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A Success Story: How India Has Emerged As A Global Startup Hub?

Ever wondered how India transformed its startup landscape from local initiatives to global dominance? What sparked the entrepreneurial fire? How did India become a force in global innovation? Dive into the success story of India's startup journey!

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Shreshtha Verma
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Success Story How India Has Emerged As A Global Startup Hub

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India's Startup journey has been remarkable from a niche ecosystem to a global powerhouse. This collectively possible through vibrant spirit of entrepreneurship, skilled talent, and an evolving digital landscape. The country is now a force to be reckoned with in the global Startup scene.

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Global Startup Scenario

Over the last decade, India has seen an upheaval in the entrepreneurial spirit among the youth of the country. The transformation has been witnessed across various sectors, aided by the increasing appetite for innovation among the youth and a widening pool of skilled professionals.

One of the key objectives under the Startup India initiative is to help connect Indian Startup ecosystem to global Startup ecosystems through various engagement models. This has been done though international Government to Government partnerships, participation in international forums and hosting of global events. As of 31st December 2023 Startup India has has launched bridges with 20 countries that provides a soft-landing platform for Startups from the partner nations and aid in promoting cross collaboration.

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Additionally, under the guidance of DPIIT, Startup India has been engaging in several bilateral with countries like USA, Germany, Denmark, Bhutan, France, Australia, and Taiwan and prominent multilateral engagements including BRICS, SCO, WAIPA, Startup20 and ASEAN engagements to build cross border knowledge-exchange systems and facilitate cross-border incubation and acceleration programs that will enable the Startups to explore international markets and get focused mentorship.

Countries with Startup Bridges

Since 2017, India has successfully sestablished startup bridges with 20 countries including Israel, Portugal, Sweden, Singapore, Netherlands, Japan, Finland, Korea, Russion, UK, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Qatar, UAE, Switzerland, Italy, Bangaldesh, Taiwan, Saudi.

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Countries with Startup Bridges

Startup India’s Multilateral Engagements Startup20

Startup20, established as an official engagement group under the G20 India Presidency 2023, meant to serve as a platform in the interest of Startups as Business20 (B20) serves the interest of large businesses and MSMEs. Considering that India has, in a short span, become the third largest ecosystem in the world, Startup20 has also helped clearly position India as the global hub for Startups.

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It acts as a dialogue forum with the global Startup ecosystem stakeholders and intends to represent the global Startup ecosystem to raise the macroeconomic concerns and challenges faced by entrepreneurs with G20 leaders. This would function like other G20 engagement groups, supported by G20 India Sherpa initially along with the Startup20 secretariat.

In congruence with the ideology of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Startup20 aims to connect with multiple stakeholders in the Startup ecosystem to drive growth and collaboration. It will seek to advance important subjects for discussion and develop recommendations for each priority area using a consensus-based methodology.

This engagement group aimed to create a global narrative for supporting Startups and enabling synergies between Startups, corporates, investors, innovation agencies and other key ecosystem stakeholders. Startup20 calls for commitment of ~INR 80 L Cr for Startups by 2030.

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India is one of the few countries that has made a distinction between Startups and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The importance of this distinction is highlighted by the inclusion of a Startup definition within the Startup20.

India has catalysed for the adoption of its success stories in Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) and UPI payment to the G20 and beyond, through initiatives such as One Future Alliance and Digital Innovation Alliance. This has helped put the spotlight on the innovations and solutions offered by the Startup ecosystem in India, offering a chance for Indian Startups to access the international markets and global funding opportunities.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

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Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organization, comprising of 8 Member States namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The SCO focusses on strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the Member States, promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, economy, research, technology, and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas; making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security, and stability in the region; and moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair, rational new international political and economic order.

India at SCO for Startups and Innovation 2023

India has taken several initiatives to build to empower the local Startup ecosystems in the SCO Member States, provide value to Startups through mentoring and enabling access to investor and corporate engagement activities, and solve social problems through innovative solutions and exchange knowledge on how institutional interventions can be introduced to support the Startup ecosystem.

The SCO Startup Forum is a platform for the stakeholders from the Startup ecosystems from all SCO Member States to interact and collaborate. The entrepreneurial activities aim to empower the local Startup communities in the SCO Member States. The SCO Startup Forum aims to create multilateral cooperation and engagement for Startups among the SCO Member States. This engagement will empower the local Startup ecosystems in the SCO Member States.

India-ASEAN Startup Summit 2023

The India-ASEAN Startup Summit was a first-of-its-kind event focusing on the collaboration between Malaysia and India in Klang Valley, Malaysia. The was held on the 12th and 13th of December 2023. It provided a forum for networking with industry experts, pitching workshops, business matchmaking with VCs and investors, as well as showcasing the Startups to almost 11+ participating countries. More than 1000 participants, 600 emerging Startups, 50 Investors (domestic and international), 100 Startup hubs, incubators, accelerators, and government officials took part in the India-ASEAN Startup Summit 2023.

Startup India, DPIIT took a delegation of selected Indian Startups to support them in their market expansion journey. Other forms of intervention under the Startup India initiative to help further strengthen India’s place globally, include:

  • Handholding support under National Startup Awards (NSA): it is an initiative undertaken by Startup India to recognize and reward Startups and ecosystem enablers who are building innovative products or solutions and scalable enterprises, with high potential of employment generation or wealth creation, demonstrating measurable social impact. Under this initiative, the winners and finalists are provided with handholding support across various tracks viz. Investor Connect, Mentorship, Corporate Connect, Government Connect, International Market Access, Regulatory Support, Startup Champions on Doordarshan, Startup India Showcase and so on. 
  • Startup India Innovation Week: DPIIT organises Startup India Innovation week around the National Startup Day, i.e., 16th January, with the primary goal to bring together the country's key Startups, entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, funding entities, banks, policymakers, and other national.

One thing is abundantly clear – the nation has not only embraced innovation but has become a beacon of entrepreneurial prowess on the world stage. From strategic global partnerships to pioneering initiatives, India's success story in the startup ecosystem continues to inspire and shape the future. As the entrepreneurial journey evolves, India stands firm, proving that its impact on the global startup landscape is both transformative and enduring.

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