India’s First-Ever Global Startup Program Opens in Gurgaon

International collaboration between Singularity University, USA and the Center for Design and Innovation, India.


Singularity University and the Center for Design & Innovation has announced the start India’s first-ever platform to scale startups into a global business, the Global Startup Program. The decision to join hands was taken in the presence of Neil Sogard, Managing Director, SU and Monique Giggy, Vice President, SU Ventures, along with Tulika Puri Katyal, Founder, and Darpan Katyal, co-Founder, the Center for Design & Innovation. 

The year-long program will select India’s topmost promising entrepreneurial concepts and entrepreneurs, and turn them into global businesses. The GSP program is relevant for corporations, world governments, nonprofits, startups, and others and is intended to solve humanity’s biggest challenges by helping them develop an exponential mindset and apply emerging technologies to create an equitable and abundant future. 

“SU’s mission is to back 10,000 startups using exponential technologies and the impact of the GSP program will be felt in future-forward fields including computers and networks, 3D printing, AI, robotics, synthetic biology, digital medicine and nanotechnology,” said Neil Sogard, Managing Director, SU.

“We expect the partnership with the Center for Design & Innovation to open up the benefits of the program to entrepreneurs in in Indian sub-continent. As the first and only platform in India to connect design to business and business to design, the CDI is excited to bring the globally-recognised startup program to India. “Since innovation is the key in today’s business environment, design thinking and creativity needs to be taught and be made accessible to entrepreneurs. The academic component includes courses for freshers, mid- as well as senior-level professionals in design thinking, innovation, strategy and management. The GSP will build entrepreneurial skills in designers and enable a connect to the opportunities in global markets,” she added.

The GSP has been SU’s flagship program since 2008. The program has served innovators from a wide diversity of backgrounds like Muhammad Yunus, Anousheh Ansari, Astro Teller, Naveen Jain, Sylvia Earle, Esteban Bullrich, Peter Worden, and delegations from UNICEF and World Food Programme amongst others, and has catapulted many moonshot ideas to help positively transform the future of humanity. GSP has generated more than 1,000 impact innovations from over 45 countries. Eighty-eight percent of the GSP startups that become portfolio companies continue to raise funds following their time with SU. 

Main features of the Global Startup Program:

A 4-weeks activation phase for entrepreneurial ideas to be turned into a global billion-scale, to be held in Delhi-NCR. The aim of this phase is to level-up the start-up with a 10X strategy.

• Week 1: Future Tech In the first week, entrepreneurs build an understanding of exponential technologies, how they converge to create new markets and disrupt existing markets and the ethical implications when building for billions. This week sparks personal transformation. 

•Week 2: Future Abundance In this week, entrepreneurs will take a deep dive into their billion-scale idea and forecast for the future, and design and scale an impactful product or service using global trends and data. 

• Week 3: 10x Impact In the 3rd week, entrepreneurs will understand exponential impact at the billion scale and how to reverse engineer the path for scalable growth. They will identify opportunities for global scale through channel partners and commercialization. 

• Week 4: Exponential Ideas In the last week of the activation phase, entrepreneurs will build storytelling skills to galvanize others to support their mission. 2. This is followed by a 4-weeks-long acceleration phase to take the billion-scale concept to a minimum viable proposition at Silicon Valley, network infusion and tapping into opportunities for funding.

 • Week 1: Validate In the first week, entrepreneurs get to work prototyping with SU’s resident makers and solicit feedback and validation from customer validation. 

• Week 2: Build In the 2nd week, they build their go-to-market strategy, refine their business models, work through pricing and understand how to monetize innovation. 

• Week 3: Fund In the 3rd week, entrepreneurs work through their fundraising plan with VC, angels, impact investors, grant funders and government grantors. 

• Week 4: Launch In the last week, entrepreneurs build their 6 month roadmap, learn how to sell their ideas through videos, presentations and pitch their billion scale idea at SU’s Demo Faire. 3. The first and second phases are punctuated and value-added with one year of connect with best-in-class faculty and mentors; digital deep dive courses regular check-is and virtual meet ups to stay plugged in.

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