UAE, India startups jointly explore new ventures
Startup India Summit aims to build relationships and facilitate collaboration
The first Startup India Summit in the Middle East, which opened in Dubai on Tuesday, offered glimpses of some of the technological breakthroughs India's young generation of entrepreneurs have achieved and are in the process of implementing.
Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri opened the two-day event that seeks to provide a shared platform for the startup ecosystem in both India and the UAE for greater collaboration in exchanging ideas and raising funds.
"Startup India is a flagship programme of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it is our endeavour to promote it in the UAE," the Indian envoy said. "India is the third largest ecosystem in the world leading in tech innovation globally while the UAE aims to be the global hub for technology in the future."
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Suri said the sessions at the summit had given Indian companies a sense of what to expect from their counterparts and investors in the UAE while offering UAE companies a glimpse of the technological advancement being initiated by Indian startups.
The outcome of the summit, Suri said, is in building relationships and facilitating collaboration. The summit also helps to underscore the fact that India is at the cutting edge of technology. "We brought startups from both sides together, now it is up to them to take it forward," he said.
As many as 17 startup companies from India operating in areas ranging from artificial intelligence and financial technology to digi-medicine and healthcare technology through spacecraft and video analytics solutions are taking part in the two-day event.
Speakers at the opening session included Ronaldo Mouchawer, founder, Souq.com; Bindu Suresh Chettur, president, Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC); and Sanjay Anandram of iSPIRT, a non-profit thinktank.
The Indian Embassy, Consulate General of India in Dubai, iSPIRT, Abu Dhabi Global Market and IBPC are among the organisers of the event, which will have its second day in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Speakers stressed the increasing need for creating a common platform where young and aspiring entrepreneurs, emerging startups as well as already established businesses can pitch their innovative ideas in front of investors and get investment and guidance.
Speakers also underscored the role a platform like the Startup India Summit can play in fostering the interaction of new generation of entrepreneurs with academia, investors and industries at large while facilitating access to funding from venture capitalists and angel funds in the UAE and elsewhere.
The Consul-General of India in Dubai Vipul said events such as these would provide a platform for startups from both countries to join hands and jointly explore new ventures with the support of venture capitalists and angel funds.
Vipul said India's startup ecosystem could be the main springboard to propel the country to a new growth trajectory which would better position it to achieve its goal of emerging as a $10 trillion economy by 2030.
Speakers at a session moderated by Prasant Gulati, founder and managing partner of The Smart-up Fund, observed that a lot of startups fail to grow because of lack of mentorship, investment, pitching platforms and policy awareness.
Experts at the event called for greater collaboration between the UAE and India to develop startup ecosystems. They said more such events in the future would provide increasing interactions to foster greater cooperation between young entrepreneurs.
IBPC Dubai president Bindu said the business and professional council would act as a platform for Indian firms looking to explore and engage with strong investment partners and clients both from the public and private sectors in the GCC.
"IBPC is committed to hosting investment platforms where we will bring all major private equity players and venture capitalists from the region. Through such investment platforms, the IBPC seeks to be partners of first choice for Indian startups in exploring access to both seed capital and growth capital," she said.
The summit also highlighted the work of several Indian startups in the software-as-a-service, education technology, financial technology, healthcare technology, and deep tech sectors such as video analytics, space technology, logistics intelligence and smart environmental monitoring solutions. The startups included Team Indus, Allgo Vision, CloudCherry, Capital Float, Aindra, Locus, Oziom, Faircent, Capillary, Niramai, Fyle, Tone Tag, Tricog, Posist and Kred X.
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