Startup20 engagement group successfully concludes at Gangtok

Mar 29: The second meeting of the newly formed engagement group, Startup20 was held in Gangtok, Sikkim on 18 & 19 March 2023. Startup20 acts as a dialogue forum with the global startup ecosystem stakeholders and intends to represent the global startup ecosystem to raise the macroeconomic concerns and challenges faced by entrepreneurs with G20 leaders. Over 300 dignitaries, G20 members and invitee countries, international organisations, and national delegates participated in the two-day event. Sikkim Sabha was kickstarted with an inauguration ceremony, wherein the dignitaries gave keynote addresses.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri Prem Singh Taman, while addressing the inaugural session of the Sikkim Sabha stated “Startup20 is the perfect opportunity for bringing together and interacting with all the stakeholders in a single platform.”.

Shri Som Prakash, Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, while shedding light on the impressive growth of the startup community said, “Startups in Today’s world have emerged as key drivers of economic growth, job creation and innovation.”

Dr Chintan Vaishnav, Chair, of Startup20 Engagement Group, set the context for the Sikkim Sabha and emphasised collaboration to strengthen the startup community, stating, “We want to bring together the startup ecosystem from all around the world, especially the G20 nations to help startups operate better worldwide”. 

Shri V. B. Pathak, Chief Secretary, Sikkim, Ms. Rupa Dutta, Principal Advisor, Department of Promotions of Industries, and Internal Trade (DPIIT), and Shri Ashish Sinha, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs also addressed the audience as keynote speakers. The closing remarks were given by Shri Sachin Dhania, Deputy Secretary, DPIIT.

Post the inauguration session, the task force members headed to five cafes on MG Marg along with the Startup20 team to deliberate and discuss the draft policy paper. Simultaneously, a fireside chat with Dr Chintan: Sikkim Dialogues was conducted at Chintan Bhawan. The delegates then headed to the fifty Startup Showcase stalls, representing startups from ecotourism, organic manufacturing, healthcare, education, and technological sector, spread across the MG Marg.

The last event of the first day was dedicated to Startup20X, where Mr Ashish Sinha, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Ms Mandira Chettri, founder, O2 Himalaya, Shri Aeroshil Nameirakpam, the founder of Nibiaa Devices, Mr. Chris Rachal, Director of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Ms Kanta Singh, the Deputy Country Representative of UN Women, India enlightened the audience with their motivational talks. The first day concluded with a gala dinner at the Mayfair resort, Gangtok, where the delegates enjoyed the cultural performances and delicacies of Sikkim.

The second day of the Sikkim Sabha began with the taskforce members, chairs, co-chairs, and Startup20 team heading straight to the five cafes. The five task forces delved deeper into the discussion on the policy paper framework and strategized recommendations for the way forward through detailed deliberations. The delegates then headed to Chintan Bhawan where the task forces presented the objectives, discussions, and way forward for their respective task forces.

The closing remarks were given by Dr Chintan Vaishav, the Startup20 Chair, wherein he provided a timeline for the final meeting and encouraged the participants to create linkages and amplify the Startup20 message. The second day of the Sikkim Sabha concluded with a cultural excursion to the Rumtek Monastery where the delegates visited the Buddhist temples, learnt the significance of the monastery, and enjoyed high tea.

The Startup20 engagement group operates through three taskforces, namely Foundation and Alliances, Finance, and Inclusion and Sustainability. The task forces are structured to develop key priorities and bring forward the topics in which recommendations would be formulated to support the startup ecosystems globally. The final summit of Startup20 will take place in Gurugram in July.

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