The EU-India InnoCenter, an initiative funded by the EU’s research and innovation framework programme Horizon 2020, announced on Tuesday, December 13, that it has selected 10 high-impact and “unique” tech startups (Series-A funded) to explore, enter, and scale in the Indian market.
With this initiative, the EU, one of India’s biggest commercial partners and foreign investors, hopes to strengthen cooperation and innovation.
Over 400 European firms have already been evaluated by InnoCenter since its launch in 2021 based on their level of development (post series A financed), annual recurring value (>USD1M), growth rate (>30% YoY), and India-defensible intellectual property (IP).
The Indian Silicon Valley
On November 15, 2022, the EU-India InnoCenter held Blue Carpet Night: Showcasing European Innovation, its first national flagship event, in the city of Bengaluru (also referred to as the Indian Silicon Valley).
The event was inaugurated (virtually) by the ambassador of the European Union to India, and provided a venue for strategic networking between startups and Indian ecosystem actors and industries so they could present their goods, services, and market expansion strategies.
Over 100 ecosystem enablers attended the event, including the EU Delegation to India, Invest India (the Indian government’s programme for startups), venture capitalists, prospective partners, major corporations, and government representatives from Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain who have embassies in India.
The Ambassador of the European Union to India, H.E. Ugo Astuto, says, “This programme will help to further foster collaboration and innovation among two of the world’s largest economies while strengthening EU-India trade relations. The first in-country Blue Carpet Night facilitated an exchange of high-impact technologies and will contribute to the transition towards a green, digital and resilient future.”
“India is a strategic partner of the EU. As we mark 60 years of diplomatic relationship, this initiative will help to further cement our ties,” adds Astuto.
Here are the 10 selected European startups
According to a statement, EU-India InnocCenter has matched 40+ European scale-ups with 280+ Indian companies and India-based MNCs. After screening 100+ European startups, in the last 6 months, 10 Startups in the 5th cohort went to India to build a strategic network with Indian receptors.
The European startups include Cast AI, Loop, QANplatform, TokenMe, Cheesecake Energy, AgeVolt, Volektra, Echion Technologies, EnvoPAP, and Proglove. These companies presented their technology to the audience, while also making arguments for how these technologies may benefit India’s development in particular industries.
As part of the Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM), some of these firms also participated in the Bengaluru Tech Summit, Asia’s Largest Tech Summit, to demonstrate how European technology may help the mission achieve its full potential.
Supporting European startups in international expansion
The EU-India InnoCenter initiative offers Go-to-Market training as part of its objective to increase awareness among European tech startups, scale-ups, and other ecosystem players about the commercial prospects India has to offer as well as assist them in taking advantage of it. Funded by the European Union, the project can guarantee the participation of European companies free of costs with no equities involved, until the end of 2023.
EU-India InnoCenter’s Programme Head, Juliane Frömmter, says, “India is the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world which has produced more than 100 unicorns, offering unique advantages and opportunities. Recognising the potential of the Indian market, the startups in our programme come with a focus on sustainability-tech, deeptech, logistics, mobility, life-sciences, agri-tech, etc., able to transfer high-end technology and with that positioning the EU as a leader investing highly in science and innovation.”
“The combination of European R&D with India’s thriving innovation ecosystem will help automate, digitise, and decarbonise the Indian economy and help European startups establish their footprint in one of the biggest markets in the world. We had a great trip to India and enabled valuable in-person matchmaking with potential clients to foster strategic partnerships between India and Europe,” adds Frömmter.
The initiative is formed by 6 complementary companies with expertise and strong reputations in programme development in Europe and abroad. The Indian representatives are Mantra Launchspace and 91springboard and the European partners are Civitta, German Entrepreneurship, DutchBasecamp and uGlobally. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Startups and Scale-ups interested in joining the next cohort starting in early 2023 can register here.