With theme-based pavilions, innovation zones for exhibition, focused topic sessions, workshops, and demonstration of disruptive technologies, Vibrant Gujarat Startup and Technology Summit (VGST) concluded earlier this month at The Exhibition Centre, Gandhinagar, this time on a magnanimous scale. The three-day long event co-organized by Industrial Extension Bureau (iNDEXTb), Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) and GESIA IT Association from 11-13 October, can be considered as a forerunner to the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in January 2019.
With ‘Experience the Next’ as the theme this year, the summit throws light on how IT will transform the way we live in the times to come. The summit focuses on technology as a catalyst to entrepreneurship and the exciting array of events and activities lined up for the first time is expected to redefine Gujarat as the Living Lab for the IT industry and also as a lucrative start-up hub.
The summit was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri. Vijaybhai Rupani along with Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Vivek Ogra (Chairman, GESIA IT Association), C P Gurnani (CEO & MD Tech Mahindra), Debjani Ghosh (President, NASSCOM), Chad Hensler (Consul & Trade Commissioner at Consulate General of Canada, Mumbai), Ulrika Sundberg (Consul General of Sweden, Consulate of Sweden, Mumbai), and Dr. J N Singh (IAS, Chief Secretary, Govt. of Gujarat) among many other prominent names.
An edifying Plenary – Technical Session was spearheaded by Prof. Anil Gupta (Founder Visiting faculty, Honey Bee Network, IIM Ahmedabad), Dr. Louis Longchamps (Research Scientist, Dept. of Agriculture & Agri-Food, Govt. of Canada), Ray Walia (CEO, launch Pad Academy, Visa Program for Canada) among others. Another interesting session was the Talk on ‘Agritech’ led by Shri Sanjay Prasad (IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Co-operation, Government of Gujarat), Prof Moni Mada Swamy (Former Director General, NIC), Mandar Mathre (Entrepreneur, E-learning Skill Development Pvt Ltd Mumbai, Maharashtra), Sudarshan Suryavanshi (CEO, Indian Society of Agriculture Professional), and Manisha Sharma Kohli (Global Program Management Leader IoT, IBM) among others. Murali Talasila (Partner and Leader – Innovation and Startups, PwC India), Harkesh Mittal (Head, NSTEDB, DST), Kunal Upadhay (CIIE, Moderator), Vered Mivtzari (Israel), and Ray Walia (CEO, Launch Pad Academy, Visa Program for Canada) engaged in an entrancing Panel Discussion on ‘Building Blocks of Sustainable Startup Ecosystem’.
Grabbing eyeballs at the venue was the ‘Experience Zone’ set up by the organizers. Visitors can interact with Mitra, the robot who thrilled some of the biggest leaders and celebrities around the world at the zone. Also worth experiencing are the Solar and Autonomous Tractors. The Electric Bike also drew attention along with the AR and VR.
Taking forward PM Narendra Modi’s vision to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy, the summit aimed to generate new ideas, select business ideas, create new enterprises, and help these enterprises identify potential clients for kick-starting their business. Focusing on applied knowledge and thought leadership, the summit targeted to educate one on how to build and grow a business from the start. It also acted as a platform to bring together all stakeholders and encouraging interactions adding up to exciting collaborations.
The event also saw the ‘Gujarat Start Up and Technology Summit 2018 Awards’. Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Nitin Patel will inaugurate the award function. The awards in 21 categories were presented to enterprises that have made Gujarat proud of its ICT strength and innovation in technology. There were also sessions on the ‘3 Crore Grand Challenge’ with 25 winners presented with awards in the ‘Idea stage’, 3 in the ‘Blooming stage’ and 4 in the ‘Scale-up stage’.