SINGAPORE: The Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) and Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC) of IIT-Kanpur have come together to provide a gateway of opportunities to tech-based start-ups to usher a circular economy and an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The SICCI-SIIC conducted the first in a series of cross-border collaborations on Friday under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on March 10, 2021. The purpose of the launchpad is to encourage start-ups to take advantage of the Singapore-India trade and technology corridor.
The two institutions are collaborating to identify young, indigenous talent to provide them with an array of incubation services. "This one-of-its-kind association will provide start-ups in Singapore and India a competitive edge in the global market," said a joint statement on Friday.
With an array of services, both SICCI and SIIC will promote homegrown and international initiatives operating in the technology domain with mentorship and access to capital. To galvanise their efforts towards promoting indigenous innovation, SICCI-SIIC Launchpad Competition - SICCI-SIIC INNOVATION LAUNCHPAD - held a start-up pitch competition on a virtual platform.
Nine pre-selected contestants - five from Singapore and four from India - pitched their ideas to the judges. "LaunchPad 2021 is the first of many upcoming endeavours that marks the beginning of an unseen era in the incubation ecosystem. SIIC and SICCI have come together to develop a symbiotic relationship to benefit indigenous innovations in our respective countries," said Prof Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, in-charge of Innovation and Incubation at IIT Kanpur.
"As we open our doors for their startups to explore the Indian market, and vice versa, we bring in a plethora of opportunities for all stakeholders. We are delighted to support tech-based businesses that are sustainable, ensure value-addition, and provide local employment opportunities," said Prof Bandyopadhyay.
"With SIIC, we plan to provide a well-deserved launchpad to our start-ups and those in India to create well-established global brands that thrive on excellence, innovation, and ingenuity," added SICCI Chairman Dr T Chandroo.
Speaking at the event, High Commissioner P Kumaran said that start-ups are catalysts for radical innovation and have emerged as key enablers for employment generation and wealth creation, aiding economic development in general.
It was with this expectation that the Prime Minister of India launched the Startup India' initiative in January 2016. India is today the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world, with over 45,000 start-ups in various stages.
In 2014, only four start-ups in India were in the Unicorn club. He said that India is now the third largest home of unicorns, with the number expected to reach 100 by next year. Twelve unicorns were born in 2020, and the first four months of this year has already seen the birth of 10 unicorns, he said, highlighting the potential of startups in India.