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Government taking start-ups to India to showcase UK innovation

23 Jan 2013

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) department are taking 15 early-stage UK start-ups to India to help accelerate their business growth.

The start-ups were selected by the TSB and the UKTI on the basis on their innovative business models and the readiness to do business in India.

Applications for the "Web Mission" had to be from firms that work in either healthcare, education and energy start-ups, or from firms that develop products for businesses to create efficiencies or cut costs.

For example, the Buffalo Project has created a portable micro-generator to provide on-demand mobile electricity. This will fill the gap between existing single-charge solar units and more costly mini-power station schemes in developing countries.

Meanwhile, Stream Communications provides enhanced 3G and 4G mobile network services for connected devices. Coveritas Limited delivers automation tools to businesses that can detect bugs in software.

"We looked for very innovative companies that would gain from exploring a foreign market," Sarbjit Bakhshi, a lead technologist at the Technology Strategy Board, told V3.

Start-ups applied for the India opportunity last November, and the winners of the application process have this week been announced. Bakhshi described the entry process as short and competitive.

"We had 60 to 70 entries for the mission in a very short space of time. The applications represented a good spread across the country, but then that's the very nature of the UK start-up scene, he said.

"The start-ups we have picked to go to India will learn a lot about the market, and they will need to think really careful about their composition, like their scale and margins, and familiarise themselves with cultural distances."

Bakhshi said the start-ups that have been selected for the mission had great opportunities now opened to them. "There are a number of major technical players, like Vodafone, now making it really big in India," he added.

The successful applicants on this first Web Mission to India will be travelling to Bangalore and New Delhi, between 9 and 16 February.

The mission week itself will be organised by The Long Run Venture and the Co-Sponsorship Agency.

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