25 startups receive pre-seed grants at Gujarat University

(The following news was announced by the Vice-Chancellor (I/c) of Gujarat University, Dr Himanshu Pandya, along with the selected startups in a formal media briefing at the Vice-Chancellor’s office on April 13, 2017.)

AHMEDABAD, APRIL 13, 2017: In March 2017, Gujarat University Startup and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC) initiated JumpStart, a pre-seed funding opportunity for startup and innovations, in association with Gujarat CSR Authority. More than 350 applications were received out of which 50 were shortlisted and invited for panel interviews at GUSEC during the last week of March. Expert panels involving industry and academic experts then selected a total of 25 startup and innovations for funding.

Under JumpStart, shortlisted startups and innovations shall receive Rs. 40,000 grant along with necessary infrastructural, mentorship and allied support to grow and advance their innovations and startups, and commercialise their ideas through Gujarat University.

Out of the selected 25 applicants, majority of the startups are incubated at GUSEC, where as some of the applicants are associated with Gujarat University. A few selected startups are outside the Gujarat University ecosystem and they also shall receive equal support and mentorship. Some of these startups include Episodic Labs, Luminati, Funkaar Gigs, Chemsol, CampusYaari, Lutalica, etc.

25 applicants who appeared for the interviews but were not selected for further funding have also been extended infrastructural, mentorship and allied support at Gujarat University Startup and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC).

JumpStart was conceptualised on GUSEC’s efforts last year in association with GCSRA when 12 startups were awarded Rs. 40,000 grant each. 10 of these 12 startups are currently at growth stage, and incubated with GUSEC.

GUSEC was established in November 2015 by the University to advance and support entrepreneurs and innovators in the university ecosystem, and the GUSEC Building – which houses a 80-seat startup support system – was operationalised in February 2016. Since then, GUSEC has supported over 43 startups, and 36 startups are currently incubated with GUSEC. GUSEC is run 100% by the funds and support of the University.

“Startups, young entrepreneurs and young innovators are the future of India, and the earlier they start and the earlier they get support, the better. Universities are going to play a key role in shaping up the startup and innovation ecosystem of India, and Gujarat University has been at the forefront of undertaking necessary measures in this respect. We have not only enabled a community-driven startup support system, but also finding ways to financially support them. Association with CSR Authority is one such measure,” said Dr Himanshu Pandya, the Vice-Chancellor (I/c) of Gujarat University.

“Rs. 40,000 may not sound like a lot, but in fact it can do wonders for many early-stage and young startups. Some startups may subsidise their legal incorporation costs, while some may use the funds to hire several interns for several months. JumpStart was carefully conceptualised on the successful implementation of the similar funding model last year, and we look forward to support more young entrepreneurs and innovators at GUSEC in the coming months,” said Rahul Bhagchandani, Acting CEO of GUSEC.

The broad goal of GUSEC is to empower and enable 1% of university graduates to become job creators in the next three years. The University also plans to establish decentralised startup support systems in affiliated colleges of Gujarat University.