India pavilion
The India pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: A group of India-based industry bodies have set up a $150 million startup fund to encourage investment and regional cooperation.

The group, which consists of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry), IAN (Indian Angel Network), startup funding company Turbostart and professional services firm MCA, signed an agreement at the India pavilion at Expo 2020.

“We’ve had a lot of connections with the US and also a lot with Singapore and within UAE, it’s been building up slowly for a period of time,” said Saurabh Srivastava, chairman of IAN and co-founder of NASSCOM, an Indian trade body. “It has recently in the last five years begun to escalate and I think there’s an opportunity for us to collaborate.”

“We feel that there’s a lot of value that we can add to the UAE ecosystem and there’s a lot of value that UAE can add into the Indian startup ecosystem,” said Srivastava.

The India pavilion is currently showcasing new startups every week at the India innovation hub. These startups later participate in the ‘Elevate’ pitching sessions where entrepreneurs present their ideas to UAE-based investors.

“We are proud to be seeing startups not only from India, but from several other parts of the world, including from UAE, Russia, and from the Netherlands,” said Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai, during the last Elevate session. “It has become a vibrant platform for innovators and startups from various countries.”