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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

How India aims to help startups in G20 nations

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Startups have become the engine for innovation-fuelled economic recovery, reorientation, and growth, while building a distributed-yet-collective future in alignment with each nation’s evolving needs and value system. The global startup economy is worth nearly $3 trillion out of the total world economy of around $90 trillion, and is growing exponentially. The role of startups in driving innovation that responds to the rapidly changing global scenario has been starkly evident during the pandemic, not only contributing to saving lives but also leading the way back to economic vitality. Increasingly, startups are offering platforms and tools to foster collaboration and innovation across borders, assisting economies in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Thus, they play a key role in terms of job creation, technological advancement, long-term growth, and crisis management.

The Startup-20 Engagement Group, initiated under India’s presidency of G20 in 2023, aspires to create a global narrative for supporting startups and enabling synergies between startups, corporates, investors, innovation agencies and other key ecosystem stakeholders. India’s startup ecosystem is the world’s third-largest, with 1,072 unicorns, more than 83,000 recognised startups, and an ever-expanding innovation ecosystem to support them.

Via the newly initiated Startup-20 Engagement Group, India aspires to help the world develop an inclusive framework to support innovative startups through strategic collaboration across G20 nations. While each of the G20 nations is building its startup ecosystem internally, this group will work together to enable startup financing models and bring coherence and co-creation, especially for sectors of global importance.

For the inception year of this engagement group, India has identified three common pillars. The first is foundations and alliances. There are multiple definitions of startups and their work throughout the G20 economies; through the first pillar, consensus-based definitions and terminology will be assessed to prepare a handbook for startups to solidify the foundation of Startup20. Moreover, this pillar also aims to generate frameworks and encourage cross-country collaboration to give rise to global alliances among stakeholders of the startup ecosystem in the G20 economies.

The second is finance; this pillar will focus on policies and frameworks to ease startup financing and create a supportive environment by providing networking and pitching opportunities. And the third is inclusiveness and sustainability. This pillar will concentrate on setting up mechanisms to accelerate startups addressing SDG gaps or representing groups whose inclusion requires special focus (for example, entrepreneurs who are women or people with disabilities) in sectors of common interest for all nations.

Startup-20 envisions hosting events and sessions to achieve its mandate of developing the startup ecosystem across G20 nations. These activities will span six events, starting with the opening event on January 28, 2023 (Hyderabad) and the summit on July 3, 2023 (Gurugram). There are multiple intervening events proposed in different parts of India as well. In addition, a large startup showcase is envisioned to exhibit India’s startup ecosystem to the world.

Through this engagement group, the official policy communique that captures the recommendations commonly agreed to by G20 nations will be compiled and presented. In addition, several publications on the guidelines, best practices, frameworks, and strategic recommendations that result from the above interactions will be procured. Further, India also aspires to create a Global Innovation Hub, capable of anchoring such activities and results from this engagement. Through the G20 presidency, India envisions bringing to the world the spirit of One Earth, One Family, One Future. In the same spirit, the Startup-20 Engagement Group aspires to create and sustain a global narrative for supporting startups and making them a part of our future through inclusive and diverse participation.

Chintan Vaishnav is mission director, Atal Innovation Mission, and chair of Startup20The views expressed are personal

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