WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Global Entrepreneurship Network is excited to announce the opening of Startup Huddle in Chandigarh and Mohali, India, to help local entrepreneurs hone their pitch skills and discover solutions to the challenges they face.
Startup Huddle is a program designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs. As an experiential learning opportunity, the Startup Huddle format is consistent in each location: on a given morning, one or two early-stage startup founders give a six-minute presentation of their companies to a diverse audience of peers, mentors, educators and advisers. Each presentation is followed by a 20-minute question and answer session and feedback via an audience survey.
“A lack of awareness in society on opportunities at local and global levels is why Huddle is important for communities,” said Sumeer Walia, director at the Chitkara University Centre for Entrepreneurship in education and development, and organizer for Startup Huddle Chandigarh and Mohali. “Knowledge sharing is very important, technology knowledge sharing is important, and we believe cross-learning will come through such a networking event and collaborative environment will develop due to perpetual nature of Startup Huddle.”
The culture surrounding Startup Huddle is that of a supportive, neutral space, welcoming entrepreneurs to be open and honest about their businesses and the challenges they face. Each event is organized by local entrepreneurs and community builders who volunteer their time to secure a venue, vet and select presenters and publicize the event.
As opposed to a traditional “pitch” environment, Startup Huddle was not created to be critical of entrepreneurs, but rather for the presenters to learn from shared experiences and find ways to support one another as a community.
“In the growing entrepreneurship ecosystem of India, our tier-two towns and cities have a key role to play in economic development through innovations and new enterprises,” said Yatin Thakur, managing director of GEN India. “We are proud to have academic partners like Chitkara University and local ecosystem builders from Chandigarh region who have taken the lead in establishing Startup Huddles in Northern India. We are confident this will boost entrepreneurship and provide a huge support to aspiring entrepreneurs of the region.”
Startup Huddle is an educational experience for both the audience and the presenters. Presenters are given resources and support to prepare for their presentation and surveyed after their presentation to see what they’ve learned.
“Through Startup Huddle, we wish to increase awareness about GEN and its great mission,” said Walia. “We wish to collect more data of startups and be the key players in the ecosystem, as well as a role model for other chapters across India and eventually create a harmonious ecosystem for startups.”