India plans SAARC meet for startups: Nirmala

India plans SAARC meet for startups: Nirmala”

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also sought views of Indian startups to hold this programme. "We are hoping to get the cabinet approval on this by end of July (2017) to operationalise this fund", he said during the launch of Startup India Hub portal.

"We are now working on the modalities of how to exchange ideas with German startups, and hope to realise this within some months", she said.

The eight-member South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) could also be a forum that helps build linkages for similar thinking minds and start-ups, Ms.Sitharaman said.

The initiative aims to organise an "Exchange programme for startups" between these South Asian countries.

"We'll create the space for startups to interact, but the topics, format, who to invite etcetera have to be decided by the startups themeselves", she added.

If the ministry would get feedback and suggestions in the next couple of months, by December the meet can happen, in which SAARC country startups can come to India and share ideas.

Apart from India, the SAARC includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Finally, Mr. Abhishek added that the DIPP is seeking an additional Rs. 1600 crores corpus from the central government to further fund and promote the startups in India.

The DIPP has put 1,000 facilitators for intellectual property (IPR) related issues besides setting of 547 tinkering labs under Atal Innovation Mission.

It will streamline the life cycle of existing and potential startups, helping them access the right resources at right time. The Minister also announced a new initiative, wherein a startup exchange programme amongst the SAARC nations would be organised.

The portal will have startups, investors, funds, mentors, incubators, accelerators, government bodies, academic and general users.

The "Startup India Virtual Hub" is an online platform for all stakeholders to discover, connect and engage with each other.

The Virtual Hub is a dynamic & interactive platform that will facilitate learning & development, networking, mentorship, funding, etc. for startups.

India is the third largest startup ecosystem around the world, with three to four startups being born daily.

This platform can also be accessed via apps available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

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