Startup20’s Inaugural meeting concludes with resounding success in Hyderabad

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New Delhi: The highly anticipated inception meeting of Startup20, a new engagement group initiated under the India’s G20 presidency, concluded with resounding success at the Taj Krishna in Hyderabad.

Startup20 India Chair Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, opened the session by welcoming dignitaries and delegates. Keynote addresses were given by esteemed guests during the session, with a focus on the theme “Innovation Leading the Path for Solving Global Challenges.” In a virtual address, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal emphasized the significance of a platform like Startup20, saying “I envision the Startup20 group as a powerful body that can bring recognition and respect to startups around the world. With discussions over the next few days, I am confident that we will create a strong agenda for global leaders and ignite a startup revolution.”

Quoting the Father of nation, Mahatma Gandhi, he said “A small group of determined and like-minded people can change the course of history.”

“I am confident discussions in next couple of days, would give a strong agenda for global leaders and create a startup revolution, he further added.

Minister of Culture Shri. G. Kishan Reddy in his address stated that India ranks 3rd globally for startups, with innovative ideas driving transformation for the future. He believes startups will boost India’s GDP in the next 20 years.

“Today, India has the third highest number of Startups globally. Indian startups are invading, with groundbreaking new ideas, investing their time and energies in transforming the future. We believe startups will drive India’s GDP growth in the next 20 years, “he said.

Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Shri Som Prakash spoke on startups being the drivers of the global economy, with a focus on creating a collaborative network among stakeholders, including accelerators, incubators, startups, and government agencies, to support startup growth and formulate actionable insights.

“Our goal here today is to deliberate on a vision for the startup policy frameworks like building intersystem of all the stakeholders like accelerators, incubators, startup founders, government agencies, etc to enable better collaboration. We plan to debate on key topics to orchestrate the golden age of startups and create actionable insights,” He said.

Addressing the gathering India’s G20 Sherpa Shri Amitabh Kant, focused on the importance of startups in proving solutions to global issues, “Despite many challenges there is an opportunity and I think in the midst of crisis the biggest challenge is to do technological disruption and to do innovation. The startup engagement group is India’s innovation to the G20 movement, it’s the first engagement group which drives technology, innovation, and the start of movement. This is borne out of India’s conviction that the world needs more and more of technology, the world needs more disruption, and the world needs young entrepreneurs to drive the world out of the present recessionary trend.”

CEO NITI Aayog, Shri Parameswaran Iyer in his address emphasised on India’s position as a key innovator through his speech “The zero logo has been India’s contribution as Innovation has been at the heart of Indian civilization and culture. The explosion of startups has been driven by the vision of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi to put the story of startups in India on the G20 presidency and global map.”

Secretary Department of promotion of industry and Internal Trade Shri Anurag Jain while delivering his address, mentioned India’s vision behind the G20 Presidency and the inception of Startup20.

“We have chosen our theme based on our ancient Indian philosophy of Vasudeva Kutumbakam, which basically means the world is one family and we imbibe that philosophy. We understand that all of us have come together to work as one family. Startup 20 is a new entitlement and at DPIIT, we are coordinating with both the groups to provide a link between G20 and the startup ecosystem,” He said.

The inaugural session of the Startup20 Engagement Group was culminated by closing remarks from Joint Secretary of the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade Smt Shruti Singh.

Following the, Dr. Vaishnav, then introduced and contextualized the task forces of Startup20, as well as outlining the expected outcomes from the Council Chairs. Subsequently, the Global Startup Revolution Session was held, during which international delegates discussed the startup ecosystems in their respective countries.

Excursions were organized to T-Hub and the Telangana Innovation and Startup Immersion, with a keynote address delivered by the Principal Secretary of the Government of Telangana, Shri. Jayesh Ranjan. The first day was concluded with a grand Gala Dinner at the Taj Falaknuma Palace, featuring performances of India’s heritage and culture, including Perini Natyam, Bharatnatyam, Bhangra, and others

Similarly, the second day of the inception meeting started at Taj Krishna with Dr. Vaishnav giving a recap of Day 1. This was followed by addresses of Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of PAYTM, and Shradha Sharma, the founder and CEO of YourStory, which focused on personal stories and their journey through the startup ecosystem in India.

Following this, the Dr. Vaishnav invited Actor Suniel Shetty to launch Startup20X, which has also been incorporated under the Startup20 Engagement Group. Startup20X has been launched to bring together leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, visionaries, educators, incubation professionals, women, youth, artisans, artists, activists, and others, to discuss experiences and best practices. The conferences and series of talks will enable efficient policy formulation throughout Startup20 Engagement Group and taskforce discussions.

Highlighting the importance and uniqueness of Startup20X, Dr. Vaishnav said “We have a very firm conviction that Startup20X has to be a platform that puts the policy making for Startups in the hands of Startups themselves. It is here to democratize what goes on in the innovation ecosystem and put it on the global map.”

The delegates then proceeded to round table discussions on the objectives and deliverables of each of the taskforces where each participant recorded their opinions and discussion through an online form. This was followed by nominations for the international and national delegations to the three taskforces. The session concluded with closing remarks from Dr. Vaishnav, before proceeding for lunch.

Post the networking lunch, the country representatives proceeded to a closed-door session on Startup20 at the Garden Room in Taj Krishna. This was followed by a cultural excursion tour to Hussain Sagar Lake and Golkonda Fort for the Incredible India light and sound show. The second day of the inception meeting concluded with a delegation dinner at Taj Krishna, Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, the Startup20 Engagement Group has been initiated under India’s G20 Presidency in 2023. The group aims to create a global narrative for supporting startups and enabling synergies between startups, corporates, investors, innovation agencies and other key ecosystem stakeholders. The engagement group comprises of three taskforces, namely Foundation & Alliance, Finance, and Inclusion & Sustainability, where delegates will come together to discuss efficient policy frameworks to promote scaling up of startups in the G20 nations.

The Startup20 inception meeting aspires to kickstart a series of events to create a global narrative for supporting startups and enabling synergies between startups, corporates, investors, innovation agencies and other key ecosystem stakeholders. The primary objective is to harmonize the global startup ecosystem through a collaborative and forward-looking approach.

The purpose of this group is to provide a common platform for startups from G20 member countries to come together to develop actionable guidance in the form of building of enabler’s capacities, identification of funding gaps, enhancement of employment opportunities, achievement of SDG targets & climate resilience, and growth of an inclusive ecosystem.