iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
CAstartups.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and mentoring startups, was launched at a virtual event on November 18. Envisaging to connect chartered accountant (CA) entrepreneurs with investors in Silicon Valley, the organization was flagged off by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, CA Piyush Goyal.
To nurture, help and accelerate startups the mission of CAstartups.org is to grant wannabe CA entrepreneurs access to capital, networks and mentors from Silicon Valley.
Vineet Malhotra, Startup Advisor at Berkeley Skydeck during the introductory speech said, “The goal is for all of us to get together and help these startups. This is a global initiative but predominantly our focus is on startups from India. CAstartups is our initiative to connect CA startup founders with Silicon Valley. It is a simple mission – to nurture, help and accelerate startups. We will provide them access to sources of capital, mentors, and networks. The greatest need is to know how we should approach the market. Silicon Valley is well-positioned to play a profound role in contributing to the success of these startups.”
CA Vish Arunachalam, co-founder and CEO of ProScaler.ai, and founder chairman and director of the San Francisco Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), and a man behind the initiative to start CAStartups.org, shared the need.
Hailing from Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu, Arunachalam spoke about the enterprise displayed by the entrepreneurs of his home district. “They did not have the gadgets, network and communication facilities that we have today and yet they established a legacy of successful entrepreneurship and industrial acumen.”
“When my partner and I tried launching a startup we had to work hard to convince people and get clients. We did not have anybody to handhold us or tell us how to go about it. We didn’t know how to identify partners and make great choices. I felt that it is time that we help our CA fraternity in such startup ventures by helping them identify the right partners,” Arunachalam added.
“I reached out to a couple of friends, they liked the idea and CAstartups.org was born. We are now connecting with CAs, IITans and accomplished leaders in the Silicon Valley. They have been very supportive of our efforts. We are witnessing a historic and interesting opportunity now through the transformation of US–India relationship. CAstartups.org will act as a lighthouse for CA entrepreneurs around the globe who are looking to reach the shores of California,” he said.
Goyal congratulated the group of CAs who got together to launch CAstartups.org. “I believe this can become the launch pad for several CA startup firms in India, Silicon Valley, and around the world. It will create a huge net worth through this network of CAs. What you are doing is truly revolutionary – a dedicated network to open new avenues for CAs and help them commercialize their entrepreneurship ideas.”
Goyal said that garnering the support of angel investors’ networks in Sillicon valley will have the desired impact and lead to good valuation. “Good ideas will lead to good valuations. I am sure it will create a huge network for the chartered accountants in the years to come. The concept draws inspiration from Vish’s journey from Chettinad to the US. Now, you are acting as a bridge between startups and investors will go a long way to support startups where CAs are the entrepreneurs.”
India too is making significant progress on this front. Goyal who attended the 25th Bengaluru Tech Summit on November 19 said that Bengaluru has unleashed a new era for India to become a developed nation and acquire global domination in the area of innovation and technology. Speaking at the felicitation ceremony of the 25th Bengaluru Tech Summit, Goyal equated startups with booster doses in the post-pandemic era, and added that India was leading globally, despite all geopolitical headwinds.
At the CAstartups.org launch function Goyal said: “The world is looking for trusted partners and this is an opportunity that we need to leverage very quickly. We are engaged in dialogues and discussions to envision the startup story over the next 25 years. I urge you to connect with investors in India, particularly in Bengaluru, and also look for investors in Bengaluru.”
“A lot of good ideas can come from CAs who are engaged with business persons on a day-to-day basis and they know where the bottlenecks are and what the solutions are that would help with ease of doing business in India. A lot is happening in India which opens up opportunities for startups and innovation has become the new buzzword in this scenario,” he added.
“The three pillars of the startup ecosystem are – policy, funding, and business opportunity. In the fields of policy and funding the chartered accountants can play a remarkable role. The network that you are proposing and the connection that you seek to establish through CAstartups.org will help startup entrepreneurs prosper. The CAs can bring in investments and clients. With India’s relationship with the US at its best, this is a great opportunity to leverage. This endeavor is a significant step forward and with 6,000 CAs in US alone, this community can create global synergies and collaborations to help the startup ecosystem,” Goyal said.