India-US Startup Partnership holds first mentoring event

India’s Ambassador to the U.S. Taranjit Singh Sandhu. (Photo:

A mentoring program for Indian National Startup Awards 2020 finalists was co-hosted by Embassy of India, Washington DC in partnership with India’s Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Washington, D.C.-based US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) Jan. 5, 2021.

The program is first in series of startup activities that will be organized in partnership with DPIIT and USISPF.

The National Startup Awards aim at recognizing and rewarding  outstanding startups in a variety of fields.

Participants heard about the entire lifecycle of the startup process from the experiences of CEOs with successful startups as well as experts from the venture capital arena. Around 150 Indian startups attended the event.

India’s Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Joint Secretary DPIIT, Anil Agrawal, addressed the inaugural session, a press release from the Indian Embassy said.

“Today India is the third largest, startup ecosystem in the world and is home to 21 unicorns valued at USD 73.2 billion. By some estimates, more than 50 ‘soonicorn’ startups might join the unicorn club as early as 2022,” Ambassador Sandhu is quoted saying at the meeting.

He highlighted the long standing relationship between India and Bay Area-Silicon Valley, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley in 2015 signified the importance of this entrepreneurial bridge and partnership.

Joint Secretary Agrawal spoke about the Government of India’s efforts to put in place an enabling ecosystem for startups in India.

John Chambers, founder & CEO, JC2 Ventures and Chairman of USISPF, shared his experience of working with startups durin. the ‘Fireside Chat’ with Mukesh Aghi, president & CEO of USISPF.

Mentoring sessions during the day featured legal experts with experience in helping startups, industry leaders and venture capitalists who shared their robust experience in developing early growth in the startup process, the press release said.




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