The inaugural edition of the GCCI Startup & Corporate Bridge program took place on October 23, 2023, at the GCCI Hall in Panaji, Goa. The launch event featured esteemed guests, including Chief Guest Mr. Rohan Khaunte, the Honourable Minister for Tourism, IT, Printing & Stationery for the Government of Goa, and Guest of Honour Mr. Shrinivas Dempo, President of GCCI and Chairman of the Dempo Group of Companies.
One of the highlights of the event was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Information Technology, Electronics and Communications – Startup and IT Promotion Cell, and the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI). This MOU is aimed at fostering and supporting startups in Goa and was signed by Mr. P. Abhishek, IAS, the Director of the Department of Information Technology, Electronics and Communications for the Government of Goa, and Mr. Shrinivas Dempo, President of GCCI.
Mr. Rohan Khaunte emphasized that Goa is emerging as the creative hub of India. The youth of today are not merely job-seekers but are becoming job creators, fostering a culture of entrepreneurship, risk-taking, and resilience. The rise of startups in Goa is a testament to this. The Startup & Corporate Bridge program represents innovative, out-of-the-box thinking to promote this entrepreneurial spirit.
Mr. Shrinivas Dempo highlighted the collaborative nature of the event, demonstrating a win-win partnership among all stakeholders, including startups, corporations, the government, GCCI, and academia. The program brought together all key players in the startup ecosystem, ensuring a comprehensive and effective approach. Lalit Saraswat, Chairperson of GCCI’s Startups Innovation & Growth Taskforce and CEO of Sancoale Technologies, emphasized how such events will enhance the chances of success for startups and provide corporates with access to the latest industry trends.
Mr. Ralph de Sousa, Past-President of GCCI and Chairman of the de Souza Group of Hotels, underlined the importance of technology in various aspects of the hotel industry, from sustainability to prosperity. The industry panel included prominent hoteliers who shared their insights, and startups had the opportunity to pitch their innovative solutions. The event also featured one-to-one interactions between startups and hotels, providing startups with opportunities to discuss potential collaborations and receive trial orders. The event attracted a diverse audience, including founders, incubators, co-working spaces, academic institutions, and startup enthusiasts from Goa and beyond.
In summary, the event introduced carefully selected startups that can offer hotels access to innovation, talent, market insights, risk mitigation, and enhanced competitiveness. Startups gained valuable exposure to experienced hoteliers, mentorship, market validation, and increased credibility. The GCCI Startup & Corporate Bridge program received support from various organizations and will continue with periodic events across different sectors, fostering collaboration, innovation, and mutual growth, thereby contributing to a more vibrant, diversified, and resilient economy.
This event was made possible through the support of the Department of Information Technology, Electronics and Communications – Startup and IT Promotion Cell, GCCI, The Dempo Group, FiiRE – Forum for Innovation Incubation Research and Entrepreneurship, MeWo, Biznest, Goa State Innovation Council, BITS BioCyTIH Foundation, Atal Incubation Centre at Goa Institute of Management (AIC-GIM Foundation), Goa Carbon Limited, Sancoale Technologies, and the Headstart Network Foundation.