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Key Highlights of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Startup Forum 2023

Third edition of the SCO Startup Forum to foster innovation and global engagements for startups in SCO Member States! Read on to know more about it.

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The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Startup Forum took place in New Delhi, India, marking the first-ever physical engagement for the event. The third edition of the forum, organised by Startup India, Department of Promotion for Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce, aimed to expand startup interactions among SCO Member States, foster innovation, generate employment, and encourage young talent to build innovative solutions.

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Physical Participation from SCO Member States

The SCO Startup Forum 2023 saw physical participation from SCO Member States, including government officials, private industry players, incubators, and startups. Union Minister of State for the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Shri Som Parkash, delivered the keynote address, emphasising the role of the startup ecosystem in boosting a nation's economy. Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Smt. Manmeet Kaur Nanda, addressed the delegation on India's startup journey and initiatives for promoting startups by the Government of India.

Promoting Innovation Development

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The engagement was focused on the spirit of collaboration and entrepreneurship, promoting innovation development, particularly through the creation of common platforms and the facilitation of ideas and best practices among the SCO Member States. Various startup-to-startup bilateral meetings were conducted to achieve this agenda.

Workshop on the Role of Engagements in Developing Startup Ecosystem

A workshop was conducted by Startup India on the role of bilateral and multilateral engagements in developing the startup ecosystem. The workshop included an interactive session to understand various models of engagements that can be undertaken to develop closer ties between these nations and boost the startup ecosystem in SCO nations.

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Startup Showcase at FITT

The delegation visited the Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT) at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, where a startup showcase was organised. The participants visited the facility to receive a first-hand experience of the Indian startup ecosystem. During this tour, the participants were equipped with the know-how of entrepreneurship in India and opportunities for expanding their businesses to India. The incubator visit also focused on highlighting the nuances of funding, mentorship, and opportunities provided to support startups at the scaling stage in India.

Sharing Opportunities to Expand Innovation Footprint

By leading such engagements, India undertook an opportunity to share the opportunities of expanding the innovation footprint, knitting the whole ecosystem together and inspiring other SCO Member States to take up similar programs. Previously, Startup India had organised various initiatives for SCO Member states, including the SCO Startup Forum 2020 and the SCO Startup Forum 2021, which laid the foundation for multilateral cooperation and engagement for startups among the SCO Member States. A three-month long virtual mentorship series ‘Starting-Up’ was organised for the nominated startups, to build capacity among the SCO Startup founders.

The third edition of the SCO Startup Forum saw an increased focus on physical interactions between SCO Member States, creating a platform for entrepreneurs and innovators to build connections and partnerships. The Forum served as a critical platform for the member states to identify new opportunities for growth, expansion and exchange ideas on how to foster innovation, and increase employment through startup-driven initiatives.

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