Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal has called for the creation of an international network of mentors, investors and entrepreneurs to strengthen the global startup ecosystem.

Addressing the inaugural session of the Inception Meeting of the Startup 20 Engagement Group of G20 in Hyderabad today, he said that this network must support and inspire startups, act as a team to facilitate exchange of ideas, best practices and funding mechanisms and promote collaborations in Research and Development.

The Minister said that supporting innovation should become the collective responsibility of world nations to nurture a global effort to incubate startup ecosystems in all parts of the world, thus creating a global startup ecosystem that is inclusive, supportive and sustainable to address global challenges.

He noted that the Startup20 Group had been established under India's G20 Presidency for the first time, as part of India's special focus on innovation.

Goyal noted that the world is facing a multitude of global challenges, from climate change to poverty and inequality. He expressed his firm belief that innovation can lead the way in solving these problems. The Minister said that in the Indian startup context, the country's entrepreneurs are using their creativity and ingenuity to tackle these challenges head-on. He cited the examples of digital public goods like Cowin, UPI and ONDC as means to tackle problems and ensure inclusive growth in India by redefining social innovation.

According to him, through G-20, India is trying to transfer the country's digital expertise, so IndiaStack will be GlobalStack and transform the way people use technology. He also highlighted that India had climbed to 40th rank in the Global Innovation Index (GII) of WIPO taking a huge leap of 41 places in 7 years.

Goyal noted that India has been nurturing the innovation spirit right from the school level onwards through Atal Innovation Mission. He said that India also has active programmes for supporting startups with many nations around the world. "Some of the prime examples are the Indo-US, Indo-UK, Indo-Australia partnerships where we explore supporting deep tech startups, that contribute to circular economy, and address basic needs like health, water, agriculture, education, financial inclusion etc," he added.

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