Published On: Sat, Nov 18th, 2017

GES to create congenial ecosystem for startups: Amitabh Kant

New Delhi: NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Saturday said the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which is being co-hosted by the United States and India for the first time, is expected to develop a congenial ecosystem for the growth of startups in the country.

This is the first time that women are the majority participants at a GES

“The expectation from this Summit is to create an ecosystem for startups and support them. It is a step in that direction. It will be the biggest entrepreneurship summit,” Kant told reporters here at a media briefing.

The 8th edition of GES will be held in Hyderabad during November 28-30, for which 1,500 individuals have been selected to participate. This is first time that the Summit is being held in South Asia.

The Summit will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ivanka Trump, Adviser to the US President, will lead the US contingent to the Summit, which will highlight the theme of “Women First, Prosperity for All” and focus on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally.

“For India, this Summit holds a special place as we are more intensely focused than ever before to give entrepreneurs opportunities and ecosystem to help them thrive,” the CEO of the government’s think tank said.

“We have been encouraging the spirit of entrepreneurship through various programmes — be it Start-Up India, Make in India or the Atal Innovation Mission. This Summit will help us showcase our incredible potential to the world,” Kant said.

The Summit would focus on four areas — energy and infrastructure, digital economy and financial technology, health and life sciences, and media and entertainment, he said.

Approximately, a third of the selected entrepreneurs are from the United States, one third are from India and one third from other countries around the globe.

Women will represent 52.5 per cent of entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem supporters at GES 2017. Overall, participants hail from 150 countries and territories across the world.

“This is the first time that women are the majority participants at a GES. Women from 127 countries are participating. Over 10 countries will be represented by an all-female delegation, including Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Israel,” Kant said.

“Indian entrepreneurs from the length and breadth of the country will join GES and connect with entrepreneurs and investors from around the world. As much as 31.5 per cent of entrepreneurs at GES are 30 years or younger. The youngest entrepreneur is 13 and the oldest entrepreneur is 84,” he added.

A virtual exhibition through a multi-touch interactive wall, sensor-enabled touch screens, rotoscope mural technology and physical displays will showcase over 100 innovative startups, products, services and processes that are transforming the Indian and global landscape.

“In the lead up to the Summit, we have enabled a series of events from hackathons to pitch competitions, held not just in India but around the world. More than 500 Indian entrepreneurs applied for participating in the pitching competition, and we have shortlisted 35 candidates who will have the opportunity to present their ideas to the world’s top investors.

“It is an unparalleled opportunity for a big breakthrough for them, which will give them not just funding but also the mentoring support they need,” he said.

Prominent speakers from more than 35 countries would share their insights and outlook for the future of technology, innovation, entrepreneurship. International industry leaders such as John Chambers, Prem Watsa and Marcus Wallenberg will be sharing their perspective on varied topics.

“For many of us, the most interesting stories will come from the entrepreneurs who are carving a space for themselves, going off the beaten track. Anousheh Ansari, the Iranian-American space traveler, will share her experience of what it was like to revolutionise the space industry by opening it to private sector participation.

“Equally fascinating would be to hear Sibongile Sambo’s journey from a rejected flight attendant to founding her own aviation company,” the NITI Aayog CEO said.

Similarly, prominent Indian entrepreneurs such as Anu Acharya and Radhika Agarwal would discuss scaling tech-enabled startups, while leading investors Vani Kola and Shanti Mohan would share their experience with entrepreneurs looking to take the next leap, he said.

In the session on entrepreneurship in sports, Chatri Sityodtong who gave up his career as an investment banker to pursue his passion in sports, will share the stage with Sania Mirza who has brought India laurels in tennis and Pullela Gopicahnd who has taken badminton to great heights.

Renowned chef, Vikas Khanna, will share his journey of founding and running Michelin-starred restaurants in New York.

Since 2010, the GES has travelled to Washington D.C., Istanbul, Dubai, Marrakech, Nairobi, Kuala Lumpur and Silicon Valley.

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