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New South Wales, India announce $1.6M partnership to promote startups and tech businesses

Sohini Mitter
17th Apr 2018
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Australia’s budding entrepreneurs will visit India to pick up the tricks of the trade from the best in business. NSW has also roped in a local accelerator to run a programme for its fintech startups.

Australia’s startup capital New South Wales (NSW) is looking "India-ward" for partnerships and collaborations to create new jobs in its tech and advanced manufacturing sectors.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who’s on a trade mission to the country, has announced a $1.6 million two-year partnership between NSW and India for this purpose.

The funds would be utilised to bring NSW’s budding entrepreneurs and startups to India “to learn from the country’s best and brightest” and to support commercial connections between startups in NSW and India.

yourstory-partnership

NSW has also partnered with tech accelerator Zone Startups to help its entrepreneurs gain access to new markets, talent, and knowledge. The announcement was made at Zone's facility in Mumbai. 

Premier Berejiklian said,

“Our state is home to 44 percent of the nation’s startup founders and 40 percent of the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) industry… This partnership will ensure our industries grow alongside one of the world’s most dynamic technology markets.”

The NSW-India partnership will further Australia’s position in the global startup ecosystem. For Indian entrepreneurs and accelerators, it is a chance to collaborate with young talent and impart their highly-valued skills and technical knowhow.

NSW reckons that India houses some of the best startup and ICT talent in the world.

Berejiklian added,

“This partnership will provide NSW businesses with incredible access to some of the best entrepreneurs and technology experts in the world and I look forward to seeing the results over the next two years.”

YourStory has learnt that as part of the partnership with NSW, Zone Startups will run a market access programme for 10 fintech startups from the state. These startups would be visiting India this June.

Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director, Zone Startups India, tells us,

“Countries with a population of 20-30 million with a great academic infrastructure are able to produce top quality talent who are increasingly taking interest in launching their own businesses. However, due to smaller markets in their home country, the interest is largely to enter big markets like India and China.”

India, of course, is the world’s third-largest and fastest-growing startup ecosystem. According to NASSCOM, India would be home to over 10,500 startups by 2020. It trails only behind the US and the UK. In 2017 alone, over 1,000 tech startups were added.

Fintech particularly has exploded in the last 18 months or so with several policy and regulatory decisions triggering growth. NSW knows that only too well.

Ajay says,

“In the fintech space, India is emerging to be more promising because of robust business environment here and a far more open market access. Players like us [Zone Startups] help such fintech players [from NSW] gain a foothold in India by helping them get off the ground in terms of proof-of-concepts, industry connects and much more.”

Besides ICT and fintech, food, agriculture, and healthcare sectors would also be in focus.

Last month, Industry & Investment New South Wales Director General Dr Richard Sheldrake was on a two-day mission to India to promote bilateral trade and investment.

He is believed to have held talks with leading Indian corporations including the Aditya Birla Group and the Essar Group for potential partnerships. NSW has also signed an MoU with the Indian Merchants Chamber to explore opportunities for collaboration.

Dr Sheldrake said,

“Our focus is India. We have recently opened a dedicated trade office in Mumbai, we are actively strengthening our bilateral trade agreements between our financial capitals, Sydney and Mumbai, and we are building new trade relationships between New South Wales with many Indian industrial centres.”

YourStory has reached out to NSW for further inputs on the startup partnership.

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