Startup20 Engagement Group set to meet in Sikkim

Mar 18: The second meeting of the Startup20 Engagement group, newly formed under India’s G20 Presidency, will take place in Gangtok, Sikkim on 18 & 19 March 2023. The meeting will invite delegates from G20 member and invitee countries, representatives from multilateral organisations, and stakeholders from the Indian startup ecosystem.

Startup20 Chair Dr Chintan Vaishnav stated that “The Sikkim Sabha offers a unique opportunity to bring the Startup world to the pristine North East of India and showcase its unique and growing ecosystem.”

The Sikkim Sabha will forward the agenda finalised during the inception meeting held in Hyderabad on 28 & 29 January 2023, with the support of all attendee delegates. During the inception meeting, the objectives, and deliverables of the three taskforces, namely Foundation and Alliances, Finance, and Inclusion and Sustainability, were reworked to incorporate suggestions from all the delegates.

The Foundation and Alliances Taskforce will work to harmonize the global Startup ecosystem through consensus-based definitions. It will set up a global knowledge repository/ hub for startups that would showcase and share best practices within G20 countries. The task force will also create Bilateral and Multilateral collaborations with governments, policymakers, academic & research institutes, industry associations and international organizations with startups including those focusing on SDGs. Finally, it will create mechanisms for global access to markets and talent for startups operating in G20 nations and recommend supportive policies for industry players and government organizations to work with startups.

The Finance Taskforce will aim to increase access to capital for Startups by providing financing and investment platforms specifically to broaden the array of financial instruments available to Startups. It will provide ease of access towards patient capital with timely access through non-equity-based financial products and allocate a specific sum of money to prioritized sectors. The task force will also harmonize tax and legal regulations to encourage public investment in startup funding and interact with the foreign investor ecosystem of G20 nations. Lastly, it will create pitching, capacity building and networking opportunities for startups with the global investor community through a best practices document on startup investments.

The Inclusion and Sustainability Taskforce will identify the specific needs of startups/entrepreneurs led by women, PwDs, LGBTQ+, minorities, and other groups; and support them through access to market, financial resources, training and government-led support schemes and promote startups working towards making the world more inclusive on the back of technologies (e.g., assistive tech.). The task force will also promote/support startups working towards the SDGs in terms of focused investment, incubation and mentorship support, cross-market access, enabling regulatory mechanisms etc. and encourage startups to adopt sustainable business models for their long-term profitability.

At the Sikkim Sabha, the task force members (comprising of delegates from the G20 nations) of the Startup20 Engagement Group will be discussing and deliberating on the first draft of the official policy communiqué. The event will also host a variety of side events, Startup20X events, startups showcase at MG Marg, and delegates’ visits to the Rumtek Monastery. 

The first draft of the policy communiqué will be worked on and reworked during the coming months and other intervening events will be hosted by Startup20. Expected outcomes of Startup20 are the official Policy Communique, a Startup Handbook with a set of commonly agreed-upon definitions and terminologies, a Global Innovation Centre to foster collaborations across borders and the promotion of Startup20 as a Global Point of Contact for startup ecosystems worldwide.

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