What to Expect from India's First 'Startup India Innovation Week 2022'?



In 2012 Inmobi rose as the first unicorn startup in India. Today the country is ranked as the third largest globally renowned startup ecosystem generating over 80,000 jobs, according to NASSCOM. While the same, Invest India says that the ecosystem is ranked second in innovation quality securing top positions in the quality of scientific publications and universities among middle-income economies. It has identified that the innovation is diverse in nature, meaning the innovation has been catering to various sectors with 13 percent from IT services, nine percent healthcare and life sciences, seven percent education, five percent professional and commercial services, five percent agriculture and four percent food & beverages.

In celebration of this growth and in commemoration of the 75th independence, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is hosting the country’s first ‘Startup India Innovation Week’ from 10th -16th of January 2022. As a week-long innovation celebration, the program will virtually take place showcasing the spread and depth of entrepreneurship across the country.

To date DPIIT has recognized 61,000 startups representing 55 industries with at least one startup from each state while the Union Territory has been creating over six lakh jobs since 2016. By the looks of it, Tier II and III cities seem to have the potential to nurture as many startups as they can, leave alone 45 percent are from these cities. DPIIT observed that another 45 percent seem to be represented by the women entrepreneurs from these cities.

Objective Behind the Program

  • The primary purpose of this startup and innovation festival is to bring together key startups, entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, funding agencies, banks, policymakers, and other national and international stakeholders to celebrate entrepreneurship and promote innovation. 
  • To exchange knowledge on nurturing startup ecosystems. 
  • To develop entrepreneurial ecosystem capacities.
  • To mobilize global and domestic capital for startup investments.
  • To encourage and inspire the youth for innovation and entrepreneurship. 
  • To provide market access opportunities for startups.
  • To showcase high-quality, high-technology, and cost-effective innovations from India.

The week-long program will address key aspects of the startup ecosystem through interactive sessions, workshops, and presentations based on themes such as Academia & Mentorship Support to Startups, Incubation and Acceleration Support to Startups, Market Access through Corporates & Government to Startups, and Funding & International Avenues to Go Global, with the participation of States/UTs and various departments of the Government of India. Additionally, there will be various parallel events based on the identified themes, such as Experience Booths, Pitching or Reverse Pitching Sessions, and Innovation Showcases.

Day One

Piyush Goyal urged all parties involved in the innovation ecosystem to work together to get India into the top 25 of the Global Innovation Index. He added, “our startups are the key reason behind India’s meteoric rise in Global Innovation Index from 76 in 2014 to 46 in 2021”. Goyal expressed his delight at being able to participate in the first-ever Startup Innovation launch week, saying that as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, 'Celebrating Innovation Ecosystem' was also a call to action for all of us to further develop our startup ecosystem. The event, according to the Minister, was organized with a whole-of-government approach and in partnership with 30 departments. He also stated that the number of people who had registered for the Innovation Week had surpassed one lakh. The Minister described startups as “harbingers of change”, saying that they have shifted the mindset from “Can do” to “Will do”. He remarked that what began as a purpose to foster innovation has evolved into a revolution of national participation and consciousness.

He went on to say that Indian entrepreneurs should ‘Make in India,' 'Innovate in India,' and 'Mentor the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs.' He also stated that our startups must become much more resilient in order to be better prepared to mitigate and overcome crisis events such as the pandemic.


Day Two

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will oversee the second day, which will include seminars on innovation, human values, and sustainability, as well as innovative methods in higher education institutions. Several panel discussions on "Innovation, Human Values, and Sustainability," as well as "Best Innovation & Startup Practices in Higher Education Institutions," will be held.

Day Three

The AICTE will also supervise Day Three will include seminars on academia and mentoring support for companies and student entrepreneurs. On Day 3, there will be several panel discussions on relevant topics such as "Grey Hair Not Required to Build Great Enterprises" and "Schools, Innovation, Games, and Curriculum." A closing ceremony will be held on Day 3 to mark the end of the two-day AICTE program.

Day Four

The Hon'ble Minister of Commerce and Industry will host a Global Venture Capital Roundtable, which will be chaired by him. The day will also include talks on the Indian Incubator Landscape and Incubator Capacity Building, Startup Pitching, and a number of workshops on "Funding Avenues, Bank Financing, and Government Market Access." The Fisheries Startup Grand Challenge will also begin on this day. Shri Deep Kalra, Founder of MakeMyTrip, also gave a fireside conversation about his experiences. There will also be a knowledge-sharing session on best practices in market access, incubation, and finance from five states.

Day Five

The launch of the ONDC Digital Strategy (Open Network for Digital Commerce), a panel discussion on women entrepreneurs, startup pitching sessions, a workshop on expansion strategies, and fireside chats about global market entry strategies and technology commercialization will all take place on Day Five.

Day Six

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet with entrepreneurs and deliver a speech through video conferencing in a closed-door event on this day. 150+ companies were organized into six working groups for this event, with topics including "Growing from Roots; Nudging the DNA; From Local to Global; Technology of the Future; Building Champions in Manufacturing; and Sustainable Development." The goal of the discussion is to learn how startups can help meet national needs through driving innovation in the country, and how the government can help them do so. The winners of the National Startup Awards 2021 will be announced on this day, honoring outstanding companies and ecosystem facilitators that are establishing scalable firms with significant potential for job creation, wealth creation, and social impact.

Day Seven

On the final day of the week-long celebration, events such as Corporate Connect for Startups, Panel discussions on the ONDC's Made in India approach to driving inclusion, innovation, and scale in Public Digital Infrastructure, and Urban Innovation through collaboration between Startups and the Smart Cities Mission will be held.