With India emerging as a global innovation hub and home to the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem, with over 61,000 startups as of today, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has launched a major initiative to highlight the breadth and depth of entrepreneurship in the country.
The DPIIT’s first-ever ‘Startup India Innovation Week,’ which will take place from January 10 to 16, 2022, is a virtual week-long programme that will bring together key startups, entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, funding entities, banks, policymakers, and other national/international participants to exchange knowledge on nurturing startup ecosystems.
The gathering of stakeholders also aims to raise global and local funds for startup investments, provide market access to entrepreneurs, and demonstrate high-quality, high-tech, and cost-effective Indian inventions.
The Innovation Week, which will be opened by Piyush Goyal on 10 January 2022, follows the conclusion of 2021, which has been dubbed the “Year of Unicorns,” with more than 40 unicorns introduced in that year. Since 2016, India’s startups, which represent 55 sectors and are scattered over 633 districts with at least one company from each state and union territory, have produced over six lakh employment. Meanwhile, 45 percent of the companies are from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, with the potential to hasten India’s integration into global value chains while also creating jobs.
The engagement between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and entrepreneurs on the 15th of January will be a highlight of the event, which he will address through a video conference at 10.30 a.m. Over 150 companies were grouped into six working groups for this event, with topics such as “Growing from Roots, pushing the DNA, from local to global, technology of the future, developing champions in manufacturing, and sustainable development.” The discussion aims to learn how entrepreneurs can contribute to national requirements through pushing innovation in the country, as well as how the government can help them do so.
This day will also see the Minister of Commerce and Industry reveal the winners of the National Startup Awards 2021, which will honour excellent companies and ecosystem facilitators who are establishing scalable firms with great potential for job creation, wealth development, and social impact. A roundtable with international investors and local funds will be held as part of the Innovation Week, as will the establishment of an open network for digital commerce digital strategy, as well as pitching sessions and corporate connect programmes for entrepreneurs from throughout the country. On January 13, Goyal will host a global venture capital roundtable, which will include talks on the Indian incubator ecosystem and capacity development, company pitching, and various seminars on funding routes, bank financing, and government support.
There will also be a knowledge exchange session on best practices in market access incubation and funding from five states.
A panel discussion on women entrepreneurship, startup pitching sessions, a workshop on expansion strategies, and fireside chats highlighting global market entry strategies and technology commercialisation are all highlights of the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) digital strategy launch on 14 January. The ONDC’s Made in India strategy to drive inclusivity, innovation, and scalability in public digital infrastructure, as well as urban innovation via a partnership between startups and the Smart Cities Mission, will be discussed on the last day of the week-long celebration.