Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Startup India, Standup India’ initiative is no less than a rock concert in its own. Scheduled for 16th January, the event has seen a massive response for the coveted 1,500 passes, with about 1 lakh participants for the same. That is a ratio of 1:0.015 which means everyone who applied stood a chance of just 1.5% to be a part of this event which is being waited upon with bated breath by the startup community!
And why not? The event is supposed to be a watermark event in 2016 as PM Modi is expected to launch a slew of reforms aimed at revolutionising the Indian startup ecosystem and will unveil the Startup Action Plan. Be it taxation policies or regulatory approval or increase in FDI or infrastructural support, Indian startup founders and investors and mentors, all want some clarity, some assurance, some support, and a lot of relief from the government to catapult the nation into the league of the best startup nations in the world.
Besides entrepreneurs, industry veterans like Mukesh and Anil Ambani, Tata group chairman Cyrus Mistry, Bharti’s Sunil Mittal and Aditya Birla Group’s Kumar Birla will also be attending the event. The attendees would also get a chance to hear from Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, who plans to invest $20 Bn in solar projects in India, Travis Kalanick (founder, Uber) and WeWork (founder, Adam Neumann).
Apart from them, around 40 high-profile Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and angel investors have also been invited as special guests. There is also a possibility that Google’s Launchpad Accelerator programme could be part of this event, wherein one early-stage startup will be shortlisted from a panel of five.
Saurabh Shrivastava, Chairman, Indian Angel Network says, “It bodes well for the country that the current government, for the first time in modern Indian history, has understood the criticality of startups for employment and economic growth and has launched “The Startup India, Standup India mission”. This revolution can make us the second largest entrepreneurial hub in the world after the US, take us to double digit GDP growth, eliminate poverty and take India to the position it enjoyed 300 years ago, when it accounted for 25% of global GDP.”
As the curtain unfolds on what the PM has in store for startups this year, we spoke to some investors, startup clubs, ecosystem enablers, and founders on what is it that they wanted from the PM.