Policy, promotion, positioning: how governments play an important role in the global startup race

As shown at the Mobile World Congress, governments can promote their startups at international forums, drive innovation through entrepreneur-friendly policies, and fund quantum-leap innovations.

PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 305 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon galleryworld music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

Governments can do much more than “get out of the way” of startups and remove unnecessary layers of bureaucracy, thus making it easier to do business. They can also create policies favourable for local R&D, manufacturing, commercialisation, incubators, digital infrastructure, exports, investment laws, and emerging sectors like clean-tech. Many such frameworks and examples of proactive government support are explained in books like The Entrepreneurial State (see our Book Review section).

As the recent Mobile World Congress (MWC) shows, the host city Barcelona is also riding the wave of emerging technologies by teaming up with global industry associations, hosting multi-lateral conferences, promoting smart city testbeds, and showcasing their startups at international forums.

Of course, Barcelona can also do much more to make the city safer during such events; it is unfortunately earning the label of “pickpocket city of the world.” It is almost a rite of passage for attendees to personally know someone who was robbed in the city during the week of the event (or even worse, to be robbed oneself). But that is another story altogether!

Dozens of countries around the world also hosted pavilions at MWC showcasing their emerging tech companies, some of which are featured in this photo essay. The pavilions showcased core strengths of each country as well, such as China as a manufacturing powerhouse for mobile devices, network equipment, and wearables.

For a number of reasons, only a few startups from South Asia and Africa exhibit at MWC. Much more can be done to increase their profile in this regard.

Creating special startup-focused forums along with industry events for tech giants helps companies across the board, as shown by the special event Four Years From Now (4YFN), held for the past five years alongside MWC. It promotes business contact between startups, investors, corporate accelerators, and government agencies via networking, knowledge-sharing, pitches, jobs, matchmaking, and awards.

In our final photo essay on MWC 2019, we showcase some of the country pavilions, accelerators, and startups, with insights on successful partnerships coming up next. See also Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV of our MWC 2019 coverage, as well as our framework of 15 innovation tips: how large corporations can successfully engage with startups, and the Startup Hatch section of accelerator and incubator profiles.

In this pictorial essay, we feature the teams from Valencia, Catalonia, Barcelona, South Korea, India, Westfalen, La French Tech; Telecel Africa Startup Initiative, ZINC, 4YFN, Daimler accelerator, Vueling; Quantum Flagship, Adinno, AppTweak, Scobic, EiTV, Neurafy, Onia, Saalg, Pod Group, Fortumo, and Airk Drones.


The offerings of the independent and government-backed players span quantum computing, arts, robotics, heat-sensing, sports, app optimisation, digital media, AI, wellness, geo-mechanics, CRM, billing, clean-tech, e-learning, and drones.

Now, what have you done today to connect to government and policymakers, and promote better PPP (public sector, private sector, people) partnerships?

Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at PhotoSparks@YourStory.com!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.


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