Take Your Startup to India

The four-week TINC (Tech INCubator) program in Silicon Valley helps a bunch of Norwegian (and now, Nordic) startups get their foot in the door of the American market twice a year. NTNU alumni DirtyBit, feat.fm, Aalberg Audio, alongside the likes of Ensafer, Zwipe and Encap Security have all made the most of the program, which exposes your product or service to potential customers, investors and industry experts from Silicon Valley.

Following the success of TINC comes another Innovation Norway sponsored opportunity that’s arguably even better: a chance to learn all about the business environment in one of the world’s biggest emerging markets: India.

Why go to India?

I’m a big proponent of Think Global First and to me, this is a bigger opportunity than TINC for the majority of Norwegian startups I meet. I’ll give you a few reasons:

It’s well-known mobile is the first experience of the internet for many end users in emerging markets. But can you truly understand the implications of this for your startup (the design of your app, for example) without seeing it for yourself? Hold user interaction sessions where you can observe the behaviour of users for whom swiping and gesturing is more intuitive than point-and-click.

Forget the Nordic model. Investigate and understand cultural differences that could drive a totally different approach to innovation, design and development. Develop your emerging market business model based on real opportunities and real testing, not research or assumptions.

Generally, Indian startups are not well-funded at the early stage. See for yourself how to bootstrap a startup using lean and other methodologies.

To find out more, check out this interview with Marianne Jensen, Science and Technology Counsellor at Innovation Norway’s office in Delhi, on the Norway-India Chamber of Commerce blog:

“Some of the companies will dive straight into a deeper testing of their business concept and possibly initiate a partner search in India. Everyone will return to Norway with a lot of new knowledge and awareness of possibilities. I hope as many as possible start a process of fine tuning their business plan and head back to India or another emerging market again soon” – Marianne Jensen

The program

Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets is an intensive eight-day program from 28 February to 7 March. Startups will undertake a combination of training, networking, customer dialogues and end-user interaction, with the ultimate aim of being better prepared to do business in emerging markets.

However, Innovation Norway have set strict criteria on the kind of startups eligible for the program. The ideal candidate for this program is a Norwegian startup that aims for global markets, particularly emerging markets.

Other criteria include:

  • High growth/scalable business model
  • Substantial market potential
  • Unique technology especially in the areas of ICT, applications, mobile media
  • Strong and coachable management teams

The application deadline has passed, but I’ve just been told that Innovation Norway is still taking applications until the program is full.

So get a move on and apply now!

Are you thinking global?

Join us in Trondheim, Norway, on 18 & 19 March as we seek to awaken the entrepreneurial mindset at Technoport 2015.