Uber’s Travis Kalanick among big names to attend Modi’s Start-up India event
A file photo of Uber’s founder Travis Kalanick. Photo: Bloomberg

A file photo of Uber’s founder Travis Kalanick. Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: Investment firm SoftBank’s founder Masayoshi Son, taxi-hailing service Uber’s founder Travis Kalanick and collaborative workspace provider WeWork’s founder Adam Neumann will attend the government’s Start-up India event next week, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil an action plan to assist early-stage companies.

The event will be attended by around 40 innovators, venture capitalists and angel investors from Silicon Valley along with 1,500 founders of start-ups from across the country.

On 27 December, in his Mann Ki Baat radio programme, Modi said the government was going to announce details of the Start-up India event, to be held on 16 January.

Considering the importance of the event to the promotion of start-up culture in the country, it will be telecast live in all Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management, National Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Information Technology, central universities as well as to youth groups in over 350 districts of the country, Amitabh Kant, secretary at the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), told reporters.

“The action plan shall highlight initiatives and schemes being undertaken by the government to address various aspects relating to developing a conducive start-up ecosystem in the country,” he added.

A government official involved in the formulation of the action plan said the policy is in the final stage. “We have sent the policy to the Prime Minister’s Office. It is likely to be finalized by 10 January,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Google Inc. will conduct a session titled ‘Launchpad Accelerator’ where early-stage start-ups can make live pitches to potential investors to win $50,000 in non-equity investment.
SoftBank president and chief operating officer Nikesh Arora will interact with participants on various aspects of start-up funding. Indian start-ups will also showcase some of their unique innovations through a virtual exhibition.

The day-long event will involve workshops and panel discussions on topics including ‘Unleashing entrepreneurship and innovation: What do Indian start-ups need to grow and prosper’; ‘Celebrating women: Stories of innovative women entrepreneurs’; ‘How digitization will change India’s future’; ‘Making Indian healthcare leapfrog’; ‘Financial inclusion is within reach’ and ‘Show me the money: How do we capitalize entrepreneurship?’

Secretaries of key government departments will also answer questions on how the government will create an enabling ecosystem for start-ups.

“The objective is to reinforce commitment of the government towards creating an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of start-ups,” a DIPP statement said.


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