Panaji, September 2021:
Goa continues to be an ideal place to work and live in according to the country’s top investors. The beautiful sunny state has much to offer for professionals and startups.
Tej Kapoor, Partner, RZ Capital explained how he has witnessed unicorn founders wanting to move to Goa. Several established companies like 91 Springboard for example have already made the shift to the coastal state. He said, “Goa can be the most preferred Start Up hub in the country. The cost of living is considerably lower in comparison to the metros, the quality of life is much better, and one is able to attain a sense of balance.”
“The state is setting up new infrastructure in terms of an airport and better road connectivity. The future seems bright in Goa,” he added, referring to the state’s push in upgrading infrastructure.
Anurag Agrawal, Partner at Aavishkaar Capital agreed but added that a key ingredient to be able to scale up and grow is availability of skilled talent. He said, “While the state is attractive to startups and venture capitalists, one needs access to talent. There is a severe skilled talent shortage across the globe. Goa has a well-developed education system. It has the potential to develop a talent pool of skilled professionals. For that Goa needs to make the state attractive to talent so that it can be a hub.”
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant when speaking at recently held Antha Prerna, a Startup Conclave and Entrepreneurship Summit hosted by the Startup Promotion Cell of Government of Goa in collaboration with AIC-GIM (Atal Incubation Centre- Goa Institute of Management) and Info Tech Corporation of Goa Limited had said that the state has a clear opportunity to emerge as a top start up hub in the country. “Goa is attractive not only to entrepreneurs, investors and innovators from Goa but also to those across the country and beyond. We invite those who want to make Goa their base and place for their business options. I assure you that we will make all efforts to make Goa the perfect ecosystem for startups.
Parixit Pai Fondekar, Founder of FIERCE Kitchens, India’s only culinary incubator articulated the potential the state has in the culinary industry. He said, Goa is a tourist hub. The state has a vast skilled workforce in the hospitality sector, many of whom are working beyond the state. Now is an opportunity for some of them to return and start a venture of their own. The pandemic also saw the emergence of foodpreneurs across verticals.”
Culinary as a business is not capital intensive, one can start off right from their own kitchens at home he explained. “With culinary, one can start simple. What’s key is innovation. I see immense potential in Goa. I forecast that the next 2 years will witness an even bigger boom in foodpreneurs. With AICGIM’s expertise and support FIERCE Kitchens is going to be mentoring some path breaking, innovative culinary ideas,” he added.
Mahavir Pratap Sharma, Former Chairman, TiE India Angels and RAIN (Rajasthan Angel Innovators Network), said that the state is moving in the right direction. He said, “The three pillars that you need for a start-up ecosystem to evolve and mature is Govt. support and policy which is in place, infrastructure which includes colleges, incubation centers and accelerator programs and the third is angel investors. Goa has all these three pillars in place.”
The Startup Conclave and Entrepreneurship Summit was hosted by the Startup Promotion Cell, Government of Goa in collaboration with AIC-GIM (Atal Incubation Centre- Goa Institute of Management) and Info Tech Corporation of Goa Limited. The summit was an effort to bring together the collective ecosystem of entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, startups, educationists, the government and policy makers to create synergies that will empower and facilitate a robust startup ecosystem in Goa.