Startup Odisha Successfully Hosted Startup Challenge

Startup Odisha Successfully Hosted Startup Challenge

A session on ‘Empowering Sustainable Food Entrepreneurship through Millets’ was organised by Startup Odisha as part of the International Millet Convention being organised by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment, Government of Odisha, at Janta Maidan, Bhubaneswar on 9th and 10th November 2023. The convention marks the celebration of International Year of Millets 2023.

The "Empowering Sustainable Food Entrepreneurship through Millets" session at the International Millet Convention aimed to advocate for the pivotal role of millets in sustainable food entrepreneurship. This session was designed to create awareness about millets' nutritional value, environmental benefits, and their potential to revolutionize the food industry. Dr. Omkar Rai, Executive Chairman, Startup Odisha, Session Chair set the tone of the discussion with a keynote address and a panel discussion featuring industry experts like Mr. Krishna Reddy, Co-Founder, Nourish You; Mr. Amit Vatsyayan, Partner, Business Consulting, Ernst&Young; and Mr Krishna Sri Sai, Program Manager, Nutrihub, ICAR IIMR, emphasized the significance of integrating millets into food entrepreneurship. 

Startup Odisha also conducted ‘Odisha Innovation Challenge (Millets)’ on the sidelines of International Millets Convention. This challenge served as a platform for recognized startups operating within the millet industry to pitch their transformative solutions and ideas. 41 notable startups participated in the challenge and after careful evaluation 10 shortlisted Startups pitched their ideas.  Out of which Munico Foods that works closely with local farmers, providing them with training on processing & value addition and handholding them for millet-based products like Ragi Papad, Multi Millet-based Chatua, Millet based energy bars, Millet based health drinks & meal replacement mixes, etc emerged as the winner of the competition, securing the 1st position, and receiving a prize money of 3 lakh.

AKM Technology (Grozip), a startup that works around post-harvest and value addition through market linkages claimed the 2nd position, earning a prize of 2 lakh, while Chocolaka, a startup that focuses on no artificial colour along with healthy and tasty chocolates using millet as its core ingredient secured the 3rd position with a prize money of 1 lakh.

Dr. Omkar Rai, Executive Chairman of Startup Odisha, said, ‘We've seen impressive growth in millet cultivation in Odisha, reflecting the state's strong commitment. Odisha’s startup ecosystem also has actively engaged in the millet industry and currently has about 68 startups working within this sector. These startups are not only contributing to the growth of millets but are also playing a vital role in supporting and adding value to our farmers and their livelihood needs, branding as well as driving product development. Entrepreneurship is poised to further empower this sector, enhancing its overall impact and potential for growth. Millets, known for their rapid growth, eco-friendliness, and minimal resource requirements, are key to a resilient and prosperous future. Our vision is a future where knowledge flows freely, startups flourish, and millets signify sustainable prosperity. We extend our gratitude to all stakeholders, urging a collective effort to champion entrepreneurship in the world of millets, where innovation and impact converge, and startups lead the way.’

During the session, several critical topics were discussed including the nutritional benefits of millets, their role in promoting sustainable agriculture, and the potential of millets to improve food security and support local farmers. Panellists also explored the challenges and opportunities in the millet industry, covering production, processing, packaging, and marketing aspects. They delved into innovative millet-based products and business models that can diversify the food market and enhance nutrition. The question-and-answer session or interaction between panellists and participants was an integral part of the discussion.

Participants had the opportunity to seek insights from the experts and clarify doubts on various aspects of millet entrepreneurship. This interactive segment allowed for a lively exchange of ideas, enabling attendees to gain a deeper understanding of how millets can empower sustainable food entrepreneurship. It also provided a platform for budding entrepreneurs to receive guidance and advice from experienced professionals in the field.

Related Stories

No stories found.