A mentoring program for Indian National Startup Awards 2020 finalists was co-hosted by Embassy of India, Washington DC in partnership with Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) on 5 January 2021. The program is first in series of startup activities that will be organized in partnership with DPIIT and USISPF.

Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Joint Secretary, DPIIT, Mr Anil Agrawal addressed the inaugural session. Giving an overview of India’s entrepreneurial eco system, Ambassador said “today India is the third largest, startup ecosystem in the world and is home to 21 unicorns valued at USD 73.2 billion. By some estimates, more than 50 ‘soonicorn’ startups might join the unicorn club as early as 2022.” He highlighted the long standing relationship between India and Bay Area-Silicon Valley, adding that Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley in 2015 signified the importance of this entrepreneurial bridge and partnership.

Joint Secretary DPIIT, Mr Anil Agrawal spoke about the Government of India’s efforts to put in place an enabling ecosystem for startups in India. During the Fireside Chat with Mr. Mukesh Aghi, President & CEO, USISPF, Mr John Chambers, Founder & CEO, JC2 Ventures, and Chairman, USISPF shared his experience of working with startups.

The National Startup Awards seek to recognize and reward outstanding startups in a variety of different fields. Mentoring sessions during the day featured legal experts with experience in helping startups, industry leaders and venture capitalists who shared their robust experience in developing early growth in the startup process. Participants were able to learn valuable experiences covering the entire lifecycle of the startup process as they heard experiences of CEOs with successful startups as well as experts from the venture capital arena. Around 150 Indian startups attended the event.

05 January 2021

Washington, DC