Home/ News / India/  How a mega startup event in Uttar Pradesh fooled investors with big fake claims

A mega startup event in Uttar Pradesh has received backlash from thousands of founders and investors after all the advertisements turned out to be a hoax. The World Startup Convention, organised by "investors" Luke Talwar and Arjun Chaudhary was scheduled to begin on 24 March in Greater Noida. The event promised to provide a platform for budding entrepreneurs to connect with potential investors and industry experts for funding.

The mega event claimed that big industrialists like SoftBank's CEO Masayoshi Son, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Tesla's Elon Musk would attend. The portal of the event also flashed pictures of union cabinet ministers, suggesting that they would be present as well.

Besides, investors on social media have slammed finfluencers like Ankur Warikoo, author Chetan Bhagat, Youtuber Raj Shamani, and Prafull Billore for misleading investors by promoting a 'fake' startup event.

The day of the inauguration, 24 March, turned out to be a scam bereft of big industrialists, politicians, and poorly organised.

The World Startup Convention was originally scheduled from 14-16 January before it got postponed to March 24-26. Attendees flew in from cities like Nashik, Chennai, and Surat, spending amounts for registration, stay and travel.

But on the day of the event, investors were shocked for not fulfilling a single promise that they boasted of before the event. Besides, the quality of the programmes and events too proved to be subpar.

However, the event's co-founder defended the startup convention. In an interview with the Indian Express, Chaudhary said," There were a lot of prestigious investors and when they saw the drama, they immediately left".

Warikoo, an influencer with 2.2 million followers on Instagram, denied any direct involvement in the event. He reportedly said his team had asked the organiser of the event to take down ads involving him after he disassociated from the event in January, but they never compiled.

This is not first-time social media influencers and content creators in India have been accused of misleading fans for irresponsible promotions. Several have been called out in promoting cryptocurrency-related advertising, online games, and stocks-related information.

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Updated: 31 Mar 2023, 12:06 PM IST
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