The Confederation of West Bengal Trade Association (CWBTA) hosted a funding pitch event on Thursday for 97 startups offering solutions to various sectors before 100-odd investors at the Bengal Global Trade Expo.
The event was organised in association with knowledge partner PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Freeflow, a startup incubator and accelerator company.
“In order to promote self-reliance in India, a unique activity of Pitch Battle among nearly 100 startups started today. In the activity, the startups will pitch their ideas and display the products to secure funding and partnerships,” CWBTA president Sushil Poddar told PTI.
“In the three-day event beginning today, it will bring together over 100 plus investment organisations, angel investors, and fund houses, providing a platform for select startups and 20 traditional businesses,” he said.
These startups are seeking investments in the range between USD 30,000 and USD 5 million.
The flagship trade body of West Bengal stated that they are working toward empowering small businesses through digitisation.
“India SME Forum (ISF) — a non-profit, non-governmental association is hosting a first-of-its-kind largest digitisation drive for potential 90 lakh retailers and sellers and MSME units in West Bengal. They have entered an MoU with CWBTA in this regard,” Poddar said.
This initiative, in collaboration with Forum for Internet Retailers, Sellers, and Traders (FIRST), is aimed at creating awareness and supporting small businesses from across India on the opportunities that will help them go digital and become self-reliant, he said.
“We are looking to have a healthy representation of our MSMEs from West Bengal in FIRST, which can help solve challenges being faced by them in the region. We believe solving the challenges of MSMEs in the state will help them leverage the state’s USD 7 billion e-commerce opportunity,” said India SME Forum President Vinod Kumar.
Meanwhile, speaking at the inauguration of Bengal Global Trade Expo 2023 on Wednesday, state Urban Development Minister and Mayor of Kolkata Firhad Hakim said, “The MSMEs in the state have created 1.36 crore jobs and the state offers land at 200 industrial parks for new projects. The state is emerging as a major logistics hub.”
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