Digital Startup Pitch Night, incubator arm of Engage AI, on mission to help new-age startups

DSPN has taken a great initiative on behalf of local digital startups, but how strong is the Indian start-up ecosystem when it comes to facilitating expansion and growth?

In my humble opinion, the ecosystem is not correctly set up for the start-up community in India. In India, there is a misconception that the Start-up ecosystem consists of start-ups, investors and mentors. The ecosystem clearly misses out on a few of the main components: The Industry connection, branding and visibility for the start-ups. I think these two components play a significant role in driving success for start-ups and driving their growth and expansion.

If there is one aspect missing in the Indian startup space that you feel can make a difference, what would that be?

Indian start-ups are very focused on today’s challenges and issues. Rightly so, because that’s what is driving their immediate business goals. But this is very short-sighted. There is no long-term vision for two reasons: (a) the start-ups do not have the knowledge/vision to think about the future. (b) The start-up founders do not have the connection or the network to get any guidance on what does future look like for their business and industry. The so-called incubators/accelerators do not have the expertise in helping start-ups in this space. For E.g. they do not help them in building roadmaps, whether business, technology, and customer roadmap. You can ask any start-up and they will not have any idea. Support for their futuristic vision can make a huge difference to Indian start-ups.

Have you faced any challenges connecting startups with industry experts and investors?

Not at all… DSPN has a huge network of REAL industry experts. These are the industry leaders who have delivered value and made changes in their respective industries. Furthermore, these leaders are really interested in extending a helping hand to upcoming start-ups. From the investors’ point of view, there are many high-net-worth individuals who do not have visibility of innovative digital start-ups. Hence, they are not able to help start-ups. We were able to bring more than 120 industry leaders and investors to the DSPN event with a long waiting list. As you know the event was fully booked with more and more industry leaders and investors wanting to join the event.

Are you thinking of taking DSPN to Bengaluru considering the city is a major incubator for tech startups?

Absolutely, Bengaluru is definitely on the cards and we will be there before the end of this year.

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