It’s not only bigger companies like Amazon and Walmart that are buying Indian startups and forming partnerships. Even startups from Canada are scouting for potential tie-ups with Indian startups.
On Monday, in a conference organised jointly by Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP) and Canada Trade Commissioner Service, the leadership teams of nine startups and SMEs from Canada met about 50-60 people from the industry, which included Indian startup founders, venture capitalists, and Indian corporate entities looking to explore tie-ups, among others.
Richard Reiner, CEO of Montreal-based startup fluent.ai, and Linda Zadeh, CEO of a Vancouver-based startup EPIC Semiconductors are part the India tour organised by CIIP to promote collaborative research and development projects having potential for commercialisation between Canada and India.
Startups providing smart city solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies are currently exploring partnerships with Indian startups, SMEs and corporate entities to tap the market opportunity in each other’s geography.
While fluent.ai described the size of the Indian market as “astronomical”, EPIC Semiconductors has estimated the Indian market to be around $5 billion. Fluent.ai has proprietary speech-recognition technology and is keen to have a partnership with Indian mobile phone makers. Similarly, with its dust size AI-chip, EPIC Semiconductors is looking for partners working in clean-tech, fintech, retail, etc.
Prasad Rao, Vice President - Product, of Ontario based inField Solutions, said, “The business relationship will work in two ways. We will provide licences to our Indian partners to sell their sensors integrated with our core solutions in the North American market. We spoke to about 10 potential partners and we will take this engagement to next level.”
InField Solutions is a smart city technology company providing SaaS-based platforms.
Speaking to YourStory, Craig Downing, Director of Product Management, BluWave-ai, a one-year-old startup that uses AI-based software for optimisation of smart grids and microgrids, said, “India’s market is huge. I can’t quantify it, but the potential is immense. We are looking for potential customers in Utilities, Smart Cities and Micro Grid Operators.”
The event was not just attended by Indian startups, but also by bigger corporates like Tech Mahindra, TCS and also had India-based VC funds marking their presence.
The two joint Indo-Canadian bilateral initiatives under which startups from both countries get funding from their respective governments for collaborative research and development projects are CIIP, and India-Canada collaborative Industrial Research & Development Program, which is administered by Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) on behalf of Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.