4th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Startup Forum organized in New Delhi

The fourth edition of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Startup Forum was organized on 19th March 2024 in New Delhi.

Noteworthy, the initiative focused on broadening startup interactions among the SCO Member States, fostering an environment conducive to innovation, promoting job creation, and inspiring young talent to develop innovative solutions.

The plenary session of the forum witnessed physical participation from SCO Member States including a delegation of SCO startups, nodal agencies for startups at the Member States, senior government officials and diplomats.

Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Shri Rajesh Kumar Singh delivered the keynote address highlighting the role of the Startup ecosystem in boosting the economy of a nation.

Joint Secretary, DPIIT, Shri Sanjiv addressed the delegation about India’s startup journey and initiatives for promoting startups by the Government of India.

A showcase opportunity at the SCO Pavilion was provided where over 15 SCO startups showed their products and services.

The showcase provided networking opportunities designed to inspire, educate, and empower these entrepreneurs.

In addition, the delegates also attended a workshop conducted by Startup India on ‘Establishing a Seed Fund: A Strategic Approach to Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship’.

The workshop included an interactive session to understand various models of setting up seed funds to support early-stage startups.

The workshop provided participants with comprehensive insights into the strategic planning and execution involved in setting up a seed fund.

All Member States agreed to create a Special Working Group for Startups and Innovation (SWG) at the Summit of SCO Heads of State in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on 16th September 2022.

Given the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in driving and diversifying an economy, India had proposed this initiative in 2020 to create a new pillar of cooperation between the SCO Member States.

The SWG was created with the vision of fostering collaboration among SCO Member States, to not only benefit the startup ecosystem, but also accelerate regional economic development. In 2023, after multiple rounds of meetings chaired by DPIIT, the Member States decided to approve and adopt the Regulations of the SWG to be permanently chaired by India in SCO.

DPIIT has organised various initiatives for the startup ecosystems.By leading such engagements, India undertook an opportunity to expand the innovation footprint, knitting the whole ecosystem together and inspiring other SCO Member States to take up similar programs.

The startup engagements are organised by India with the objective of empowering the local startup ecosystems in the SCO Member States and providing value to startups through mentoring and enabling access to investor and corporate engagement activities.

Going forward, India will host the second meeting of the SWG in November 2024 and SCO Startup Forum 5.0 in January 2025.

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

1.  SCO Startup Forum 1.0: The SCO Startup Forum in 2020 laid the foundation for multilateral cooperation and engagement for startups among the SCO Member States.

2.  SCO Startup Forum 2.0: The two-day Forum was held virtually in 2021 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.

3.  Focused Mentorship Program: A 3-month long virtual mentorship series ‘Starting-Up’ in 2022 was organized for the nominated startups, to build capacity among the SCO Startup founders. A total of 100+ hours of mentorship was provided to the startups.

4.  SCO Startup Forum 3.0: DPIIT organised the first ever physical SCO Startup Forum in 2023 for the SCO Member States. The delegates attended a workshop on ‘Role of Bilateral and  Multilateral Engagement in developing startup ecosystem’, followed by an incubator visit at IIT Delhi.

5. 1st Meeting of the SWG:The first Meeting of the SCO Special Working Group on Startups and Innovation (SWG), permanently chaired by India, was organised on the theme ‘Growing from Roots’ in 2023. 25 representatives from the 9 SCO Member States participated in the meeting and presented their respective startup ecosystems and prospective areas of collaboration related to the agriculture and animal husbandry sectors covered in the theme.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/