The ‘RocketShips to the UK’ initiative launched by the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in association with iSPIRT, gives startups a platform to transform their ideas into fast-moving and hyper-growth ‘rocketships’ globally. As part of the program, the startups get networking opportunities and mentoring sessions from experienced industry leaders, veterans, venture capitalists & mentors, and access to vital resources.
GREAT Tech Rocketships (GTRS) initiative was started last year with an intent to provide a platform to startups with innovative and disruptive ideas that have the potential to scale up globally. Last year, close to 300 startups had sent their nominations, of which 61 ideas were shortlisted. Consequently, five startups were declared winners which included Agrima Infotech, Congruent Solutions, Frilp, ToneTag and Talview.
These startups got the opportunity of a fully paid week long trip to the UK, a chance to interact with investors, local entrepreneurs, policy makers, accelerators & incubators, and a guided tour of Tech City, innovation hub and science tech-park, where they could network with like-minded entrepreneurs, startups, research scholars and pioneering companies, explore local entrepreneurship eco-system in the country and identify opportunities to scale up their business in the global level.
Says Prajakt Raut, founder of The Hub for Startups and Applyifi.com, on the importance of tapping global markets,
“Many Indian startups have concepts that also have a relevance in market outside India. In fact, in some cases the market opportunity in the US or European or African markets could be much stronger than the opportunity within India. But most of our startups automatically think of India as their base market, primarily because of the proximity, but largely also because they do not have a way of accessing an ecosystem in those markets. It’s almost like saying ‘I am based in Aurangabad, and hence I will first try my enterprise software product in Aurangabad because I do not have access to markets in Mumbai’. It’s almost the same thing as an entrepreneur saying ‘Even though US and UK will eventually be my most important markets, let me first launch my product in India, because I don’t know how to tap the US and UK market’. By not exploring international markets, many startups may end up ignoring a critical success factor of their business. In some cases ignoring markets outside India may make the journey tougher for them.”
We spoke to the last year’s winners to understand how being selected for the GTRS initiative impacted their growth and boosted their prospects.