Leap To Unicorn Program: Empowering Early-Stage Startups

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Leap To Unicorn Program: Empowering Early-Stage Startups
01 Jul 2023
4 min read

Blog Post

India's startup ecosystem is a hub of talent and entrepreneurial skills, with a growing number of innovative ideas emerging across various sectors.

However, to sustain the momentum and overcome challenges, it is crucial for investors, entrepreneurs, and financial institutions to come together and create a supportive environment.

Leap To Unicorn, a platform initiated by IDFC FIRST Bank in collaboration with Moneycontrol and CNBC-TV18, aims to foster the growth of startups by providing them with opportunities to showcase their ideas to esteemed venture capitalists (VCs) and investors.

The Indian startup ecosystem is booming, with new businesses being launched every day. However, not all startups are created equal. Some have the potential to scale and achieve unicorn status, while others will eventually fail.

The Leap To Unicorn competition is designed to help early-stage startups with the potential to scale achieve their goals. The competition provides startups with mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to capital. The top 5 startups of the competition will also have the chance to pitch to a panel of investors at the Leap To Unicorn Grand Finale.

India's startup ecosystem is a thriving landscape of innovation, fueled by the determination and creativity of visionary entrepreneurs. Recognizing the need to support and nurture these promising startups, the Leap To Unicorn program was established as a platform to accelerate their growth and facilitate access to funding opportunities.

In this article, we introduce you to the top 20 startups that have emerged from this program, highlighting their groundbreaking ideas and the impact they are poised to make in their respective industries.

The top 20 startups selected from Leap To Unicorn showcase the immense potential and diverse range of ideas in India's startup landscape. These startups span sectors such as Fintech, Agritech, Deeptech, and Clean tech, demonstrating the breadth of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in the country.

Leap To Unicorn Program: Empowering Early-Stage Startups

Highlight of Leap To Unicorn program

  • The Leap To Unicorn competition is a nationwide startup accelerator program that aims to help early-stage startups scale and achieve unicorn status.
  • The top 20 startups of the competition have been selected based on their potential for growth and impact.
  • These startups represent a wide range of industries, from e-commerce to healthcare to fintech.
  • The competition provides the startups with mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to capital.
  • The top 5 startups of the competition will have the chance to pitch to a panel of investors at the Leap To Unicorn Grand Finale.

The Journey of Leap To Unicorn:

Leap To Unicorn witnessed an overwhelming response, with close to 6,000 early-stage startups registering to participate in the program. These startups showcased the depth of their ideas, commercial structure, and network affiliations, demonstrating the wealth of talent and potential within the Indian startup ecosystem.

Notably, around 50% of the registered startups hailed from Tier 2 cities, highlighting the increasing geographical spread of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Boot Camp Sessions:

The shortlisted startups from Leap To Unicorn had the opportunity to participate in a series of boot camp sessions organized by IDFC FIRST Bank. These sessions served as a platform for startups to refine their ideas, strengthen their business models, and gain valuable insights from industry experts and mentors.

The startups received guidance on various aspects, including market analysis, product development, customer acquisition, and financial planning.

Pitching Ideas to Esteemed VCs and Investors:

The culmination of the Leap To Unicorn program involved the top startups presenting their ideas to a distinguished jury comprising eminent VCs and investors. This exclusive pitching session offered startups the chance to showcase their innovative solutions, business strategies, and growth potential.

The jury evaluated the startups based on their viability, scalability, and alignment with market demands, providing valuable feedback and potentially opening doors to funding and partnership opportunities.

Leap To Unicorn: Empowering Early-Stage Startups

IDFC FIRST Bank, in association with Moneycontrol and CNBC-TV18, is thrilled to unveil the top 20 startups selected for the prestigious Leap To Unicorn program. This initiative aims to fuel the growth and funding opportunities for promising early-stage startups in India. The selection process was meticulous, ensuring the inclusion of the most innovative and promising ventures.

An Enriching Journey of Selection and Refinement

The journey to becoming one of the top 20 startups of Leap To Unicorn began with a widespread call for applications, attracting around 500 of India's finest startups. These chosen startups embarked on a month-long bootcamp, where they received specialized guidance and insights from industry leaders.

Equipped with newfound knowledge, the startups refined their investment propositions and submitted revised pitch decks accompanied by pitch videos. Through a stringent evaluation process, the top 20 startups emerged as the frontrunners, standing at the threshold of a breakthrough.

Evaluating the Top 20 Startups

The revised startup pitches underwent a comprehensive evaluation based on five crucial parameters: Team, Market Potential, Product/Innovation, Traction (user/customer engagement), Defensibility Moat (market entry barriers), and Presentation/Presentability.

While all shortlisted pitches showcased impressive levels of Product/Innovation, the standout startups demonstrated exceptional scores in Market Potential and Defensibility Moat, indicative of the founders' deep market understanding and extensive experience.

The top 20 startups not only encompass a diverse range of founder profiles but also exhibit a remarkable spectrum of innovation.

Trailblazing in Healthcare and HealthTech

Healthcare and HealthTech hold significant representation among the top 20 startups of Leap To Unicorn. Startups such as HealthySure, AyuRythm, Alpha Coach, and Arficus are leveraging technology to enhance access to quality healthcare.

Additionally, Ayati Devices Pvt. Ltd., CyGenica, getactyv.com, and Unlearners Tech Pvt. Ltd. are spearheading the development of groundbreaking products that promise to revolutionize the health services sector.

The pursuit of wellness as a mindful and sustainable lifestyle also inspires innovation, as demonstrated by the presence of Terra X, a sustainable lifestyle brand, and Artinci and Mountaintribe, both driving the healthy food tech domain.

Also Read: Who's Who: The Top 15 Most Promising Indian Startups For 2022

Revolutionizing Logistics and Social Interactions

In a world that thrives on seamless logistics and meaningful social interactions, several top 20 startups are reshaping these spheres. FROB (Friends of Books) seamlessly blends social media and reading apps, fostering vibrant communities of book enthusiasts. 60PlusIndia addresses the need for remote care of elderly parents, providing a platform for children to monitor their well-being.

Many startups have introduced integrated services, such as Manjha Technologies, bridging the gap between fish farmers and industry stakeholders. In the fintech realm, Thoughtle Technologies Pvt. Ltd. utilizes AI-powered platforms to deliver a comprehensive suite of financial and ERP planning services to businesses, aligning with Expertia AI's objectives in the Human Resources domain.

Furthermore, MiniMines Cleantech Solutions Pvt. Ltd. pioneers solutions for a circular economy, particularly focusing on Lithium-ion batteries.

Journey to the Grand Finale

The top 20 startups will now present virtual pitches to an esteemed jury for Leap To Unicorn. The esteemed jury panel comprises Prashanth Prakash - Founding Partner, Accel, India, Siddarth Pai - Founding Partner, 3ONE4 Capital, Bhavik Vasa - Founder & CEO, GetVantage, Aakrit Vaish - Co-Founder & CEO, Haptik, and Shanti Mohan - Co-founder & CEO, LetsVenture & trica.

From these presentations, the top 5 startups will advance to the nationally televised Grand Finale, where they will have the opportunity to pitch for substantial funding. Even those who do not make it to the final stage can take pride in leaving their mark on a national platform and featuring in the upcoming 'Top 100 startups to watch out for' report by IDFC FIRST Bank.

List Top 20 Startups

  1. HealthySure

  2.  AyuRythm

  3.  Alpha Coach

  4.  Arficus

  5.  Ayati Devices Pvt. Ltd.

  6.  CyGenica 

  7. Getactyv.com

  8.  Unlearners Tech Pvt. Ltd.

  9.  Terra X

  10.  Artinci 

  11. Mountaintribe

  12.  TechEagles Pvt. Ltd.

  13.  Hyphen SCS

  14.  BEYOBO FROB (Friends of Books) 

  15. 60PlusIndia 

  16. Manjha Technologies

  17.  Thoughtle Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

  18.  Expertia

  19.  AI MiniMines

  20.  Cleantech Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Conclusion: Driving Innovation and Empowering Startups

The announcement of the top 20 startups in the Leap To Unicorn program marks a significant milestone in the journey of these early-stage ventures. Through a rigorous selection process and intensive refinement, these startups have showcased their immense potential and innovation across various industries.

The healthcare and HealthTech sectors witness groundbreaking solutions aimed at improving access and revolutionizing services. Moreover, startups focusing on sustainable lifestyles, logistics, social interactions, and fintech have emerged as trailblazers in their respective domains.

The upcoming virtual pitches to the esteemed jury panel represent a pivotal opportunity for the top 20 startups to secure significant funding and gain national recognition. Even for those who don't make it to the final stage, their participation in the Leap To Unicorn program has already positioned them on a prominent platform, creating valuable exposure and networking opportunities.

IDFC FIRST Bank, alongside Moneycontrol and CNBC-TV18, remains committed to supporting and empowering the startup ecosystem in India. Through initiatives like Leap To Unicorn, the aim is to foster a culture of innovation, provide access to funding, and enable early-stage startups to reach their full potential.

As the top 20 startups continue on their path towards success, they serve as a testament to the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and groundbreaking ideas that drive India's startup landscape. With ongoing support and nurturing, these startups have the potential to become future unicorns, transforming industries and contributing to the growth and development of the nation as a whole.


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