New Delhi, April 24: India and Singapore have inked a pact to boost the startup ecosystem and encourage start-ups to take advantage of the Singapore-India trade and technology corridor. Under the pact, the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) and Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC) of IIT-Kanpur have come together to provide a gateway of opportunities to tech-based start-ups. This would help these startups to usher a circular economy and an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

India is today the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world, with over 45,000 start-ups in various stages. In 2014, only four start-ups in India were in the Unicorn club. According to a report by PTI, the SICCI-SIIC conducted the first in a series of cross-border collaborations on Friday under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on March 10, 2021.

Here’s how the pact between India and Singapore would help tech start-ups:

  1. The two institutions are collaborating to identify young, indigenous talent to provide them with an array of incubation services.
  2. A joint statement said that this one-of-its-kind association will provide start-ups in Singapore and India a competitive edge in the global market.
  3. With an array of services, both SICCI and SIIC will promote homegrown and international initiatives operating in the technology domain with mentorship and access to capital.
  4. 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.
  5. Nine pre-selected contestants - five from Singapore and four from India - pitched their ideas to the judges.

Prof 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," he said.

"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," he added.

Meanwhile, SICCI Chairman Dr T Chandroo said 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. It was with this expectation that the Prime Minister of India launched the ‘Startup India’ initiative in January 2016.