Smart Cities are cities that keep innovating and co-creating solutions for the development of society. Invest India and Smart Cities Mission have joined hands and enable startups to work with Smart Cities and provide solutions to real-life challenges in India!
The Smart Cities Mission Technology Showcase Day, hosted by Pune Smart Cities, was a first of its kind initiative where startups were provided an opportunity to present their innovative solutions to 15 Smart Cities and identify possible synergies. What makes it special is also the fact that three Government of India’s flagship initiatives, Smart Cities Mission, AGNIi and Startup India worked in sync to execute this project for the betterment of both cities and startups.
The Technology Showcase Day had 4 themes:
- Traffic, Transport and Pollution Management
- Water, Sanitation, and Solid Waste Management
- Safety, Surveillance, and Security
- Social (Health, Education, and Citizen Engagement)
"Innovation is key to driving change in people's lives and solving critical urban problems. Working with entrepreneurs can be a game-changer for the Government – innovation can improve the quality of life of citizens and improve economic ability and sustainability for society. We are working towards creating an environment wherein our Smart Cities can adopt innovation to augment public service delivery and provide responsive governance keeping people at the centre" – Mr. Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary & Mission Director (Smart Cities Mission)
Each of the startups was assigned one of the 6 roundtables and was given time to pitch in front of Smart City CEOs and various Research Organizations that were paired in advance. Each group of Smart Cities CEOs and Research Organizations would then move to the next table to understand the offerings of another startup stationed there. Such interactions in smaller cohorts enable efficient communication and encourage a fruitful-bilateral dialogue.
After 6 such rounds, each startup got an opportunity to present their idea to each of the Smart Cities and Research Organizations. Similarly, each Smart City CEO learnt about the various solutions that can potentially solve various problems at a municipal/city-level. The startup-offerings were liked by the Smart Cities and many Expression-of-Interests were signed on the same day!
It was great to present Startup India initiative and inform about how the Government of India is promoting startups by providing various fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. Startup India offers special incentives for startups and Government Departments in Public Procurement. DPIIT Recognized Startups get exemptions on prior experience, prior turnover, and EMD requirements. Startup India has also integrated with Government e-Marketplace and Central Portal for Public Procurement to enable startups to work with Government Departments and solve various challenges in India.
Invest India team would work with MoHUA to conduct various such activities with the intent to bridge the gap between Smart Cities and startups. Such collaborations can help gamify the innovation-sphere in India and can channelize many such startups to supply to the Government departments!