Ishan Patra ( )
The newly-formed Startup20 Engagement Group under India’s 2023 G20 Presidency kickstarted its second meeting in Gangtok, Sikkim on Saturday.
The Sikkim Sabha began with an inauguration session comprising over 300 dignitaries, G20 members and invitee countries, international organisations, and national delegates.
Dr Chintan Vaishnav, Chair of Startup20 Engagement Group, set the context for the Sikkim Sabha and emphasised the need for startups today, stating, “Startups have become an indispensable force all around the world in addressing some of our most pressing challenges.”
The Startup20 engagement group aims to create a global narrative for supporting startups and enabling synergies between startups, corporates, investors, innovation agencies, and other key ecosystem stakeholders.
The engagement group comprises three task forces—Foundations & Alliances, Finance, and Inclusion & Sustainability.
Prem Singh Taman, Chief Minister of Sikkim, while addressing the inaugural session of the Sikkim Sabha highlighted the importance of India’s G20 presidency, “the G20 presidency to India once again signifies the confidence and commitment of both the developed and developing countries”.
The task force members, along with the Startup20 team, then deliberated and discussed their respective draft policy papers.
Sikkim Sabha also showcased the fifty Startup Showcase stalls, representing startups from the ecotourism, organic manufacturing, healthcare, education, and technological sector, spread across MG Marg in Gangtok. It also witnessed participation from stakeholders from the Indian startup ecosystem.
Som Prakash, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, while shedding light on the impressive growth of the startup community said that under the leadership of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, “India has become the third largest startup ecosystem in the world”.
The second meeting in Sikkim is spread across two days—March 18 and 19, 2023. The Sikkim Sabha will forward the agenda finalised during the inception meeting held in Hyderabad on January 28 and 29, 2023, with the support of all attendee delegates.
The first draft of the policy communiqué will be worked on and reworked during the coming months and other intervening events will be hosted by Startup20.
According to NITI Aayog, expected outcomes of Startup20 are the official Policy Communique, a Startup Handbook with a set of commonly agreed upon definitions and terminologies, a Global Innovation Centre to foster collaborations across borders, and the promotion of Startup20 as a Global Point of Contact for startup ecosystems worldwide.