“Today, I would like to encourage Indian capital and Indian investors to look at the BIMSTEC region, look at our neighbours and work towards greater engagement through investment, mentorship and support to the larger ecosystem within the region,” Goyal said at the inaugural session of the two-day event “Prarambh: Startup India International Summit” organised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
BIMSTEC, or the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation is a grouping of countries in South Asia and South-East Asia – Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the summit on Saturday where he would interact with startups via video conferencing.
Goyal said he has appealed to Indian capital to expand their horizon to support startups in India particularly at an early stage.
“The joint commitment of all these nations to promote our startups across the region, to help them work together in a spirit of partnership,” Goyal said, adding that this will demonstrate globally the combined efforts to make startups the pillar on which future economic development will rest and prosper.
Goyal said the effort to create an ecosystem of innovation, invention and enterprise will work like a AAA battery where a positive attitude, nimble agility and tremendous ability of youngsters will power and drive the future of startups.
“When we invite starts from our neighbour in South Asia to engage with our startups in India, work together with our startups among countries, we are going beyond Government-to-Government collaboration, beyond Business-to-Business collaboration, and Business-to-Consumer engagement to a Startup-to Startup-collaboration, the minister said.
Referring to an Indian government-led delegation visiting Bhutan along with successful startups and mentors last year, Goyal said different ways of collaboration were discussed then.
“Our startups show enthusiasm at their very best…entrepreneurs today have a tremendous entrepreneurial steam, many young boys and girls who don’t want to be job seekers but job creators,” he said, and asked budding entrepreneurs to experiment with their ideas.
Terming the Startup India initiative that began five years ago, a “nascent story”, Goyal said over 41,000 startups are registered with the DPIIT as of now.
At the same event, DPIIT secretary Guruprasad Mohapatra said India is now the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world with the country boasting of 30 unicorns, nine of which are now in the unicorns club in 2020.
“The country now has more than 41,000 startups across 590 districts. 55% of these come from tier-1 cites while 45% of them come from tier 2 and 3 cities,” he said.
Since the beginning of the Startup India initiative, 39 regulations have been simplified for the startups by the centre and 37 regulations have been simplified by the state governments.