“Startup Europe India Network will help in cross-fertilisation of talent: EU envoy to India”
“The Startup Europe India Network will help cross-fertilisation of talent between the growing Indian market and the dynamic European market, European Union’s Ambassador to India Tomasz Kozlowski tells ET’s Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury in an interview. Edited excerpts:
What is the EU’s role in this mega India-Europe startup initiative?
In both India and Europe the startup ecosystems are thriving. But interconnections between the growing Indian market and the dynamic European market have largely been missing. Very little investment and cross-fertilisation of talent between the markets is happening in this area. The Startup Europe India Network is doing exactly this. It is a privately driven initiative coordinated by a venture capital expert, which we support. It is aimed at tapping into opportunities through increasedc cooperation between companies, investors, support institutions and at expert level, and of course investments on the two sides. The Startup Europe India Network is a first step, and the meetings between October 17 and October 20 were a first of its kind between Europe and India. It was a success, with 250-300 very active participants in the main event in Bengaluru alone.
What can the EU offer in the area of startups?
The European Union is an attractive single market with over 500 million customers. Establishment in one of the EU member states automatically opens the door to all 28 member states. Also, internet penetration and purchasing power in the EU are very high, which offer good business opportunities for Indian startups. There are large amounts of venture capital available in the EU, and many support organisations. Indian companies bring a different innovation that can be differentiated in the European market.
What are the strengths of startups in EU member states and how can those complement the Startup India mission?
Europe has many dynamic and skilled tech professionals, entrepreneurs and investors. There are thousands of innovators who are world leaders at what they do. Our startup ecosystem is maturing, with a significant increase in venture capital funding for startups in Europe, and currently 47 unicorns. European startups have strengths in the fields of entertainment, media, gaming, music streaming, fintech, transport, health, energy and water. There are many European companies in India with a strong interest in cooperating with startups, for example in the fields of telecom, software, education and automotive.
Which sectors from Europe were represented at the event?
Visit Startup India delegation and Startup EU-India Summit (17-20 October 2016)
Startup Europe India Network (SEU-IN), a tech-corridor connecting the European & Indian digital markets, will take a high-powered delegation of around 25 participants from the European startup scene to India, from 17th-20th October. The trip will finish with a bang, culminating in the impressive EU-India Tech Summit on 20th October.
From 17th- 20th October, SEU-IN will take a delegation of European startup ecosystem actors to visit the Delhi/NCR and Bengaluru Startup hubs in India (Visit Startup India / VSI). This 4-day comprehensive visit will involve meeting both Indian startups and key stakeholders in the Indian startup ecosystem. The visit will end on 20th with the EU-India Tech Summit in Bengaluru (considered the Silicon Valley of India).
India presents an exciting story in a generally lethargic global economy: its GDP growth-rate in 2015-16 was 7.5%, it has a population of 1.2 billion, including many young people, and a burgeoning Startup ecosystem. Just some months ago, India’s richest man announced that he would be connecting 1 billion people with 4G mobile Internet, and the Indian startup ecosystem is already considered one of the top 3 startup ecosystems worldwide in many accounts.
If Europe is seeking new avenues for growth, it is imperative that the European tech ecosystem looks beyond the usual playbook of expanding to the US market. Asia, and particularly India, present huge growth opportunities for European tech startups, investors, and innovation enablers.
A 4-day visit for the delegation and the EU-India Summit
The VSI delegates are top European VCs (EQT Ventures, OGC Partners, v|t Global); startups from the Netherlands, Slovakia and Estonia; representatives from the European Commission; research centers such as VTT Research from Finland; and interesting programs such as the Estonia e-Residency program.
VSI delegates will visit India on a 4-day visit, which includes 2 days in Delhi and 2 days in Bengaluru (considered the Silicon Valley of India), with a packed agenda. The VSI delegates will visit Lybrate (a startup that is democratizing healthcare with more than 80 thousand doctors online), Ericsson, and InstaOffice (a co-working space) as well as take part in networking. The Delegation of the European Union is also hosting the delegation with the Ambassador of the European Union to India scheduled to welcome, and interacting with the Indian initiatives such as SIDBI (Fund-of-funds), and Startup India in Delhi.
VSI delegates will visit Bengaluru on the 19th October (the third day) with a packed scheduled to visit NASSCOM 10,000 Startups incubator, SAP Labs (tbc), Kalaari Capital (an established Indian VC firm), and interact with McKinsey India.
The highlight of the visit is the fourth and last day, 20th October, with the coming together of the European and Indian Startup ecosystems at the Startup EU-India Summit (SEIS) in Bengaluru. The Summit will bring together a top-line of speakers from the startups, VCs, corporates, and policy-maker community, with more than 25+ speakers in one day and a target of 250+ participants. SEIS will be launched with the theme Digital is Global, focusing on the European & Indian Digital markets, and the question: “When Startups build globally, can Startup ecosystems remain local?”.
SEIS will be held on 20th October at Shangri-La, a five-star location in Bengaluru. SEIS will have 25+ high-level speakers and participation from the Ambassador of the European Union to India, the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic, the Ambassador of Estonia, the Consul General of France, and European & Indian focused startups, investors and corporates such as EQT Ventures, OGC Partners, Rocket Internet/Asia Pacific Internet Group, Roland Berger, Qualcomm Ventures, SwissRe, Kalaari Capital, Kaizen PE, 500 Startups, European Commission, ZoomCar, Printvenue, Lybrate, Axon Partners Group, Bertelsmann India Investments, and Brand Capital (Times Group).
In addition, SEU-IN has a number of Media Partners including CNBC TV18, and a range of community partners working to make the Summit a success. The closing keynote of the Summit is to be delivered by one of India’s prolific investors and SEU-IN Adviser, Mr. MohandasPai.
Praveen Paranjothi, an Indian-origin European-based Venture Capital investor who is leading SEU-IN, states that this is a one-of-a-kind initiative: “it connects the markets that have great potential to work together and creates value with similarities in diversity and culture, and geographical proximity. It’s a proud moment to be able to play a role in bringing together the European market where I had largely built my career, and India, which bestowed me with the skills to aim globally.”
To find out more, please visit: SEU-IN