FIRST IIT Kanpur partners with the Toronto Business Development Centre to take Indian startups global

· FIRST, IIT Kanpur and Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC) sign an MoU to provide qualifying startups incubation and a chance to relocate to Canada. · Both centers will launch a cross membership program for Indian startups to be mentored by Canadian mentors and vice versa. · The MoU will pave way for future cross-border collaboration in form of mentorship, networking events, and investors connect for startups.

Kanpur:Foundation for Innovation & Research in Science & Technology (FIRST), the technology business incubator at IIT Kanpur, (also known by the brand name, SIIC IIT Kanpur) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Toronto Business Development Centre, Canada. The MoU’s primary objective is to provide business advisory, investor, and industry connects to startups qualifying under TBDC’s programs like Startup Visa and Soft-Landing Program. The selected startups will also receive an opportunity to relocate to Canada.


The enterprises further will launch a joint cross-mentorship program as a collaborative venture for startups from both nations. It can be anticipated that this partnership will bring significant changes to the existing startup ecosystem in both the countries. In addition to this, FIRST and TBDC will also provide an opportunity for incubation to the selected startups for a period of 6 months.


“We already have a partnership with Singapore India Chamber of Commerce. I am glad that with the establishment of the partnership with TBDC, we are moving a step forward towards expanding our footprints to make a mark in the global entrepreneurial ecosystem”, said Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur. He further added that “FIRST IIT Kanpur is emerging as a pioneer in nurturing startups through their journey.”


FIRST and TBDC will launch a three-month cross mentorship program to mentor Indian startups on Go-To-Market strategy by Canadian mentors and vice-versa. In addition, a monthly Startup connect meet will be organized to learn and implement best practices and processes adopted by the start-ups from both countries.


Adding to this occasion, Nikhil Agarwal, CEO FIRST, IIT Kanpur, said, “I’m delighted on the signing of this MoU. FIRST has always worked towards serving the greater good, and this joint effort with TBDC will advance our startups by exposing them to exceptional networks through TBDC.”


Esha Chopra, Director, Strategy and Marketing, TBDC added, “The association promotes our vision for a better tomorrow. FIRST IIT Kanpur has been working towards revolutionizing the Indian startup ecosystem and we look forward to being a part of the discourse.”


TBDC will conduct screening and interviews for the selection of these startups. Post which, the startups shall have access to TBDC services like one-on-one mentor sessions, networking events, investors network, and infrastructure to conduct programs. The MoU abides by the laws of India.


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