India’s first Food and Agri-business Accelerator organized by CIIE in partnership NAARM and CIBA recently hosted investor demo-day for the eight finalist startups in its cohort at the Taj Imperial Club, Mumbai in a half-day event. S D Corporation was the demo-day partner of CIIE for this event.
The demo-day, which is a tradition at most CIIE accelerators and other accelerators in the country as well, is usually a high-intensity pitching session where cohort start-ups present their model to the investor community in a crisp, time-bound manner, followed by investor-startup interactions and match-making. At CIIE, however, the demo day is not merely an event. Each accelerator team provides diligent and dedicated support to the startups to refine their model and prepare for this test day.
CIIE’s Food and Agri-business accelerator was attended by close to 35 investor attendees, with prominent names being Temasek Holdings, Unilazer Ventures, IFC, SIDBI VC, USF, Omidyar Network, Contrarian Capital, Ankur Capital, and renowned angel networks such as India Angel Network, Mumbai Angels, Lead Angels, and I3N.
The cohort which presented to this scintillating investor cluster included Auxin Crop Consultants, which provide farm data analytics and advisory for farmers and agri stakeholders for better decision making, Kinetic Machines, which design versatile farm mechanization solutions using bio mimicking approach, Cheermap Foods, which makes a variety of authentic and tasteful Indian tea (Chai) available outside of homes in a convenient manner, Flybird Innovations, develops smart irrigation technologies for small farms to increase productivity, Inner Being Wellness, a food innovation company offers nutrifoods for healthier way of life, Innovation Agro, A hyper-local information platform for farmers to improve their yield and market their produce, Karna Candy, which develops innovative, natural and completely vegetarian range of candies tailored to Indian consumer taste/palette, and Living Greens Organics, the first urban farming company in India to make specialised rooftop organic farming solutions.
It is interesting to note that some of the individual angel investors were also present as mentors during the capacity building workshop of this accelerator that was held in Hyderabad a few months back. Most of them agreed that there had been a marked improvement in the startups’ pitch and overall business models. The startups also commended CIIE-NAARM team for its dedicated effort in instilling its experience and expertise in entrepreneurship in the cohort.
The pitching session was followed by extensive networking over lunch during which investors interested in one or more startups had a chance to know more about them and take the discussion forward. CIIE team will now be consolidating the rest of the match-making.
Up on the cards now is the announcement of the two startups who would receive the programme investment commitment of Rs 30 lakhs each. Stay tuned here for more!