To connect Indian innovators to the global marketplace, NASSCOM in partnership with TiE Silicon Valley, and IIM Ahmedabad’s CIIE India, hosted the first India- U.S. Startup Konnect in the Silicon Valley. The Prime Minister interacted with the entrepreneurs and shared his vision on ‘Start up India, Stand up India’. The Start-up Konnect featured the multiple dimensions of Indian innovation capabilities represented by 36 start-ups from India and 5 start-ups from U.S. across a variety of sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, energy, financial inclusion, and clean tech. The startups unveiled their products, models, and achievements to investors and other potential valley partners. The start-ups were selected through a nationwide selection process for companies that are building products for social good.
BVR Mohan Reddy, Chairman, NASSCOM said, “We are organizing the India-US Startup Konnect Programme for the first time. The K in Konnect stands for thousands of startups and multitude of connections that we hope to inspire through this event. NASSCOM has also recommended a few key measures relating to regulatory and other facilitation for startups and regarding taxation of investors. We are working closely with the Government in this regard and strongly support the Prime Ministers inspiring call: ‘Start up India, Stand up India’”.
At the event, a number of MOU’s were signed to strengthen the India U.S. partnership to boost technology, innovation and startups. NASSCOM and TiE Silicon Valley signed a MoU to facilitate a start-up exchange and collaboration program for entrepreneurs of India and USA. IIM Ahmedabad’s business incubator CIIE announced an Incubation Center in the region. to collaboratively build and scale-up disruptive innovations for India, through financial assistance and cooperation. Further, the Bharat Fund was announced by CIIE, which included the signing of MoUs or Letter of Intent with MNRE & DIPP, Tata Trust, Infosys, University of California Berkeley and MIT. The Sister Innovation Cluster in the Bay Area was launched by signing of a Letter of Intent, which will identify Life Sciences Innovation hubs in India and link them with Innovation Hubs in the US. Lastly, a MoU was also signed between Department of Bio-Technology and Prakash Lab at Stanford.
The day-long event witnessed focused panel discussions on key themes of learning’s from the valley way, policy enablers for startups to flourish and Indian unicorns. Mr. R Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM said, “Start-ups and innovations are the new defining feature of the Indian IT Industry landscape and have reached at an inflection point today. NASSCOM is working towards creating an efficient and strong bond between the innovative Indian ecosystems and the Silicon Valley to create opportunities for entrepreneurs.”
India- U.S. Startup Konnect witnessed stalwarts of the Indian and US entrepreneurial ecosystem like Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Kanwal Rekhi (Inventus Capital), Naren Gupta (Nexus Ventures), Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Paytm), Naveen Tewari (InMobi), Rohit Bansal (Snapdeal) who discussed the future course of collaboration between the two nations. More than 500 people visited the exhibition and 300+ selected leaders participated in the discussions.