Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Startup Forum 2023

May 12: After two successful editions in virtual mode, Startup India, the Department of Promotion for Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce organized the third edition in the form of the first-ever physical Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Startup Forum in New Delhi recently. The engagement aimed at expanding the startup interactions amongst the SCO Member States, nurturing the spirit of innovation, generating more employment and encouraging young talent to build innovative solutions. 

The forum witnessed physical participation from SCO Member States including a delegation of government officials, private industry players, incubators and startups. Union Minister of State, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Shri Som Parkash delivered the keynote address highlighting the role of the Startup Ecosystem in boosting the economy of a nation. Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Smt. Manmeet Kaur Nanda addressed the delegation about India’s startup journey and initiatives for promoting startups by the Government of India.

This engagement focused on the spirit of collaboration and entrepreneurship. It aimed at promoting innovation development, particularly through the creation of common platforms and the facilitation of ideas and best practices among the SCO Member States. Various startup-to-startup bilateral meetings were conducted in promoting and achieving this agenda.

In addition, the delegates also attended a workshop conducted by Startup India on the ‘Role of Bilateral and Multilateral Engagements in developing startup ecosystem’. The workshop included an interactive session to understand various models of engagements that can be undertaken to develop closer ties between these nations and boost the startup ecosystem in SCO nations.

Later, the delegation visited Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT) at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, where a startup showcase was organised. The participants visited the facility to receive first-hand experience of the Indian startup ecosystem. During this tour, the participants were equipped with the know-how of entrepreneurship in India and opportunities for expanding their businesses to India. The incubator visit also focused on highlighting the nuances of funding, mentorship, and opportunities provided to support startups at the scaling stage in India.

By leading such engagements, India undertook an opportunity to share the opportunities of expanding the innovation footprint, knitting the whole ecosystem together and inspiring other SCO Member States to take up similar programs.

Previously, Startup India had organized various initiatives for SCO Member states including:

SCO Startup Forum 2020: The SCO Startup Forum laid the foundation for multilateral cooperation and engagement for startups among the SCO Member States.

SCO Startup Forum 2021: The two-day Forum was held virtually through a customized platform representing the Indian culture in augmented reality. SCO Startup Hub, a single point of contact for the SCO startup ecosystem, was launched in this forum.

Focused Mentorship Program: A 3-month long virtual mentorship series ‘Starting-Up’ was organized for the nominated startups, to build capacity among the SCO Startup founders.

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