Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday had a glimpse into the future of his latest pet project of promoting and fostering entrepreneurship when he visited the “India-US Startup Konnect 2015” exposition in San Jose that is showcasing India’s strengths in the startup ecosystem through the displays of some 40 companies.
“It is a great pleasure to be here. For me, this is a special event because the idea of startups is close to my heart. When I shifted to Delhi last year, I thought of my government as a start up,” Modi told the packed gathering at what is considered the Mecca of tech innovation.
Hosted by Nasscom in partnership with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) and the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A) Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), the day-long event on the margins of Modi’s visit to the Silicon Valley highlights Indian innovation through the eyes of 30 startups.
The prime minister was again ready with his quotable quotes. “I often say that if there is a strong wind, some shut the window, but others put a windmill or launch sail in the sea,” he said.
“The course of human history and progress has been shaped by imagination, inspiration, invention and innovation.”
The prime minister said the idea of a start-up was as ancient as the world itself, with each economic era defined by the disruption of the previous one with the evolution of new ideas and products.
“Start-ups have always been engines of progress. The mega corporations of today were start-ups of yesterday.”
Modi also launched the “Bharat Fund” that will provide seed funding to Indian entrepreneurs who will go after projects that can promote better health, usher in new socially-helpful technologies, look at new and renewable sources of energy and push farm-sector development.
Explaining the idea of Startup Konnect, Nasscom top brass here said the intention was a single platform for funding, mentoring, and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit for as many as 10,000 start-ups — who will get to meet some experts and advisors in the field to adapt idea into a successful business venture.
“A girl child in a remote Indian village dreams of her own projects when she sees start-ups of today,”said Modi.
“The potential of youth and innovation can ignite partnership between India and US and give new content to our strategic partnership.”
The prime minister also witnessed the signing of seven pacts between Indian-US entities to strengthen the Start-up Konnect
Earlier, Reid Garrett Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn and a entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author, said the key success of Silicon Valley ad the global tech and entrepreneurship hub was not start-ups, but scale-ups.
“What the prime minister is doing in terms of ‘Digital India’ is great leadership,” he said.