It's no more Tech! Here's what will be the preferred choice for startups in 2016

Exiting a year where startups spread wings across various sectors ranging from e-commerce, hospitality to technology, the next year may see unexplored social impact sectors like healthcare and education become the preferred choice for budding entrepreneurs. Moreover, investors feel, much of the groundwork has been laid in 2015 for 2016 to become a watershed year for the emergence of a really strong startup ecosystem in India.

“We will have not only fresh entrepreneurs, but new innovation propositions in sectors like healthcare. Fintech startups is going to be very much part of the flavour. I also feel Agritech will start opening up which will bring valuable and high money into sectors that are extremely critical for India’s economy growth and development,” says Padmaja Ruparel, founder of Indian Angel Network.

Echoing her opinion, Saurabh Srivastava, co-founder at IAN and Nasscomm, says: “I see a lot of entrepreneurs creating solutions for what you would call the bottom half of the pyramid. In India, such ideas can also be economically very scalable because of the high poverty levels and the underlying opportunity there. Although we see entrepreneurship in many sectors, I think we will see lots happening in the social impact arena, medical devices that government has its focus on etc.”

Also, as the member of SEBI panel on startups and Indian Aspiration Fund, Saurabh tells us the keen interest with which government bodies are working for creating a favorable ecosystem for Indian entrepreneurs. “A big focus area in SEBI committee is on how do we accelerate the flow of capital to startups, how more domestic capital should flow into startups. SEBI, Niti Aayog and several other wings are working on such areas and there is an amazing degree of openness and wish to support,” he says.

Meanwhile, it seems the angel investor community is also expanding in India along with the rise of startup culture. Padmaja says: “Investment is like marriage for angel investors. They invest but what they look for is a divorce and hefty alimony. I think this cycle has started happening at Indian Angel Network (IAN), where people are getting cash exits and returns. I look at this as maturing of the angel ecosystem and I only see this growing in the coming year.”

“Moreover, entrepreneurs today are also looking for fundings. The moment they get it, they will startup. It’s a symbiotic relationship between the two,” she adds.
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