India Innovation Hub, a project of the India Pavilion at Expo2020 Dubai, and Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated freezone technology park, joined hands as they signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to support the startup ecosystem in both countries.
As part of the engagement, unicorns from India will be brought to Dubai where DSO will host ‘Elevate’ sessions, a flagship investor pitching series of the India Innovation Hub.
The announcement was made at the tenth edition of the Elevate series, hosted at Dubai Silicon Oasis, where India’s startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem displayed its ability once again as 50 startups showcased a range of innovative business ideas to global investors.
The event was attended by Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai and Deputy Commissioner-General for India at Expo 2020 Dubai; Dr Juma Al Matrooshi, Director General, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Ghanim Al Falasi, Senior Vice President of Technology and Entrepreneurship, Dubai Silicon Oasis alongside other senior officials from both parties.
Startups from industries such as healthcare, fintech, F&B, energy, space, software as a service (SaaS), logistics, and technology among others presented their ideas to the global investors at the popular pitching series supported by HSBC.
Sujeet Kumar, Co-Founder of Udaan, which is India's largest B2B Platform for businesses & shop-owners and one of the fastest Indian tech startups to reach the Unicorn status shared his entrepreneurial journey with the startups on how they build Udaan from an idea to a successful business and how his company is helping small businesses by providing them with a suitable platform and an opportunity to grow as entrepreneurs.
Addressing the session, Dr Puri expressed delight at being a part of this LoI signing ceremony between DSO, India Innovation Hub and Consulate General of India in Dubai.
"India has emerged as the world's third-largest startup ecosystem with over 40 Indian start-ups joining the Unicorn Club in 2021. "This success is a testament to our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a self-reliant and self-confident India."
He also reiterated PM Modi’s statement that India’s data and demographic dividend combined with the country's proven tech prowess will make this decade the country's “Techade”.
The Indian Prime Minister had recently declared January 16 as National Start-up Day and called start-ups the backbone of new India.
"The UAE has an immense focus on supporting innovation and attracting global talent. We will engage some of the key Indian startups to come and use Dubai as a base for their global expansion. Going ahead, India and the UAE will work closely to foster innovation as well as nurturing new talent," stated Dr Puri.
On the growing partnership between India and Dubai in the startup domain, Dr Matrooshi said: "We are delighted to expand our collaboration with the India Innovation Hub, following a delegation’s visit to DSO and Dtec earlier this year and a mutual commitment to support tech-focused startups in both countries."
"The UAE and India recognize the key role of startups and SMEs in the nations’ economies and are keen to support their establishment and development. In line with the goals of the National Entrepreneurship Agenda, to transform the UAE into The Entrepreneurial Nation and become home to 20 unicorns by 2031, DSO is partnering with the India Innovation Hub to host the Elevate pitch series and welcome promising Indian entrepreneurs looking to expand their operations," he added.
Delivering the keynote address, Sujeet said the 50 startups that showcased their work are truly promising, and the ecosystem is very welcoming and supporting.
"This is a key platform for them to pitch their ideas, attract investments, network with like-minded individuals, and get constructive feedback that will help them further develop their offerings. I urge the entrepreneurs to keep up their hard work and focus on the prize," he noted.
Some of the Indian startups that presented their business ideas include, PrognoAdvisor, an early-stage fintech startup providing financial wellness for corporate employees; Kalki Ecosphere, a startup working towards sustainable solutions as alternatives to single-use plastic bottled water and EXPRESSbase, an open-source, low-code platform for fast-growing SMEs and Governments to build internal process apps among others.
Startups from Dubai, who participated at the session include QQ Technologies, world’s first satellite cellular 5G IoT operator that provides global cellular Internet of Things(IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M) communication solutions through satellites; FreshNow, which aims to offer fruit juices at its freshest form by reducing production to consumption time and ensuring zero wastage and Gameblar, a multiplayer gaming platform for casual intellectual games in the play-2-win sector, among others.
SurveySparrow from California (US) also presented a cloud-based experience management platform that helps brands refine experiences at every touchpoint.
The India Pavilion recently accomplished an important milestone by showcasing more than 250 startups since the inception of the pitching series. The next Elevate session is scheduled on February 17.-

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