New Delhi, 30th September 2019: The fourth edition of Lufthansa Start-up Expo, India’s largest ecosystem of start-up success, drew a power-packed gathering of 100 top investors, 500 experts, mentors and industry stalwarts, and thousands of young entrepreneurs among 15,000 plus participants at Epicentre, Gurugram today.
Powered by Lufthansa and TiE Delhi-NCR, the Expo focused sharply on funding this year and facilitated over 2000 investor meetings at the one day event. It also held expert sessions that helped entrepreneurs gain a deeper understanding of the fundraising process in addition to invaluable mentoring, partnership, business networking, and knowledge-sharing opportunities.
The Expo, witnessed widespread participation and support of key government institutions, including the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), StartupIndia as well as start-up programs of the State governments of Odisha, Haryana and Jharkhand.
Among the highlights of Lufthansa Start-up Expo 4 was the Grand Finale of the Elevator Pitch Contest, which saw Nancy Bhasin of This for That unanimously selected as the winner of an unprecedented Grand Prize, including direct access to investors at the offices of Indian Angel Network, a dedicated mentor for six months, a seat on the Cambridge Ignite global entrepreneurship program, a Lufthansa Business Class Ticket to Europe and complimentary membership of TiE Delhi-NCR. The contest, which drew as many as 1000 contestants, was judged by business experts over multiple-stages, and the Grand Finale featured live pitches by the top 3 ventures before a distinguished audience and an eminent jury panel, including Ramesh Abhishek (Former DPIIT Secretary), Padma Shri Dr Saurabh Srivastava (Chairman Emeritus TiE Delhi-NCR), Rajan Anandan (President TiE Delhi-NCR), George Ettiyil (Senior Director South Asia Lufthansa Group), and Alok Mittal (Board Member TiE Delhi-NCR).
The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Hon’ble Secretary DPIIT. The eventful day also featured insightful addresses by prominent industry leaders including Alain Chisari (Vice President Sales Asia & Pacific – Lufthansa Group Airlines), Rajan Anandan (President TiE Delhi-NCR) and Geetika Dayal (Executive Director – TiE Delhi-NCR) among others, highlighting the significance of collaborative ecosystems like the Start-up Expo.
Speaking on the occasion, George Ettiyil, Senior Director Sales South Asia – Lufthansa Group Airlines, said, “As the 3rd largest start-up universe in the world, start-ups are a key driving force of business in India. Our commitment to enabling their success by bringing together the collaborative power of new India is an extension of our long-standing partnership with Indian business. As a global brand, we understand how important nurturing this spirit of entrepreneurship is to the long-term growth of the business ecosystem. We have been associated with the Indian start-up landscape since before ‘start-up’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ became buzzwords and have further underlined our commitment with a unique, high-visibility and growth-oriented platform such as Start-up Expo.”
“We have been associated with the Expo as a co-creator and host since the beginning and are thrilled to have enabled more growth and business opportunities for promising Indian ventures. We aim to build on the impressive reception that we have received for the latest event and come back stronger next year to add more value to the Indian start-up ecosystem,” he added.
This year, Lufthansa Start-up Expo brought together over 500 mentors, over 100 partners and 100 investors. The event was also attended by 375 start-up exhibitors.
Geetika Dayal, Executive Director – TiE Delhi-NCR, said, ““Start-up Expo is a unique growth opportunity for Indian ventures. It is the fulfilment of TiE’s mission of fostering and nurturing the startup ecosystem. Its impact and scope are unparalleled. Nowhere else do so many industry stakeholders interact with high-potential start-ups in a captive and focused environment. We are proud of our partnership with Lufthansa in this most unique of events and are thankful to everyone who has supported and helped establish it as the largest ecosystem of start-up success in India.”
Lufthansa’s continued association with the Start-up Expo also marked an extension of its motto, #SayYesToTheWorld, and underlined its commitment to enabling newer perspectives, adventures and possibilities. By building an entire ecosystem that new-age entrepreneurs need to grow, scale and achieve success, Lufthansa has been helping the business leaders of tomorrow access a whole world of new opportunities.
The brand highlighted this aspect of its association with the Indian start-up ecosystem by adding an “unconferencing” dimension to the Expo this year. It installed Travel-o-Scope, an interactive 360-degree digital installation, to inspire attendees to go places even as they took their businesses places. With 10 touchscreen kiosks with selfie cameras on the front and back of the central installation, Travel-o-Scope was a huge hit with visitors who lined up to highlight the emotions evoked by different places in the world. Many also participated in a fun contest giving them a chance to win a Lufthansa flight to a potentially life-changing place.