GOInternational Finland, a Nordic International Accelerator will be hosting Smart City Bizhack India at its headquarters in Helsinki. It is the first Indian-themed event to be hosted alongside Slush, an international technology conference organised annually for startups and tech talent to meet top-tier international investors, executives and media at Helsinki, Finland. The three-day event aims to explore the untapped opportunities in the Indian market for smart city innovation. At present, every minute, approximately three Indians are migrating from rural India to urban spaces and this pace is set to continue, thus creating incredible challenges and opportunities for one of the world\u2019s largest economies. The initiative is in line with PM Narendra Modi\u2019s $15 Bn Smart Cities programme to build a new India. Chhattisgarh State will be announced as the pilot state and gateway state for Finnish Innovation in India at the Slush Event. A seven-member delegation from the State of Chhattisgarh, led by Dr. Kamal Preet Singh, Secretary Commerce & Industry, will be joining the event and laying out the broad contours of the potential opportunities in Chhattisgarh for Finnish Innovation. This will also include the opportunity to co-create and collaborate with Indian partners. As stated by GoInternational Finland spokesperson, \u201cFinnish and Nordic companies can contribute to India\u2019s transformation by means of merging Finnish strengths in disruptive product development with India\u2019s unparalleled skills in frugal innovation; and create solutions that can propel inclusive development in India. At the same time, these co-created innovative solutions would be ideally suited for the rest of the developing world; therefore a global market for Nordic solutions.\u201d Smart City Bizhack India: A Step To Enter Indo-Finnish Market Entry Accelerator Of GOInternational Officially launched on October 17, 2017, the Indo-Finnish Market Entry Acceleration Programme is a flagship initiative by GOInternational Finland which is actively driving cross-border collaboration between India, Finland, and the Nordics. The Nordic countries consist of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, including Greenland and Faroe Islands. The accelerator aims to facilitate smart city and village innovation in India and bridge the gap between the Indian and Finnish startup and innovation ecosystems. With Biz Hack India, Indian Series A startups, SMEs, and corporations will get a bridge to access live projects in India and to present their solutions for potential uptake in Pilot State, Chhattisgarh. The winners of Smart City Bizhack India will be fast-tracked to the next phase of GOInternational\u2019s Indo-Finnish Market Entry Acceleration Programme with one-on-one coaching sessions leading up to the trip to India to fine-tune the pitch and ensure everything is well prepared to enter the Indian market. They will then present their solutions in February 2018 for potential implementation in Chhattisgarh. The event will be organised from November 29 - December 1, 2017. The interested teams can apply here. Why Chattisgarh, You May Ask Located in the center-east part of India, Chhattisgarh is emerging as a favoured destination for commerce and industry, given its rapid strides in the Ease of Doing Business index, State political environment and an open-door policy for investors and entrepreneurs. With a population of 28 Mn, Chhattisgarh is the 17th-most populated state in the country. It produces 15% of the country\u2019s steel and its power sector is effectively developed. Whilst the capital Raipur is a fast-developing urban city, 80% of the state\u2019s total population still live in rural areas with poor access to services. In close cooperation with India\u2019s NITI Aayog, Chhattisgarh State Planning Commission has been supporting cross-country dialogue on Sustainable Development Goals and Innovation R&D for the social and economic sectors. The focus areas include Renewable Energy, Technology Enablement, Waste Management and Health Care. Thus, together, GOInternational Finland and Chhattisgarh State have formally initiated a mutual consultation between Nordic Smart City Innovators and the concerned policymakers, experts, entrepreneurs and think tanks, under the umbrella of the Chhattisgarh State Planning Commission. Indo-Finland Startup Landscape: The Road Ahead As stated by H.E Vani Rao, Ambassador of India to Finland and Estonia, \u201cThe IT and BPO sectors now contribute 61% to India\u2019s GDP, overtaking the Agricultural sector at an exponential rate. Although trade relations between Finland and India are at $1.2 Bn in terms of value, which is good but is far below potential.\u201d She believes that Finland\u2019s strengths in education, innovation, and energy are a big match for what India requires and thus, sustainable, long-term co-operation would be a win-win scenario for both countries. Going ahead, the Indian Embassy plans to project Indian companies operations in Finland, and later launch their products into the European market through Finland. \u201cIt\u2019s about creating long-term linkage between the ecosystems of both countries,\u201d she added. \u201cThis is where GOInternational plays a very important role because there is considerable ignorance in India and Finland about each other\u2019s strengths and markets. Organisations like GOInternational can facilitate and make the journey easier for companies from both sides.\u201d Thus, with Smart City Bizhack, the Indian startups and SME\u2019s have got an opportunity to put forward their innovations at a global platform.