On the first day of the Indo German Startup Week 2021 (20 September), we focused on the broad aspects of fostering Indo-German Cooperation in startup ecosystems. We presented startup success stories in the Indo-German context and highlighted the topic of diversity when we do cross-border business. Here is a quick look at all the sessions of the day:

We opened with a keynote by Sindhu Gangadharan, SVP & MD, SAP Labs India 

  • It emphasized the importance of Indo-German collaboration and cross-pollination. 
  •  GINSEP Project Lead Julian Zix, talked about the communities and networks that GINSEP has been able to leverage and the various sectors that GINSEP is fast expanding its hold in. 

In Future of Indo-German Startups: Successful innovations & Opportunities to Co-Innovate:

  • Dr. Ajai Garg, Sr Director at Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology talked about the policies that India has instituted to encourage startups in India. 
  • For India, the focus is on creating a startup ecosystem that has infrastructure support, opportunities for research, and data for innovation.
  • Dr. Caroline Silva-Garbade, Desk Officer Digital Networking, BMWi focused on how Germany is creating more space for innovation, welcoming more Indian talent, ideas, people, and investors.
  • On the implementation side, we had Jeet Vijayvargiya, CEO, MEITY Startup Hub
     MeitY Startup Hub talk about the digital one-stop hub for startups that they pioneered. 
  • The hub creates ease of business, opportunities for resource aggregation and is an interface between the government and the Startup world. 
  • Julian Zix of GINSEP said the main challenges for startups both in Germany and India currently are: lack of understanding of the market, lack of knowledge of stakeholders, and differences in business cultures. 
  • Stefan Halusa, Director General at Indo-German Chamber of Commerce shared that the Chamber provides a network of businesses for companies to learn from.

We had an inspiring session on a few Indo-German Success Stories: 

  • Naren Shaam, founder of Omio spoke about resilience in the Startup ecosystem. He also urged newcomers to have a greater acceptance of failure while not getting bogged down by it. 
  • Tom Segert, Director, Berlin Space Technologies spoke about their partnership with India because of the country’s educated workforce and a fast developing market. 

We looked inwards into the Startup ecosystem and the role of DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) in disruptive startup innovation: 

  • Alina Bassi CEO at Kleiderly, Co-Founder at Founderland urged companies to start DEI from within to put up a good fight against tokenism. 
  • She shed some light on the barriers women face in the Startup ecosystem and how her NGO addresses this gap. 
  • Rouven Dresselhaus Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Cavalry Ventures talked about some positive signs in the Startup space: there are more women-founded companies and they are achieving great success. 
  • In the DEI space, one good place to start is in education, amplifying role models, and diversifying the LP bases. 

In our Tech4Good Innovations session, we spoke to catalysts for social transformation in times of crisis

  • Rahul Lodhe,  Senior Director SAP Artificial Intelligence Technology shared 3 concrete examples of how SAP is driving #Tech4Good internally. 
  • Ambassador Gurjit Singh, Former Ambassador to Germany, Indonesia & ASEAN, Ethiopia & the African Union talked about procuring investments for philanthropy. 
  • Flo Oberhofer, Founder & Director, Bharat Impact – CSR India touched on the need for Tech4good on a grassroots level and his experiences in on-ground implementation. 
  • Shankar Kumar, Advisor CSR, GIZ talked about the capacity building and training needs in the ecosystem.

Take a look at the program here and register for the rest of the days.