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India's startups will make a final determined push ahead of the Expo closure. But the Elevate sessions will continue to roll.

Dubai: Aim for an instant impact – and then start negotiations to seal the deal with prospective investors. This is the tactic multiple Indian startups are engaging at the ongoing ‘Elevate’ sessions.

Elevate started as a platform to showcase 500 startups from India over the course of five months at the Innovation Hub outside the India pavilion. The plan was to showcase two startups each a day to give them the exposure needed at the growth stage. As the startup interactions rose, the idea for connecting them to B2B investors evolved. Following this, pitching sessions were organised, where the Innovation Hub connected startups with potential investors.

“There will be lot of follow up discussion [after the sessions], but this is a great way to speed date with companies to get a quick introduction into what they’re doing,” said Mukund Hirani, General Partner at Empede Capital.

28 startups

from sectors such as FMCG, construction, energy and IT made their pitch at 19th edition of Elevate

“One of the most important things that have come out of this [pitching sessions] is that the innovation and the bounce to human ingenuity are accelerating at a very fast pace,” said Arshi Ayub Mohamed Zaveri, CEO at TrustWithTrade Group.

These ideas today are converging very well with funding and technical support.

- Arshi Ayub Mohamed Zaveri of TrustWithTrade Group

So far, more than 630 startups have made their pitch to over 140 investors. According to the pavilion spokesperson, one of the startups has finalised a deal and is now being evaluated with an investment of $20 million. He said there are a ‘good number’ of translations happening in terms of investments. “I am aware of around 18 of the serious conversations with the investors.”

With initiatives like Startup India, Make in India and Aatmnirbhar Bharat, India has shifted its focus to boost the startup ecosystem. As of February end, India is home to over 88 unicorns with a value of $295.99 billion. In 2021, 44 unicorns were created with a total value of $94.37 billion, while seven unicorns were born in 2022 with a total value of $9.12 billion.

The next pitching session will set stage for more than 100 startups, confirmed a senior official. “We are calling it the ‘Expo Finale’ – the India Innovation Hub and Elevate will continue.”