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*Entrepreneurship on the Rise – EAC’24 by EDC, St.Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Kolkata*

“Entrepreneurship is a journey, not a destination.”

The spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship soared high at St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Kolkata, as the Entrepreneurship Development Cell (EDC) hosted its flagship event, the Entrepreneurship Awareness Camp (EAC’24). Held from 2nd April to 5th April, EAC’24 served as a vibrant platform, bringing together aspiring and established entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and esteemed investors. The event catered to everyone, be it budding entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, students aspiring to be entrepreneurs, or seasoned startup enthusiasts aiming to grow. 

The Entrepreneurship Awareness camp is a one-of-a-kind event organized by college students where they aim to provide a platform for startups to connect to investors and mentors and also help them seek an opportunity to get funded. Through the past editions, The Cell has already connected more than 100 startups with 40 esteemed investors and mentors. Participating startups have not only been able to successfully raise funding from these investors but some of them have also gone on to appear on the television show Shark Tank India. Beyond financial success, the past editions of EAC have also offered a platform for college students to gain knowledge and inspiration from eminent personalities and industry leaders, fostering a vibrant environment conducive to entrepreneurial growth among students.


EAC 2024 was the 7th edition of the Cell’s flagship event. This year marked a significant shift, transitioning from a purely virtual format to a highly anticipated hybrid event. The offline setting facilitated face-to-face interactions, fostering stronger connections between startups, mentors, and investors. The energy in the room was palpable as participants actively engaged in investment rounds, mentoring sessions, and networking opportunities.

The opening day of EAC’24 saw online speaker sessions delivered by Mr. Ish Anand (GAA at EST FAB and Country Partner (India & UAE) at iCapital Ventures)on the topic: Nurturing the Startup Ecosystem Worldwide, and by Mrs. Tripti Shinghal Somani (Founder of Womennovator and The Economic Times 40 under 40 Awardee) on the topic: Women in Leadership. From shedding light on the crucial role of collaborative efforts and supportive infrastructure in fostering innovation to highlighting the importance of resilience, perseverance, and building a strong support network for women in business, the speaker sessions equipped participants with a comprehensive toolkit for entrepreneurial success. 

The next day, 9 participating startups namely Diagnoeasy Healthtech PL, Buzz, Yogitha Biofarming PL, RawRX, Joleys, Biogreen Projects PL, EZ The One App, Jutaji, and Dive in 2 Digital had the opportunity to gain one-on-one offline mentoring by a carefully curated group of 12 seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts who were Mr. Vivasawan Bhattacharya ( Startup Consultant, Mentor & Angel investor), Mr. Skannd Tyagi (Founder & CEO, Starshot Ventures), Ms. Ruby Ray (Founding Director & CEO, Food Lexicon Pvt. Ltd), Mr. Abhay Dubey (Head of Investment Readiness, Velocity1), Mr. Arindam Chakraborty (Founder and Director, business Unplugged), Mr. Prashant Sinha (Senior consultant Ernst and Young LLP), Mr. Ritwik Bhawsinghka (Partner, Spectre Corporate Finance), Mr. Anirban Basu (Co-Founder, Spectre Xorporate Finance), Mr. Rishav Sadhu (Founder and Director, Webingo), Mr. Mitesh Mehta (Founder and CEO, Knowbility Consultants LLP), Mr. Aminesh Goswami (Managing partner, Cofiance Mobility LLP) and Mr. Devansh Lakhani (Director, Lakhani Financial services). These conversations were extremely enlightening for the budding entrepreneurs as they gained invaluable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of their businesses. This was followed by an online speaker session by Mr. Akul Jindal ( Associate, Venture Highway) on the topic of how a founder can build and fund their business. This session highlighted the various ways in which an entrepreneur can raise funds from their business and most importantly what are the various sources of fundraising an entrepreneur should use considering the stage of their business.

The third day kicked off with an offline Investing Round where all the start-ups pitched to two panels comprising Highly Distinguished Investors seeking new promising ventures to support. The Investor Panel comprised of Mr. Raghav Kanodia (Partner, Anchor Group), Mr. Yash Dugar (CEO at Crealth Educare Co-founder at jai Capital), Mr. Aaquib Hussain (Founding Partner- Free Flow, Angel Investor), Mr. Avelo Roy (MD, Kolkata Ventures [Kolkata]), Mr. Shantanu Jain (Co-founder, ReadOn), Mr. Abhishek Ginodia (Director, Altius Investech), Mr. Udeept Kanodia (Angel Investor), Mr. Pratik Agarwal (Founding member & Angel Investor, BEE), Mr. Ayush Gupta (Co-Founder at Chaigram), Mr. Alkesh Agarwal (Founder & CEO, Re-feel Partner, Seeders VC) and Mr. Sujoy Datta (Managing Partner, sky Consultants). It was inspiring to watch startups pitch their dream with such clarity and passion in front of the panel. This session paved the way for strong connections and potential investment deals in the future for the startups.

The offline phase of EAC ‘24 was concluded with an enriching Networking Session which provided opportunities for Mentors, Investors, and Startups to forge networks that would accelerate their growth. This collaborative environment allowed participants to exchange ideas, explore potential partnerships, and gain valuable feedback on their ventures.

One of the present dignitaries, Mr. Shantanu Jain, the Founder of ReadOn, said,
“I have been to Varanasi and IIT Jamshedpur, and a lot of different colleges like BHU. The quality of startups that I saw today, and the kind of work these guys have done in terms of sourcing and evaluating these startups is phenomenal.” 

The last day of the event saw an enriching online panel discussion between esteemed and established Venture Capitalists which included Mr. Parag Dhol (General Partner at Athera Ventures), Mr. Ankit Agarwal (Managing Partner at Alteria Capital), and Mr. Rohit Bafna (Co-Founder & CEO at 888VC). Mr. Madanmohan Rao, Research Director at YourStory was the moderator of the event. The panelists shared their opinions on the future of entrepreneurship and venture capital investment in India. They also viewed the current Venture Capital landscape of the country. The panelists also shared their insights and knowledge with students on how they can build themselves as future venture capitalists of the nation. The curtains were drawn on EAC’24 after an insightful and intellectual session with Mr. Prashant Tandon, Co-Founder & CEO, of TATA 1MG who spoke on the necessity of innovation in a business citing examples from his journey in TATA 1MG. He also shared his opinion on current topics related to work-life balance, and the wave of student entrepreneurship in India.

The remark by Mr. Aaquib Hussain (Founding Partner of Free Flow and Angel Investor) about the event is proof enough of the tangible impact EAC strives to achieve in the startup ecosystem.

“Our portfolio consists of three startups in the last 4 years that have been introduced to us by EAC, which itself is proof that the cell is doing a great job!”

The event proved to be a huge success receiving well-deserved appreciation from the dignitaries present. EAC’24 succeeded in fulfilling its mission of connecting startups to investors and mentors and igniting the entrepreneurial wave in the city. The event also added a lot of value for students helping them to get a knowledge of what it takes to be an entrepreneur, the funding mechanism, and the essence of innovation in a business. EAC ‘24 stands as a solid cornerstone of the startup ecosystem in West Bengal and has been deemed as a pioneer in fostering the entrepreneurial spirit and accelerating the passion of aspiring entrepreneurs in Kolkata’s startup landscape. 

“It gives me great joy to see that St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata is also now a part of this ecosystem and is launching these initiatives.”, said Mr. Raghav Kanodia (Partner, Anchor Group)present in EAC’24, proving that the Entrepreneurship Development Cell at St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Kolkata believes in action, not just ideas!

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