Mumbai-based technology startup accelerator Zone Startups India along with the Government of Canada has launched Gateway 91, a startup accelerator programme for international startups and emerging firms looking to access the Indian market.
The first batch of startups will be selected from Canada via a competitive programme and will be announced in 2017, the company said in a statement. The chosen companies will receive financial support from the governments of Canada and Ontario, which will find five financial technology startups. Zone Startups will support these firms by providing a workspace, access to local experts and mentors as well as professional and administrative services and networking opportunities with investors.
Other corporates from India are also in talks with Zone Startups to establish a partnership.
"Setting up Gateway 91 was a natural extension to what we have been doing at Zone Startups India," said Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director of Zone Startups India. "The ecosystem of mentors, potential partners and professional service providers needed by international startups to succeed in India is something that we have already built. In fact, over the last year, we have supported 16 companies from different areas, helping them with introductions to several potential partners and clients. To a great extent, this also aligns with Government of India's Invest in India and Make in India vision as these international technology companies will create knowledge economy job opportunities."
In June this year, Zone Startups partnered with British banking and financial services firm Barclays Plc to launch and manage the Rise accelerator programme in India. Barclays will not invest in the financial technology startups from the accelerator but will use their technologies, which includes blockchain, chatbots, artificial intelligence and cyber security.
The Mumbai-based accelerator was also selected by Axis Bank to manage its accelerator programme, 'Thought Factory', in Bengaluru.
In August, it had completed its six-week accelerator programme aimed at women, eMpower. Eight women entrepreneurs had received seed funding totaling Rs 60 lakh.
Zone Startups was set up in 2014 as a joint venture with the BSE Institute and Ryerson Futures Inc., a Toronto-based startup accelerator. Till date, it has built a portfolio of 78 startups.