BRTSIF/Zone Startups India Announces 8th Edition of the Next Big Idea 2021

BRTSIF/Zone Startups India Announces 8th Edition of the Next Big Idea 2021

Key Highlights

  • Next Big Idea – a platform for Indian startups to explore and expand into North America through a soft-landing program for Canada
  • NBI 2021 Program is divided into three phases: i) NBI WebTalks; ii) NBI Pre-Landing Program; iii) NBI Local Immersion Program (Startups are taken to Canada to network with potential investors & vendors).
  • The program helps startups understand, prepare and expand into other countries, such as Canada
  • NBI 2021 Program is executed by Zone Startups India in partnership with the Government of Ontario, Canada, and invest in Canada

Zone Startups India, part of BRTSIF & one of the largest tech incubator and accelerator in India, announced the 8th edition of its Next Big Idea (NBI) Program in partnership with the Government of Ontario, Canada, and invest in Canada. NBI 2021 is coming in a brand-new avatar, keeping its core mission intact, i.e., helping Indian tech startups expand to Canada.

Virtual Launch Event – Next Big Idea 2021

The program was launched virtually in presence of distinguished speakers including, Andrew Smith, Minister (Commercial), High Commission of Canada; Chris Begley, Consul & Senior Economic Officer, Government of Ontario (Mumbai); and Hemant Gupta, MD, BIL-Ryerson Technology Startup Incubator Foundation (BRTSIF).

Schedule for Next Big Idea 2021

  • NBI WebTalks Program from 23rd April – 21st May 2021
  • NBI Pre-Landing Program Application Open from 23rd April 2021

The announcement was followed by a Panel Discussion on: “Canada: Your Startup Gateway to North America and the World“, was organised with eminent panellists from diverse spheres who shared their rich experience and words of advice with the audience. The panel was graced by Abdullah Snobar, Executive Director, DMZ, and CEO of DMZ Ventures; Elaine D’Souza, Trade Commissioner- Investment (Acting), Consulate General of Canada (Mumbai); Zohra Jaffer, Senior Manager, KPMG Law – Canada; and Sandeep Todi, Co-founder & Chief Business Officer, Truly Financial & Remitr. Saurabh Bhatia, Associate Director, IBI Group/Chairperson, ICBC (North Region India Council) moderated the panel discussion in its true sense and expertly steered all discussions to keep the audience hooked on.

The event was attended by hundreds of startups and entrepreneurs from across India. The session was highly interactive and generated a lot of buzz and excitement amongst the attendees.

Established in 2013, as a joint initiative with the Government of Ontario, Canada, NBI boasts an exclusive club of 49 startups that have travelled to Canada with us and explored business opportunities in Canada and the US. In the past 7 Editions, NBI has received support from multiple stakeholders from both Canada and India – such as Provinces of British Columbia and Alberta; Industry Partners such as RBC, IBM, Amazon Web Services, HDFC Bank, Google, and TCS to name a few.

The alumni network of Next Big Idea Contest comprises startups that have successfully raised multiple rounds of funding and/or have made exits through mergers and acquisitions CitrusPay, Sokrati, Heckyl, Vidooly, ShieldSquare, Plackal, Flip Technologies, AdSparx, Konotor, Data Resolve, Uncanny Vision, Gray Routes, Sequretek, Detect Technologies, Trendlyne, Sagar Defence Engineering (SDE), Bioscan Research and many more.

The current edition breaks up the process of setting up business in Canada into three carefully thought through phases – Awareness -> Preparation -> Immersion“:

  • NBI WebTalks (Awareness) – A series of in-depth talks on Canadas technology and innovation ecosystem as well as social and cultural context. The sessions will consist of webinars, panel discussions, and fireside chats, with a variety of stakeholders from Canada and India. The program will run from 23rd April to 21st May 2021.
  • NBI Pre-Landing Program (Preparation) – A 3-month Market Readiness Program, that has the ZSI team and relevant stakeholders from Canada work with hand-picked startups to prepare them to expand your business in Canada. The startups need to have demonstrated validation/traction in their existing market and are looking to expand into the Canadian and global markets. The application window is open from 23rd April to 23rd May 2021 and the final winner announcement will be done on 9th June, after a thorough evaluation and selection process.
  • NBI Local Immersion Program (Immersion) – A comprehensive market access program that takes startups to Canada and connects them with relevant stakeholders in the province that is most appropriate for your organisation and helps them set up their business there. The exact details and timings of this phase of the program shall be announced later and will be dependent on the pandemic and associated constraints.

“The 8th edition of NBI is off to a flying start with a very well attended Launch event. The new format was well received and will help the program become even more impactful. The key to the success of the program is having the right partners in Canada and we have ensured that our cohort members will get access to the best that Canada has to offer. There is a lot more content coming up in the NBI WebTalks series and startups should ensure that they attend all the sessions,” said Mr. Hemant Gupta, MD BRTSIF/Zone Startups India.

“The Next Big Idea is the ultimate gateway and starting point for entry into the North American Market. There is no better time than the present for founders to have a global mindset, however it’s equally as important for startups to be strategic about systematically scaling from their local region to expand into the global market. The NBI program helps founders understand critical priorities, source the right services, open networks and expedite the potential for growth,” said Mr. Abdullah Snobar, Executive Director, DMZ, and CEO of DMZ Ventures.

The inputs we received as well as the government officials, venture networks and companies we met during the Canada visit were invaluable, and the NBI team provided us with great support. Would strongly recommend this as a wonderful bridge for Indian companies looking to springboard to the international space,” said Devi Yesodharan, Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Trendlyne & Alumni of Next Big Idea Program.

“Canada is unique in many ways, as it has a large local economy and is the perfect segue to the US market. If youre thinking about the global market youve already taken the first step. After this, getting onto the boat is just about timing and logistics. While in todays world, you can sell globally from anywhere, getting a headstart with international markets will help build organizational skills that will help when you start pushing the accelerator. Finding product-market fit or even opportunities that your technology/team can leverage is as important as earn learning the culture, communication, competitive landscape, and building connections,” said Mr. Sandeep Todi, Co-founder & Chief Business Officer, Truly Financial & Remitr.

To know more, follow Zone Startups/India on LinkedIn and visit www.zonestartups.com.

Register for The Next Big Idea Contest on nextbigideacontest.com.

About Zone Startups India

Zone Startups is an international network of incubators/accelerators that was founded by Ryerson University, Toronto in 2010. Zone Startups India (also known as BIL-Ryerson Technology Startup Incubator Foundation – BRTSIF) is accredited by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, and is a joint initiative between Bombay Stock Exchange Institute, Ryerson University (Toronto) and Simon Fraser University (Vancouver). ZSI has also been granted a seed support fund by DST to support its incubatees. In India, ZSI has a host of local and international programs that promote innovation and entrepreneurship across sectors and domains and work closely with local and international stakeholders. Since 2014, ZSI has incubated over 140 startups and accelerated over 290 startups.

About NBI

Established as a joint-initiative with the Government of Ontario, Canada, to identify and support innovative Indian tech startups looking to expand to Canada; the Next BIG Idea program over the past 7 Editions, has gone onto attract multiple stakeholders from both Canada & India – such as Provinces of British Columbia, Alberta; Industry Partners such as RBC, IBM, Amazon Web Services, HDFC Bank, Google and TCS to name a few. In it’s 8th Edition, the Next BIG Idea is launching in a brand new version and is structured around 3 phases i.e Awareness -> Preparation -> Immersion; to give the program a more comprehensive approach in order to support Indian tech startups and entrepreneurs to explore and expand to Canada and globally.