StartupTN, the State Nodal Agency for Startup and Innovation, functioning under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, is taking strides to make Tamil Nadu the preferred global Startup destination. As part of the sectoral initiatives, StartupTN launched the Blue Economy Forum and the Healthcare & Life Sciences Forum here on Wednesday.
The forums were launched by Tmt. Archana Patnaik, I.A.S., Secretary, MSME Department and Dr Velumani Arockiaswamy, creator of Thyrocare at the Anna Centenary Library here in the presence of Thiru. Sivarajah Ramanathan, Mission Director & CEO of StartupTN, Government officials, Entrepreneurs and other key stakeholders from the sectors.
Tmt. Archana Patnaik, I.A.S., in her speech expressed her happiness for Tamil Nadu securing the top position of ‘Best Performing’ state in the recently released States’ Startup Ranking. She said that StartupTN is working in a manner to help Startups to emerge from all parts of the State, breaking geographical barriers.
Sector-specific forums facilitate the connection between Startups and mentors, providing access to domain experts. These forums offer tailored support to Startups within their respective sectors, addressing their unique needs, she said.
Tamil Nadu has huge potential to be taped by entrepreneurs. If someone has a good business idea no one can stop them. The State government has rolled out all facilities to help and handhold Startups right from the nascent stages, she said.
She added that since Government itself is a major market place, the Startup to Government (S2G) scheme has been rolled out to procure products and services from Startups. The government is taking efforts to increase procurements from Startups under the scheme.
Thiru. Sivarajah Ramanathan, the MD and CEO of StartupTN, said that the organisation is initially concentrating on 30 sectors to ensure focussed approach. Each sector will have its dedicated forum, aiming to establish a distinct support system for Startups.
To create engagement and connect the relevant domain experts under one umbrella, stakeholders from different institutional structures have been onboarded on the forum. The forums will have focused sessions, collaborations, and networking by involving the different stakeholders of the sectors.
The “Blue Economy Forum and the Healthcare & Life Sciences Forum” are strategic platforms to bring together sectoral Startups, innovators, corporates, experts, industry bodies, aspirants, incubators, mentors, investors, Government departments and other stakeholders for focused collaborations to make Tamil Nadu a leader in this space. StartupTN would facilitate them, extend all possible avenues to support them and also keep track of their progress, Thiru. Sivarajah added.
Dr Velumani Arockiaswamy delivering chief guest address said that he feels happy to see the number of Startups increasing by leaps and bounds in the last two to three years in Tamil Nadu State because of the efforts of StartupTN.
In healthcare, early diagnosis and prevention of diseases are important aspects, since late detection would force people to spend a lot of money for the treatment. Startups should work on these aspects, he said.
He said that western countries are spending anywhere between 16%-17% of their GDP for the Health Sector, whereas in India the spending is only between 2%-3%. The ideal spending should be between 5% and 7% of the country’s GDP to create a healthy and happy society.
He encouraged entrepreneurs to think big in terms of establishing their business since a country like India has high potential for growth and scale up. Entrepreneurs can think about Startups centred around paediatric and geriatric care, which will be in high demand. He also urged entrepreneurs to embrace artificial intelligence since it has high potential to disrupt all the sectors sooner than later.
Dr. GSK Velu, Chairman of Trivitron group, in his address urged entrepreneurs to chase their passion and not money. When they follow their passion, money will come in automatically. He said innovations are happening even in villages of Tamil Nadu and felt happy that such innovations are getting noticed now. Entrepreneurs should not hesitate to take risks in order to achieve success in their journey, he said.
On this occasion, StartupTN also inked MoUs with Trivitron Group of Companies, and Sathyabama Institute of Science & Technology and Indian Angel Network to enable Corporate - Startup connects for mentoring, product validation, testing, Startup, and Incubation support. Coral, a dedicated incubation cohort for early stage Startups in Blue Economy with potential seed investments and a mobile application by Lemurian Ventures, to sell dry fish and value added products were launched through the hands of MSME Secretary. Lemurian Ventures is one of Tamil Nadu SC/SC Startup Fund beneficiaries.
Among the salient features of the launch were a roundtable discussion on ‘Future of Healthcare and Innovation’ and Panel Discussion on ‘Blue Entrepreneurs and their Fundraising Voyage’.
Mr. Rajamanohar of Aqauconnect and Dr. Sheela Rani, Director Research and Head - Sathyabama TBI and others were also present. The launch was followed by a networking session.