India-Singapore tie-up looking to promote tech startups

The Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) and Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC) of IIT-Kanpur have joined hands to offer a plethora of opportunities to tech-based startups to lead a circular economy and an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The SICCI-SIIC led the first in a series of cross-border collaborations on Friday under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on March 10, 2021.

The goal of the launchpad is to push startups to benefit from the Singapore-India trade and technology corridor.

Both institutions are partnering to recognize young, domestic talent to offer them an array of incubation services.

“This one-of-its-kind association will provide startups in Singapore and India a competitive edge in the global market,” said a joint statement on Friday.

With a host of services, both the institutions will promote homegrown and international initiatives operating in the technology domain with mentorship and access to capital.

To galvanize their efforts towards promoting indigenous innovation, SICCI-SIIC Launchpad Competition – SICCI-SIIC INNOVATION LAUNCHPAD – held a start-up pitch competition on a virtual platform.

Nine pre-selected contestants – five from Singapore and four from India – pitched their ideas to the judges.

“LaunchPad 2021 is the first of many upcoming endeavors that marks the beginning of an unseen era in the incubation ecosystem. SIIC and SICCI have come together to develop a symbiotic relationship to benefit indigenous innovations in our respective countries,” said Prof Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, in charge of Innovation and Incubation at IIT Kanpur.

“As we open our doors for their startups to explore the Indian market, and vice versa, we bring in a plethora of opportunities for all stakeholders. We are delighted to support tech-based businesses that are sustainable, ensure value-addition, and provide local employment opportunities,” said Prof Bandyopadhyay.

“With SIIC, we plan to provide a well-deserved launchpad to our startups and those in India to create well-established global brands that thrive on excellence, innovation, and ingenuity,” added SICCI Chairman Dr. T Chandroo.

Speaking about the development, High Commissioner P Kumaran said that startups are agitators for revolutionary innovation and have developed as key enablers for employment generation and wealth creation, supporting economic development in general.

It was with this expectation that the Prime Minister of India launched the ‘Startup India’ initiative in January 2016.

Today, India is the third-largest start-up ecosystem in the world, with more than 45,000 startups in various stages. In 2014, only four startups in India were in the Unicorn club.

India is now the third-largest home of unicorns, with the number expected to reach 100 by next year, he said.

Twelve unicorns were born in 2020, and the first four months of this year have already recorded the birth of 10 unicorns, he said, highlighting the potential of startups in India.

The collaboration comes as a huge advantage for emerging startups in the tech space who are looking to scale their operations. 

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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