In an effort to take Indian startups global, IIT Kanpur’s technology business incubator – Foundation for Innovation and Research in Science and Technology (FIRST) has inked an MoU with the Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC), Canada. The pact aims at providing business advisory, investor and industry connections to startups qualifying under TBDC’s programmes like Startup Visa and Soft-Landing Programme. The MoU signed by FIRST and TBDC complies with Indian laws.
Under the MoU, the enterprises will be rolling out a joint cross-mentorship programme as a collective venture for entrepreneurs from both countries. Besides, the selected startups will also be given the opportunity to shift to Canada. The partnership might result in the transformation of the startup ecosystem in both countries. Moreover, FIRST and TBDC will also provide incubation opportunities to selected startups for a period of six months.
The joint cross-mentorship programme will be a three-month programme wherein the Canadian mentors will guide Indian startups on Go-To-Market strategies and vice versa. Further, monthly start meets will be organised to implement best practices adopted from startups in both India and Canada.
Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT-Kanpur, said, “We already have a partnership with Singapore India Chamber of Commerce (SICC). I am glad that with the establishment of the partnership with TBDC, we are moving a step forward towards expanding our footprints to make a mark in the global entrepreneurial ecosystem.” FIRST-IIT Kanpur has been posing as a pioneer in uplifting and nurturing startups, Karandikar added.
Expressing his delight after the signing of the pact, Nikhil Agarwal, CEO, FIRST – IIT Kanpur, said that the IIT Kapur’s technology incubator FIRST has always worked towards serving the greater good and this partnership with TBDC will provide a boost to startups by exposing them to exceptional networks on a global level.
FIRST IIT Kanpur has been making efforts in nurturing and uplifting the Indian startup ecosystem and TBDC looks forward to being a part of the discourse, said Esha Chopra, Director, Strategy and Marketing, TBDC.
A screening process and interviews will be conducted for the selection of the startups for the programme. Those selected will have access to TBDC services like one-on-one mentor sessions, networking events, investors network, and infrastructure to conduct programmes.