Home General How Kolkata Is Giving Space for the Individual to Become an Entrepreneur?

How Kolkata Is Giving Space for the Individual to Become an Entrepreneur?

by Olufisayo
Coworking in Kolkata

Once upon a time, risk-averse people in Kolkata preferred the security of jobs rather than setting up their own ventures. As a result, the enthusiastic entrepreneurs often left the city to set up their startups in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, etc.

However, over the last few years, Kolkata’s startup scene has changed drastically. With home-grown startups like Wow Momo and Sibia Analytics that have made it big, the ‘City of Joy’ is finally ready to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit. If you’ve been thinking of starting your entrepreneurial journey in Kolkata, here are some ways the city can help.

Government and private initiatives

With its Startup Bengal initiative, the West Bengal state government has forged partnerships with reputed academic and professional institutions like IIM Calcutta, IIT Kharagpur, IIEST, CSIR Labs, etc. The aim is to help startups at different stages namely the pre-idea stage, proof of concept stage, and pilot stage.

With its two verticals namely the Business IncubationUnit (for startup ventures and shared services) and Innovation Lab (for sponsored project offices and corporate knowledge centers), IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) aims to support the startup ecosystem along with nurturing and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Technology Business Incubator of IIEST (TCGTBI) is another initiative to promote tech innovation and entrepreneurship. If you need support or guidance to convert your technical ideas related to diverse disciplines of science and technology into commercially viable products, processes, and services that would benefit society, TCGTBI can help.

To support the city’s science and technology startups, IISER Kolkata has set up an entrepreneur cell and incubation centre in 2020. From fundraising and sponsorship to networking and outreach, tech support, and more, you’ll get them all here.

If you need to raise funds for your startup or a testbed for your Alpha or Beta projects, you can check out Neotec Hub. This incubator from the AmbujaNeotia Group offers a wide range of programs for startups focused on innovative technologies in the domains of real estate, education, hospitality, and healthcare.

Multiple funding sources

Startups looking for seed funding, virtual incubation, and startup resources could also take a look at Kolkata Ventures, which is an Indo-US partnership to promote entrepreneurship in India, in general, and Kolkata, in particular.

The non-profit, worldwide community of TiE Kolkata has also facilitated the city’s entrepreneurs via funding, incubating, mentoring, education, and networking. Other notable names among the city’s pool of startup investors are Augment Ventures and Calcutta Angels.

Ease of finding coworking spaces

When you explore coworking spaces in Kolkata, you’ll find many different plans (hot desks, dedicated desks, private cabins, meeting rooms, etc.) and pricing (hourly, daily, monthly, among others) to suit your needs.

As the city boasts of low operational costs, even a fully-equipped coworking space in a prominent location would cost a fraction of what you would have paid in other tier-1 cities.

Kolkata still has a long way to travel before it can compete with its more popular peers like Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru, to name a few. However, its startup scene is maturing fast with the emergence of several co-working spaces along with regular entrepreneur/VC meetings, startup events, and workshops and seminars. All these make this the right time to start your entrepreneurial journey in the city.

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1 comment

amit April 30, 2021 - 10:19 AM

Great post

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