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India, Singapore Collaborate to Promote Tech Start-ups

The Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) and Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC) under the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Kanpur) are collaborating to offer several opportunities to tech-based start-ups to lead a circular economy and an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Last week, the SICCI-SIIC led the first in a series of cross-border collaborations under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on 10 March 2021. According to a news report, the goal of the launchpad is to push start-ups to benefit from the Singapore-India trade and technology corridor.

Both institutions are partnering to recognise young, domestic talent to offer them an array of incubation services. “This one-of-its-kind association will provide start-ups in Singapore and India a competitive edge in the global market,” a joint statement said. 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 galvanise 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.

Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, in charge of Innovation and Incubation at IIT Kanpur, said that LaunchPad 2021 is the first of many upcoming endeavours 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.

“As we open our doors for their start-ups 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,” Bandyopadhyay noted.

“With SIIC, we plan to provide a well-deserved launchpad to our start-ups and those in India to create well-established global brands that thrive on excellence, innovation, and ingenuity,” added SICCI Chairman T Chandroo. Start-ups 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. India is the third-largest start-up ecosystem in the world, with more than 45,000 start-ups in various stages. In 2014, only four start-ups in India were in the Unicorn club. India is now the third-largest home of unicorns, with the number expected to reach 100 over the next year. Twelve unicorns were born in 2020, and the first four months of this year have already recorded the birth of 10 unicorns, which highlights the potential of start-ups in India.

India’s technology industry contributes around 8% relative share to the national gross domestic product (GDP), with 52% relative share in services exports, and 50% share in total foreign direct investment (FDI), based on FDI inflows for the period April to September 2020. The industry is expected to add more than 138,000 net new hires in FY2020-21, taking its total employee base to 4.47 million in the financial year. The digital talent pool is expected to cross 1.17 million, growing at 32% over the last year.

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