India, Canada sign partnerships to promote innovation and entrepreneurship

The two countries also launched a Bilateral Entrepreneurship Program, with a focus on Women Entrepreneurs, in partnership with Zone Startups.
India, Canada sign partnerships to promote innovation and entrepreneurship
India, Canada sign partnerships to promote innovation and entrepreneurship

As Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited India, both countries have strengthened their relations to promote innovation and entrepreneurship through a slew of MoU and partnerships inked between both countries.

On Monday, an Indo-Canada Innovation Bridge was formed. This was through an MoU signed between Canada-based public-private innovation hub Communitech and Hyderabad-based startup incubator T-Hub with intent to partner in support of global commercialization of each other’s technology companies.

The MoU was signed in Mumbai by Lisa Cashmore, Communitech’s Director of International Strategy and Jay Krishnan, T-Hub CEO in the presence of the Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the Canadian House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism.

Communitech and T-Hub will share office space, programming and mentorship as well as create a program where companies of both countries will join to resolve corporate innovation challenges.

Through the partnership, a co-innovation program with joint development between Canadian and Indian innovators and entrepreneurs will be formed. Communitech entrepreneurs will have market access through T-Hub’s India Market Access Program based on product-market fit and will promote Indian and Canadian startups and researchers working together on solutions to innovation challenges corporate businesses face in both countries.

“These partnerships also help to encourage investment and forward thinking, giving our best and brightest a stage on which they can shine. Today’s agreement between Communitech and T-Hub will help to enable this important work. I congratulate both organizations on this agreement, and wish them, and the many great companies they will work with, the best of success for many years to come,” said Minister Chagger.

This partnership will help Canadian startups and technology firms have direct access to Indian markets and support on the ground.

“T-Hub and Communitech share a common philosophy to make our corresponding ecosystems vibrant, technology-driven, and also driven by international aspirations. With the signing of this MOU, we will be providing a platform and opportunity for startups and corporates from both countries to access each other with support provided on the ground in a structured, programmatic way,” said Jay Krishnan.

Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development also visited T-Hub to interact with startups and women entrepreneurs and addressed them on the necessity of inclusivity at startup incubators such as T-Hub.

The two countries also launched a Bilateral Entrepreneurship Program, with a focus on Women Entrepreneurs, in partnership with Mumbai-based Zone Startups on Tuesday. The program is jointly funded by respective ministries from Canada and India, under the aegis of the Canada-India S&T Agreement.

Zone Startups is a global brand of technology accelerators, operated by Toronto-based Ryerson Futures. Zone Startups’ flagship program in India, Zone Startups India is set up as a joint venture with the BSE Institute and Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada), and partly funded by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

Announced by Navdeep Bains and Dr. Anita Gupta, Associate Head, NSTEDB, DST, the initiative will be operated by Zone Startups India on behalf of both the Governments. 

Dr Anita Gupta, Scientist – G, Advisor, Associate Head, NSTEDB, DST, Government of India says, “DST, Govt of India are pleased to partner with Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Canada to accelerate innovation value chain and technology commercialization through initiatives having special focus on women entrepreneurs of both the countries. Such a bilateral engagement facilitated by key stakeholders, govt, accelerators, incubators and companies aim to lead ways for better economic and social development of both the countries.”

Through this program, Zone startups hopes to open newer markets for startups on both sides of the border in terms of new clients, talent and capital access.

To drive this initiative, the Canadian and Indian Governments have jointly funded the program, to identify 20 startups annually over the next 2 years and support them with a market access program.

In addition, T-Hub also signed a Statement of Cooperation with University of British Columbia to establish a market access bridge for growth-stage startups from both nations and to support aspiring student entrepreneurs from India and Canada to solve problems of global relevance through co-creation.

“We at T-Hub are proud to sign agreements with Communitech and the University of British Columbia which will create an Indo-Canadian Innovation bridge. The MoU with Communitech will help scale Indian and Canadian startups through exposure to new markets and new customers, and the Statement of Cooperation with UBC will promote open innovation via creation of tailored innovative solutions for unique challenges arriving from corporates. I am confident that both these innovative platforms will result in the growth of brilliant startups and innovative solutions for years to come," Srinivas Kollipara, Founder and COO, T-Hub said.

The idea is to allow startups, entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs in Canada to have direct access to the Indian market should they see a fit in this market and vice-versa with startups, entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs in India.

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