Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

India's startups prepare to take wing

The first season of 'Leap To Unicorn' launched by IDFC FIRST Bank in partnership with Moneycontrol and CNBCTV18, is set to empower the startup ecosystem

Published: Nov 10, 2022 02:27:54 PM IST
Updated: Nov 10, 2022 03:04:32 PM IST

India's startups prepare to take wingThe stage is set for Indian start-ups to become leaders of tomorrow.

Recognizing the crucial role start-ups play in creating employment and economic opportunities, the Government has launched the ‘Startup India’ Program under the Invest initiative to boost the growth of the startup ecosystem.

These great initiatives have been foundational in the creation of an ecosystem that includes nearly 79,000 startups across the country. But as startups begin to rise in different parts of the country, there is a need to look at their requirements differently and offer curated solutions to support their exponential growth.  Proactive measures are required on part of different stakeholders in the startup ecosystem, including financial institutions and government bodies.

IDFC FIRST Bank has showcased its commitment to support India’s startup story by creating FIRST WINGS, a dedicated banking service for startups, which offers startups curated financial solutions through their ‘Early’ and ‘Growth’ stages.

What makes IDFC FIRST Bank's FIRST WINGS program such a pillar of support for the startup ecosystem? Under the FIRST WINGS program, startups can avail of a wide range of invaluable services, like a Zero Balance StartUp Current Account with unlimited free IMPS, NEFT and RTGS transactions, unique working capital solutions, and Business Credit Cards with step-up credit.

In addition, IDFC FIRST Bank's special 'Founder Success Program', launched under the FIRST WINGS banner, is a rich resource of knowledge series, Masterclasses and networking sessions specially designed to engage, groom and empower start-ups, as they embark on their journey to success.

The depth of IDFC FIRST Bank's commitment to the startup ecosystem is natural, considering the fact that the Bank’s MD & CEO, Mr. V Vaidyanathan, created one of India's  most successful entrepreneurial stories – Capital First, a tech-led NBFC - which merged with erstwhile IDFC Bank to form IDFC FIRST Bank today.

Under his inspiring leadership, IDFC FIRST Bank now aims to strengthen its involvement in India’s fast-evolving startup sector by collaborating with Moneycontrol and CNBC TV18 to create a new platform for success of startups, aptly named ‘Leap To Unicorn’.

The ‘Leap To Unicorn’ platform is designed to support a new generation of trendsetting start-ups, and guide the most deserving businesses and their founders to gain funding success and recognition at a planned Grand Finale.

The leading start-ups selected for the initiative will undergo a rigorous Bootcamp, where they will have the opportunity of interacting with founders of some of India’s most prominent unicorn startups, as well as learn what it takes to attract investments from elite investors.  

The top 3-4 finalists get the opportunity to vie for investors’ funds at the Grand Finale.

For startups, it’s a chance to showcase their ingenuity to the country at large and learn some valuable lessons along the way. Regular video features of top startups and informative articles on the startup ecosystem, which ‘Leap To Unicorn’ audiences will be treated to regularly, will provide another avenue for these budding unicorns to reach out to a wider audience and make their mark.

The ‘Leap To Unicorn’ initiative is designed to energize the startup ecosystem. As part of the program, a list of 'Top 100 startups to watch out for' will be drawn from our Bootcamp participants, who will feature in a special report to be released towards the end of the initiative. This downloadable e-book will feature in-depth profiles of these remarkable start-ups with insights on their work – another attempt to demonstrate the inexhaustible reserve of talent and ability that India’s start-ups possess.

For more information on the program, visit ‘Leap To Unicorn

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