Forty young business wallahs will have the chance to test their mettle in the thriving markets of India – one of the world’s global startup hubs, and likely to become a world superpower this century.
“We’re looking for individuals who can get out and make the most of the experience,” the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship’s (SSE) Jonathan Jones said at UNE, Armidale, last week.
The SSE and the state Department of Industry are offering 40 funded places to join a ten-day immersion program in India early next year.
“It’s an opportunity to access India, in a supported program and process,” Mr Jones said.
“A startup can focus on their business rather than getting over to India.”
The Young Entrepreneurs International Bootcamp is aimed at founders based in NSW with an early stage, scalable global startup, who will benefit from exposure to India.
“This is an opportunity to go over and test the market, and scale up their startup,” Mr Jones said.
This is a statewide opportunity, and applicants will be selected on the merit of their startup.
“What I'd love to see,” Mr Jones said, “is quite a number coming from regional areas. The interest we've had so far would indicate that there will be."
The focus is on tech sectors, including smart cities, the internet of things, clean tech, artificial intelligence, and machine learning – but anyone with grit and drive can apply.
The successful applicants will travel to Mumbai, Pune (Poona), Ahmedabad, and Bengaluru (Bangalore) in January and February.
There, they will visit more than 40 entrepreneurship and innovation hubs, companies, and industries, and learn from experts in India’s fast-growing tech markets.
They will also tour Dharavi, Mumbai’s famous slum, with a million inhabitants, and alleys full of small factories and workshops.
The 40 entrepreneurs will work with Mumbai-based Zone Startups, one of the largest startup hubs in the mega-city, to help find funding, means of production, customers, and institutions to sell to.
“They can accelerate the connections, and help develop the right sort of networks,” Mr Jones said.
“Entrepreneurs can be speaking to the right people straightaway.”
The Bootcamp is an NSW Department of Industry initiative to promote entrepreneurship between the two countries, and grow businesses and jobs in this state.
The NSW government chose India as part of a broader connection between the two countries, especially around technology and innovation.
"It's a young, growing population,” Mr Jones said, “and the scale of both economic and population growth makes for a very dynamic business landscape and opportunity."
Australia’s strength in agritech businesses, such as food production and agricultural development, should find a ready market in India, with its large, hungry population.
“The value proposition is compelling: a number of cities in a growth market such as India,” Mr Jones said.
“It's up to the startup then to work out how they're going to capitalise on that."
The SSE is a collaboration between all 11 NSW universities and TAFE NSW, which aims to drive next generation entrepreneurship, making opportunity accessible to any student entrepreneur in NSW.
The bootcamp takes place in India from January 27 to February 7.
Applications close on November 1, and places will be offered by November 28. For more information, visit sse.edu.au/india.