Why is the G20-Startup Engagement Group a Game-Changer?

Why is the G20-Startup Engagement Group a Game-Changer?

Startups have become integral to driving innovation and growth across various industries. With their innovative solutions for untapped opportunities and unaddressed challenges, startups play a key role in advancing technology in areas, including education, agriculture, healthcare, energy, and climate resilience. 

The G20—a group of 20 major economies representing roughly 85% of the global GDP, 75% of global trade, and two-thirds of the world's population—has a thriving startup ecosystem.

With over one million startups, 10,000 incubators and accelerators, and 750 unicorns, the G20 nations are at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Various presidencies have introduced different engagement groups—Women20 (Turkish Presidency in 2015) and Science20 (Germany’s Presidency in 2017). Similarly, India’s G20 presidency launched the Startup20 Engagement Group—a dedicated platform for startups. 

Earlier in G20 meetings, the Business20 engagement group handled all discussions related to startups. For the first time now, startups have got a dedicated forum under the G20 umbrella.

By having a dedicated forum for startups, the G20 nations can work together to support and enhance the growth of the startup ecosystem. It will not only drive progress and innovation within the G20 but also have a positive impact on the global economy and society as a whole.

Official platform for startups empowerment 

Startup20 is a platform for entrepreneurship and innovation leaders from the G20 countries to collaborate and formulate policy recommendations to support the development of startup ecosystems.

It aims to bridge the knowledge gap between the G20 countries and emerging economies and establish a Global Innovation Centre to encourage cross-border collaborations.  

One of the key discussions will be on how to increase the success rate of startups and explore how some startups have become global enterprises. The group will also focus on the role of startups in disaster management and the incentives governments can provide to support their efforts.

The formation of an international network of entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors will help new businesses grow, provide a platform for exchanging ideas and best practices, and encourage R&D partnerships.

Besides economic objectives, Startup20 is committed to promoting inclusiveness and environmental sustainability. It believes that supporting startups across the G20 countries will lead to a more equitable and sustainable future.

What is the modus operandi? 

Startup20 will bring together key stakeholders from the startup ecosystem of the G20 countries, including founders, investors, and government officials, to develop and implement policies and programmes to support the growth of startups.
It has established three task forces to harmonise startup ecosystems in the G20 member countries by proposing recommendations for their development and growth via multilateral cooperation. 

Each task force has a council comprising experts from private and government organisations from the G20 nations. It has a Chair (Indian) and Co-chair (international delegate) responsible for leading and coordinating the task force’s activities. 

  • The Foundation and Alliances Task Force will foster greater cohesion within the global startup ecosystem by establishing common definitions through consensus-building while facilitating the creation of a global community that encourages knowledge sharing among various startup ecosystems to uncover new opportunities. Additionally, partnerships will be formed between enablers, including incubators and government agencies, to bridge the knowledge gap between the startup ecosystems of G20 nations and emerging economies, allowing a broader range of industry players to collaborate with startups and develop solutions. 
  • The Finance Task Force aims to enhance funding availability for early-stage startups by creating financing and investment platforms specifically tailored to their needs. It will expand the range of financial instruments available to startups, potentially enabling traditional lenders to view them as an asset class. Additionally, the initiative will facilitate opportunities for startups to pitch ideas and connect with the global investor community, increasing their visibility and access to funding. 
  • The Inclusion and Sustainability Task Force aims to enable more investors to invest responsibly in startups built upon sustainable practices. Further, it involves developing initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in the ecosystem.

The Startup20 activities will span four events. The inception event was held on January 28-29, 2023, at Hyderabad. The second event, Startup20 Sikkim Sabha—focused on the Deliberation of the Taskforces—concluded on March 18-19, 2023, at Gangtok, Sikkim. The next summit will take place on July 3, 2023, at Gurugram, following which the last event is scheduled for June 3-4, 2023, at Goa.

How can people engage with this group?

Several opportunities are available for those who intend to engage and contribute to Startup20: 

  • Host a Startup20x event: One can organise a Startup20x event in their city or region—a local event to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, and other startup enthusiasts to discuss topics related to startups and innovation. 
  • Become a task force member: One can become a Startup20 task force member and contribute to various initiatives, including policy recommendations, research, and events. 
  • Partner with Startup20: Any startup or organisation working with startups can partner with Startup20 to showcase their products or services and collaborate on various initiatives. 
  • Showcase one’s startup: A startup can showcase its product or solution as part of the Startup20 events, which can help them gain exposure, connect with investors, and find potential customers.

Anisha Bhasin is a Consultant-Young Professional at Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog. 

Anurag Wasnik is a Consultant-Innovation Lead at Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog.

This article was originally published on Yourstory

Anisha Bhasin and Anurag Wasnik