India, Netherlands unveil StartUpLink

To foster joint sense of innovation and entrepreneurship

May 25, 2018 09:28 pm | Updated 09:28 pm IST - BENGALURU

The Dutch government and Invest India which runs government’s ‘Startup India’ programme on Friday jointly unveiled the ‘#StartUpLink.’ The Indo-Dutch initiative aims to fulfil the objective of facilitating markets expansion for startups in the two countries alongside fostering a joint sense of innovation and entrepreneurship.

“With several Dutch startups looking towards India and vice versa, startups are one of the many vital areas of cooperation between our two countries,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, in a statement.

Dutch Minister for foreign trade and development cooperation Sigrid Kaag said this new pilot creates a dynamic marketplace for everything start-ups require to grow. “The strength of the Dutch ecosystem is based upon ‘joining and sharing’ and this portal will boost just that,” said Ms.Kaag, who led a 120-member business delegation, the largest-ever from the Netherlands, to Bengaluru.

Focus on partnerships

The delegation will focus on business synergies and partnerships with Indian companies in areas such as high-tech and space, smart cities and, life sciences and healthcare.

Initially, Mr. Rutte was scheduled to lead the delegation to Bengaluru, but he had to cut short his India visit due to “urgent developments in The Hague,” according to the Dutch government statement.

Overall the Indo-Dutch delegation signed 53 memorandum of understanding in the country out of which 15 were signed in Bengaluru on Friday. The value of this trade visit to India is worth about €170 million, said the Netherlands government.

Funding, network

The ‘#StartUpLink’ initiative would offer access to key information, relevant networks, pilot opportunities, and navigators for the respective startup ecosystem. The Startup India Hub under Invest India and Netherlands Enterprise Agency under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Change would act as a single point of contact.

“For Dutch startups, India provides a great opportunity for market expansion,” said Suresh Prabhu, Commerce and Industries Minister in a statement.

As a partner for the ‘#StartUpLink,’ oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell has come on board with the aim of accelerating India’s transition to a sustainable energy future. The firm has established the ‘Shell E4 Start Hub’ to enable and empower energy entrepreneurs in progressing their solutions. It would offer startups infrastructure, industry knowledge, funding and global connections combined with an accelerator programme.

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