Editorial Team

In a bid to promote India’s start-up ecosystem, Smadja & Smadja, a strategic advisory firm founded by the former Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, is organising the inaugural edition of the India Global Innovation Connect (IGIC) in a strategic partnership with Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM) and the support of founding sponsors Catamaran Ventures and Tata Digital, in Bengaluru at Hotel Conrad on June 2 and 3, 2022.

As a unique global annual event deemed as the first of its kind in India, IGIC is emblematic of India’s emergence as a global innovation and entrepreneurial hub. The inaugural meeting will host more than 80 speakers from India and countries like Singapore, Israel, Switzerland, the US, Japan, Korea, and Germany. A by-invitation-only event, the two day conference will have 22 sessions with more than 40 international speakers deliberating over themes relevant to entrepreneurs, innovators, and top venture capitalists.

Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM), involved as a strategic partner organization for IGIC, has played an integral role in the program by contributing to heightening the profile of Karnataka as a thriving, dynamic centre for technology innovation and entrepreneurship, both in India and at a global level.

The Honourable Chief Minister of Karnataka Shri. Basavaraj Bommai, is expected to join as the chief guest at the conference. Some of the other notable speakers include Dr. Ashwath Narayan, Information & Technology Minister of Karnataka; Mr. N.R. Narayana Murthy, Founder of Infosys Limited; Paul Saffo, top technology forecaster, Professor at Stanford University; Mr. Desh Deshpande, Co-Founder Sycamore Networks, Founder of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, MIT, and Founder Deshpande Foundation, USA; Mr. Irad E. Ben-Gal, Head, Laboratory of AI Machine Learning Business & Data Analytics (LAMBDA), Israel; Mr. Sauvik Banerjee, Founding CTO of Tata Digital and Tata Neu; Ms. Karin Mayer Rubinstein, CEO & President Israel Advanced Technologies Industries. Top unicorn founders such as Ms. Deena Jacob, Co-Founder, CFO & Head of Revenue and Growth, Open; and Mr. Nithin Kamath, Founder & CEO, Zerodha along with other founders are also joining the cast of speakers.

Speaking about the conference, Mr. Claude Smadja, President, Smadja & Smadja Advisory, said, “I’ve been visiting India in various capacities for the past 51 years, forming many friendships with corporate executives, top academics, political figures, and young entrepreneurs. I have personally experienced India’s exponential growth narrative and its gradual emergence as a global technological centre. India now ranks 46th in the Global Innovation Index, up from 66th in 2016, and has the world’s third-largest start-up ecosystem. As a result, the India Global Innovation Connect arrives at an opportune time to highlight how India’s start-up and innovation story is becoming a global story., Its emergence as the new global innovation hub will be for a greater, safer, and stronger tomorrow.”

Speaking on the association, Shri B V Naidu, Chairman, Karnataka Digital Economy Mission, said, “Since its inception, KDEM has worked relentlessly to establish Karnataka as a global hub for innovation and technology. We have endeavoured to build a bridge between policymakers and the industry to create a robust platform for start-ups that can contribute to the nation’s development and digital economy.”

The conference will also include the announcement of a Swissnex Fellowship and its launch later in the year, allowing Bangalore-based change-makers to connect to Switzerland’s world-class innovation ecosystem.
Commenting on the partnership, Jonas Brunschwig, CEO of Swissnex in India, Consul General of Switzerland, said, “We are thrilled to announce the Swissnex Fellowship and launch the program in the later part of 2022. The past two years have left us with a strong appetite to re-connect in person, and with this initiative we will get to inject fresh energy into the Indo-Swiss innovation space, forging new relationships with brilliant minds both in Bangalore as well as in Switzerland.”
The India Global Innovation Connect will focus on insightful, outcome-oriented discussions on relevant topics for entrepreneurs, innovators, and top venture capitalists. A significant part of its value for speakers and participants derives from the opportunities for private bilateral meetings and behind closed doors discussions, sowing the seeds for new business developments.

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