Srinagar, Dec 3: Kashmir Angel Network, the first valley-based angel investor group for mentoring and financing disruptive startups, Saturday kickstarted a series of discussions titled ‘KANversations: Unlocking Opportunities’ at its corporate office here.
The aim of the ‘KANversations’ is to bring together different stakeholders from the startup ecosystem to discuss challenges as well as opportunities in the market.
The focus of first KANversation was to discuss the legal framework for the startups including the compliances, regulations and governance. During the discussion, various chartered accountants, corporate lawyers, academics, journalists and startups put across viewpoints for creating a vibrant startup ecosystem.
Chairman, Kashmir Angel Network (KAN), Shabir Handoo, while talking about the initiative said, “The network is a first-of-its-kind initiative from our region and is passionately driven by professionals working across the globe in various leadership roles. It is a network of investors, mentors, and entrepreneurs from across the globe committed to working with startups and existing businesses.”
KAN is focused on providing investment support to startups.
“To succeed, we provide support in a range of areas, including, regulatory compliances, registrations support and advisory, valuation services, financial and legal structuring, mentoring support as well as technology development,” Handoo added.
In his remarks, a globally known educationist, Dr Farooq Wasil mentioned, that KANversations has today opened the doors for dialogue and shall pave the way for strengthening the enterprises and building the network for creating the required change in the startup ecosystem.
SKUAST-K launches anticancer functional foods startup
Srinagar, Dec 22: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir has launched the first-of-its-kind faculty-student startup, ‘Cashmir Biotech Pvt Ltd’, an anticancer functional foods startup, at the Shalimar campus.
The research-driven startup, formulated under the aegis of SKUAST-K Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (SKIIE) Center, aims to design high-value anticancer functional foods from underutilised plants endogenous to Kashmir.
Dr Khalid Z Masoodi, an assistant professor at the SKUAST-K’s Division of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Horticulture, along with his two MSc students, Dar Murtaza and Aaqib Hurrah, has founded the startup. Cashmir Biotech has already commercialised its first functional food. Magic Food is considered a safe, non-toxic plant-based futuristic functional food possessing TaxO an anticancer molecule. The startup aims to design high-value functional foods from underutilised edible plants endogenous to the Kashmir Valley.
Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-K, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, in his address during the launch function, congratulated Dr Khalid Masoodi and his students for building the significant startup. He said there is tremendous potential for such research-based and innovation-led startups, and the rich bioresource-base present in this Himalayan region can be tapped for producing high-value superfoods, nutraceuticals and medicines to strengthen the bioeconomy of J&K. He further reiterated that as per NEP 2020 and NISP the faculty members should take the similar initiatives to encourage and guide their students into developing innovation-led startups and create future entrepreneurs.
Director Agriculture Kashmir Chowdhary Mohammad Iqbal, who attended the launch event, stressed the need for similar Agri-based startups to encourage youth to become job providers rather than job seekers. Director Extension SKUAST-K Prof Dil Mohammad Makhdoomi, Registrar SKUAST-K Prof Tariq Masoodi, Deputy Commissioner J&K Drug & Food Control Shagufta Jalal, Senior Scientist IIIM Srinagar Dr Shahid Rasool; Dr Syed Nisar, Associate Professor of Medical Oncology, Dr Malik Sajad Ahmed Associate Professor of Urology at SKIMS and Professor Mohammad Ashraf Bhat, Head Division of Plant Biotechnology and various scientists and officers of the university also attended the function.
Developed by Dr Masoodi and his team, Magic Food is a designer food that harbours an anticancer molecule TaxO. It has been developed from an edible underutilised plant which has been used as food for ages in Kashmir but its use has diminished over time.
While providing details, Dr Masoodi says Magic Food targets the androgen receptor (AR), a key gene involved in prostate cancer. AR is a therapeutic target for most of the medicines available in the market against prostate cancer. AR controls PSA, the main marker for Prostate cancer.
“We are marketing the first line of Magic Food- TaxO, and we propose the use of TaxO as a functional food that can be consumed on daily basis by populations vulnerable to prostate cancer. Director Planning and Monitoring and an Expert in Food Science and Technology, Prof Haroon Naik, in his address, highlighted the need for the consumption of functional foods for the prevention of different diseases which have emerged in our population due to changes in food habits.
Magic Food was recently highlighted in the introductory documentary of Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India in its Kashmir Expo Startup for Livelihood. Magic Food got attention from various foreign markets as well. “However, instead of selling the technology, our Vice-Chancellor took the lead under the Government of India’s Make in India, Innovate India and Self-Reliant India initiatives to make way for the first faculty-student startup of the university,” said Masoodi.
Cashmir Biotech Pvt Ltd is incubated at SKIIE Centre, SKUAST-K under NEP-2020 and NISP for commercialising Magic Food.
Kashmir Angel Network holds discussion on startup expectations
Srinagar, Dec 17: Kashmir Angel Network (KAN) Saturday held a stakeholder discussion on ‘startup expectation from angel investors’ at its corporate office here.
The discussion was the second in a series titled KANversations: Unlocking Opportunities aimed to bring together various stakeholders from the startup ecosystem to talk about the issues that exist in the industry as well as the potential that exist in it.
The second KANversation’s primary objective was to have a discussion on the expectations that startups and other stakeholders have of the angel network. During the course of the conversation, participants from a variety of startups, corporate lawyers, academics, and journalists explored a wide range of challenges being faced for the creation of a viable startup ecosystem.
During the course of the discussion, Shabir Handoo, Chairman of KAN, brought up a number of different concerns, including the organisational structure of enterprises in J&K. He stated that “the enterprises may be scaled up to the national and global levels with the correct sort of interventions both financially and legally.”
He added, “Kashmir Angel Network has also begun assisting already-established enterprises with the myriad of legal and regulatory formalities necessary for the development and expansion of the enterprises.”
The stakeholders who were present at the Kashmir Angel Network discussion also discussed the necessity to provide mentorship for the creation of feasible prototypes in new enterprises, as well as the methods in which the notion of Angel Network may be brought to the attention of those searching for investment opportunities.
The discussion also focussed on the various other features of angel networks and the need to provide incubation spaces to early-stage Startups, which provide solutions beyond the plug-and-play facilities.
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