ICBC announces 'ICBC Start-up Program'
Indo-Canadian Business Chamber (ICBC) - the only organization based in India, dedicated to promoting Indo-Canadian economic and bilateral relations, in its recently held Annual General Meeting announced the launch of its latest initiative – ‘ICBC Start-Up Program’ under the leadership of Mr. Ameya Prabhu, Chair of the ICBC Start-Up Program. The initiative by the business chamber is conceived with the objective to forge meaningful partnerships between Canadian and Indian stakeholders in the start-up ecosystem. The Start-Up program will aim to connect prominent incubators, accelerators, venture capital firms, angel investors, start-up companies, and entrepreneurs from both countries under a common platform. It will go a step further in establishing a strong channel to provide substantial mentorship, funding opportunities to start-ups from leading subject matter experts, advisors, founders who are part of these incubation & venture capital hubs.
Ameya Prabhu, who besides being the Chair of the ICBC Start-Up Program is also the Founder and Managing Director, NAFA Capital, a leading financial services firm, said, “Canada is one of the most favourable countries for start-ups with a Global Start-Up Ecosystem Index ranking of four. Cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Ottawa rank amongst the top 100 in the world. At the same time, the Indian Start-Up ecosystem has been constantly showing a bullish trend over the past few years. Considering the close bilateral business and trade ties between both countries, the “ICBC Start-Up Program” will surely help to find the right synergies to grow new-age businesses in the respective countries. It will act as an accelerator for budding companies and entrepreneurs, provide the necessary guidance to give their business an edge and help them in navigating through various country specific hurdles. ”
Nadira Hamid, CEO, ICBC, said, “ICBC has been at the forefront of bringing India and Canada closer through fostering trade and business ties and the Start-Up program is going to be one of the most progressive steps in this direction. Through this initiative we can bring driven entrepreneurs from both countries on a common platform.”
Dr. Anish Shah, Managing Director and CEO, Mahindra and Mahindra delivered the keynote address at the AGM stressing upon the importance of ESG in business today and said, “It is one of the most important conversations of our time. Today we see that protecting the environment is not a choice but a necessity. At Mahindra, It is something really core to who we are and what we do. Our ESG agenda includes detailed roadmap to achieve 10 specific group level ESG commitments, i.e., Water positive by 2022, 50% RE100 achievement by 2025, 60% EP100 achievement by 2026, Educate 1 million girl children per year under “Nanhi Kali” by 2026, among others. While these initiatives contribute to our target of Carbon neutrality by 2040, they also give us opportunity to live our purpose of driving positive change in the lives of our communities to enable them to rise”.
The program will be concentrating on the following aspects in order to aid the Indian and Canadian start-ups:
Incorporate Canadian private industry collaboration in building an ecosystem around Make in India, Skill India, and Digital India & Smart Cities.
Bring prominent stakeholders (investors) from India & Canada under one platform to exchange knowledge and build strategies around capital and resources for joint initiatives.
Develop a joint corpus fund to incentivize joint partnerships, encourage entrepreneurship and inspire investors to leverage India’s growth in sunrise sectors.
Focus on forging start-up growth and partnerships in sustainability, health-tech, renewable energy, & fin-tech.
Mobilize scalable start-ups to accelerate their technology with Canadian participation.
Provide crucial mentorship from Canadian & Indian founders to relevant members of the start- up community.
Present opportunities in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Quantum to Clean-tech and Block chain to solve the biggest challenges faced by the Industry.
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