An Indian-American media body today said it will hold a startup competition in India next month, winners of which would be invited to the US to make business pitch before American investors.
Any startup located in India is eligible to enter the competition by submitting a business plan and finalists will present their business plans briefly at the inaugural US-India Startup Forum in Delhi on September 1 and inBangalore on September 3 before a panel of judges, entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders and the general audience.
The competition, part of the multi-city US-India Startup Forums and being organised by The American Bazaar, joins Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Startup India initiative.
The winners will be invited to the US to make their pitches before American investors.
“American investors continue to be intrigued by the energy and the robustness of the Indian startup echo system. The bilateral commercial relations today are a two-way traffic,” Asif Ismail, publisher of the media outlet, said in a press release. “By hosting the startup competition and the Forums, The American Bazaar wants to be the bridge between the US investor community and the Indian startup community.”
“India has all the ingredients to create a stable and sustainable stream of next-Gen entrepreneurs,” said Prashanth “PV” Boccasam, a General Partner at the Bethesda, Maryland- based Novak Biddle and one of the investors attending the Forums.
Eugene Flood Jr., the Managing Partner of Next Sector Capital, which is based in Durham, North Carolina, said “Indian startups offer two attractions” to his firm.
“First, many of the problems or opportunities in the health, natural resources, energy areas require cutting edge technology. India has a deep bench of human resources steeped in science and engineering,” he said.
“Additionally, language and cultural issues working with Next Sector’s management team will be fully manageable. Second, the markets in India are obviously, large and growing, so the opportunities to address issues in the “impact” space are numerous,” he added.
India’s start-up landscape is very different, and in many ways more exciting, than the start-up landscape in developed markets, said Richard M Rossow, Wadhwani Chair in US India Policy Studies at CSIS.
“I think of Indian start-ups in two broad categories, and both require a very different eye for potential investors. One group is creating products and services geared towards the high-end of the Indian market,” he said, adding this group will be fairly recognisable to American investors.
“The other group is creating products and services that tap in to requirements in India, shaped by their home country’s unique needs and environment