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Payment gateway firm PayU, CIIE-Ahmedabad, and 50K Ventures are coming together to create an entrepreneurial eco-system to make small and medium entrepreneurs use online payment systems, get more women entrepreneurs to use the online platform and give access to mentorship.
Smartup Master Classes have been held at Chennai, Hyderabad and Coimbatore and the programme has interacted with close to 700 startups. These startups have a turnover range from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore.
"Our efforts at creating a sustainable start up ecosystem that helps its component parts to grow and develop have been very well received, and we look to build upon its success to boost the Indian economy. We will soon be organising classes in Kolkata, Indore, Goa, Ludhiana and Ahmedabad. With India Growth Drivers initiative, our aim is to create largest growth ecosystem for these companies," said Paritosh Sharma, head - Channel Partner Business, PayU India.
Recently, PayU conducted a startup programme in Pune that saw over 150 startups coming together. According to Sharma, around 70 per cent of the start up companies are looking for e-commerce platform, 25 per cent for service industry and 5 per cent are women entrepreneurs.
On the other hand, 50K Ventures is relying more on Startup Master Class workshops so that it can help them connect for financial requirements. It brings together accredited investors, high net worth individuals and mentors under 50K Network, to seed, nurture and accelerate early-stage start-ups, besides guiding them in securing the next round of funding.
50K Ventures has so far invested in two Hyderabad-based start-ups - Violet Street, a social fashion discovery portal, and Zify, a carpooling service that connect car owners with passengers travelling in the same direction. It is primarily looking at startups in the consumer Internet space, and ideally plans to invest $50,000 (around Rs 32 lakh), with the upper limit being $200,000 (Rs 1.26 crore), in each firm.
Sanjay Enishetty, co-founder & managing partner 50K Ventures said, "We had already invested in the range of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh in six start up companies and three more companies are in the pipeline.
We are looking for the start ups who mainly have a product, a novel concept, looking for funding and who already have raised some funds."
Enishetty feels that many of the startups are self funded but they lack on mentorship and looking for proper guidance. "With highly skilled people, these companies have limited exposure to business expansion. Few of them never ask for money but want to add value to their services," he added.
One such instance is Bangalore-based Twikster which is an e-commerce enablement platform for SMB's in India, and which was mentored by PayU. Now PayU and Twikster have developed a co-branded product called Twikster WIN that is specially targeted towards women entrepreneurs.
It allows retailers to get started with their e-commerce story with a Forever-Free e-store on an easy to use, do it yourself framework. From here, store owners can purchase other features and services as and when their pocket allows or their business demands.
"These women really need a push and support to sell their products. Most of them are into creatives, artifacts makers and artists. We are creating an online store for them. It is exclusively marketed by PayU. The pricing is simple and transparent, with absolutely no monthly subscription fee and no forced pricing plans," said Namrata Soni, founder and CEO, Twikster.