How The Startup Ecosystem Is Blooming Globally

India ranked 20th in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2021. Countries like Israel, Singapore, Sweden, Germany are also strengthening its startup ecosystem

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India will be home to 250 Unicorns by 2025, said a report by Iron Pillar. The startup India Program by the government of India, oversea investments, FOF(fund of funds) are some of the key drivers behind the robust startup growth in India. "The startup momentum in the last five years has been tremendous. We have over 150 Unicorns in India and the time is ripe to learn about the global startup scenario," said Sanjeev Bikhchandani, founder Info Edge India Ltd.

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Learning from other nations

Not only India, the global startup ecosystem is also booming. Israel's tech ecosystem ranked third globally and Tel Aviv was ranked eighth among cities in the new Global Startup Ecosystem Index in 2021. Even with a small local market, Israel is standing out in the global startup ecosystem." The success of the country as an innovation ecosystem goes to the government, investors and entrepreneurs. Innovations are often results of necessity, Israel as a nation has a lot of challenges," said Dror Bin, CEO, Israel Innovation Authority.

Five decades ago the Israeli government started investing in R&D to deal with the defense and economic challenges of the country.

Countries which have resource challenges, mostly bank on talents. "Singapore's limited resources makes it open to talent and capitals. We welcome global talents who come here to establish startups. This allows us to look beyond our geographical limitations," said James Tan, chairman, board of directors, Action Community for Entrepreneurship, Singapore, giving insight into how Singapore has established itself as a startup hub.

"When a country is small, an entrepreneur has to think about the global market from day one of entrepreneurship. It makes the platform agile and this works well with Israel's startup community," added Bin of Israel Innovation Authority.

Government's role in startups

Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) is the national voice for the Singapore startup ecosystem and a key trade association representing the interests of startups in Singapore. ACE was established in 2003 by the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry, and re-launched as a private sector-led, non-profit organization in 2014.

"Government at one point realizes that we have to move ahead as a country and cannot waste resources and ACE has been doing so for the past 20 years," said James Tan of ACE.

As per the Startupblink Startup Ecosystem Ranking Germany ranks fifth out of 125 countries (behind the USA,UK, Canada and Israel). It is now the leading startup ecosystem in the EU (European Union). The German Indian Startup Exchange Program (GINSEP) is a non-monetary platform initiated by the German Startups Association and supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) to strengthen and foster exchange between India and Germany in the startup space.

Over time Berlin has emerged as one of the important startup hubs in Europe. Talking about the role of government, Julian Zix, project lead at GINSEP, said, "The government here is very decentralized, it has come up with various hub initiatives focusing on different sectors and fields as all the federal states here have their own advantages and disadvantages. This makes it lucrative to foreign companies."

On importing talents

The population of Israel is around nine million and the high-tech industry is growing very fast. "We have entrepreneurial growth but are short on hands. Our universities have its own capacities on how many technological people they can educate. So, more and more we are opening the country to talents from abroad.

For Sweden–a country with a strong venture capital (VC) system–which aids in the growth of startups, Indian tech entrepreneurs are an integral part of the ecosystem. "It is easy to get into Sweden and adapt to Stockholm. The preferred language is English, so its more feasible," said Anna Gissler , CEO of Invest Stockholm.

Singapore has a very strong work Visa programme and a number of Indians have benefitted from it. "If you have talent, we are prepared to support you, whether you want to open a startup or work in a company here. The country also has provisions for supporting families, this make it a preferred choice," said James Tan, of ACE, Singapore.

The delegates were speaking on the sidelines of Global Unicorn Summit 2022 organized by CII Future Business Group.