to the ET Soonicorns Summit 2023.
Read More: ET Soonicorns Summit 2023: Open House with Karnataka IT Minister, report launches & spacetech, deeptech, AI startup spotlights
To conclude, the ET Soonicorns Summit 2023 offered a glimpse into the future, where resilience, growth, and innovation coalesce. With over 50+ distinguished speakers, 30+ unicorns and soonicorns, 25 sessions across 10 thematic tracks, two report launches, Open House with Karnataka IT Minister, Startup showcases, and more, the ET Soonicorns Summit 2023 was a testament to the power of ideas, collaboration, and a collective vision for India’s thriving startup-tech innovation economy.
With impactful keynotes, insightful panels, and engaging discussions, the summit set the stage for Indian startups to weather the storm and emerge stronger than ever before. As the tech-startup ecosystem grapples with challenges and embraces opportunities, the summit serves as a guiding light, steering the course towards a thriving entrepreneurial future.
The ET Soonicorns Summit 2023 had Persistent – Google Cloud as Co-presenting Partner; IndusInd Bank and Persistent – Google Maps as Associate Partners; Netradyne as Gold Partner, JLL as Real Estate Partner and Kimirica as Gifting Partner.
To know more about the ET Soonicorns Summit, visit the website and sign up to participate for the upcoming Delhi NCR edition of the ET Soonicorns Summit 2023.
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