This initiative supports networking activities between startup incubators and accelerators from India and the EU

Between 2018 and 2020, we will match organisations from both regions. We will bring relevant organisations together in two networking events in India and two networking events in Europe.

While the networking events will be primarily targeted at incubators and accelerators, we also intend to motivate participants to engage in further exchanges between staff as well as startups themselves. We will also encourage startups to participate in relevant conferences and events in both regions. The aim is to kick-start a self-sustaining ecosystem that fosters high-level interactions and technology & innovation partnerships that benefit both regions.

As part of this initiative, we also facilitate the creation of an innovation platform connecting European innovation stakeholders in India. For more information on this part of the initiative, please visit the Delegation of the European Union to India’s website

Fostering EU-India innovation cooperation

Piloting an initiative to connect innovation and startup ecosystems between Europe and India

The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) of the European Commission has launched a piloting initiative with the aim to foster innovation cooperation between India and Europe.

Innovation is gaining momentum in India. In particular, the Indian startup community has emerged as the fastest growing base of startups worldwide. Today, India has one of the five largest startup communities in the world.

Against this background, it was agreed at their annual summit in 2017 that both the EU and India should work towards an enhanced cooperation on innovation and technology development aiming at actions strengthening cooperation between European and Indian industries and start-up ecosystems.

Therefore, over the next two years, the European Commission will carry out networking activities for startup incubators and accelerators between Europe and India:


... & reach out to incubators, accelerators and other relevant stakeholders from Europe and India with a specific interest in the other region. Incubators/accelerators will be matched by the team with counterparts focusing on similar thematic areas in the other region, facilitating mutual learning and exchange programmes.
This way, a long-term network will be created linking the key EU and Indian startup ecosystems.


... four networking events for incubators and accelerators which support startups that could benefit from this initiative. Two events will take place in Europe, and two will take place in India. To each event, 20 representatives from incubators and accelerators (10 from each region) will be invited. Other stakeholders are also expected to attend the events.


... incubators and accelerators to engage in further exchanges between their own staff and staff of their member startups. This includes support to create tailored incubator/accelerator exchange programmes.


... startup participation in relevant conferences and events in both regions

If you are an accelerator / incubator, you can benefit from this initiative if:

You already have some links to the other region’s startup communities and would like to build on these relationships

You don’t have previous links to the other region but are interested in internationalising and have a genuine interest in how innovation and business work in the other region

You want to connect to entrepreneurs from the other region and participate in relevant events to exchange ideas, expertise, explore partnerships for co-product development or market leverage

You want to benefit from the skills and knowledge of partners in the other region to develop innovative products, service and solutions to common challenges, best practise and staff exchanges

You support/host startups in sectors such as water, health, energy, bioeconomy, climate, agriculture, mobility/transport, urbanization

This initiative focuses on creating incubator/accelerator level partnerships that should act as multipliers to ultimately benefit a higher number of startups than could be reached otherwise. The initiative does not only include incubators/accelerators but also involves VCs, angel investors, corporates, and bilateral support agencies and government organisations that support innovation.

Benefits to startups in both regions

The initiative will be implemented in three steps

  • 1

    Ecosystem mapping & scoping interviews

    As a first step, the team met with relevant incubators and accelerators in Europe and India and discussed their current activities, existing partnerships (if any) with the other region, their capacity in terms of number of startups being supported, thematic focus (sectors in which they predominantly support startups), stage of startups being supported (early stage, scale-up etc.) and their willingness and commitment to be part of this initiative.

  • 2

    Two-stage Matching

    The EU initiative consists of a virtual pre-matching programme whereby each incubator/accelerator from one region (EU/ India) will be matched with two or three counterparts in the other region. The matched organisations are then invited to devise specific action plans on how to cooperate with tangible results.

    Our process of matchmaking, cross-border exchange, continuous support and helping incubators/accelerators understand operating models across both regions is designed to foster deep and long-term interactions between both regions.

  • 3

    Organising networking events

    The four networking events due to take place over the next two years will provide the opportunity for selected incubators/accelerators from the network created by this initiative to deepen their cooperation. Each event will run over approximately two days. The format of each event may vary but will include a combination of workshops, incubator/accelerator site visits, mentoring sessions, and startup pitches.

Latest updates

Our network was successfully launched in Bangalore, India, on 9 October 2018, when 21 incubators from India and all over Europe were gathered to explore opportunities for collaboration. Over the next months, the incubators/accelerators will work on formalizing their partnerships and set up joint programs and exchanges.


GTEC challenge

This presents an opportunity for 2 EU Start-ups to showcase and demo technologies @ the Global Tech Experience Centre (GTEC). Apply before the 30th of November 2018 to avail India market access and tech commercialization/ deployment mentorship services for 6 months (No charge).

Learn more about this opportunity here


If you would like to receive updates on this initiative and reminders of relevant events in Europe and India, please register using our

Networking events



8 - 9 October 2018
Bangalore, India

On 8 and 9 October, 20 carefully selected European and Indian incubators and accelerators came together in Bangalore, India, to explore opportunities for cooperation on common challenges in the areas of agritech & biotech, health & medtech, cleantech & energy, among others. The event also attended high-level public officials from the EU and India.

Relevant Third Party Events

Web Summit 2018

Web Summit 2018

5 - 8 November 2018
Lisbon, Portugal

8th international Scientific Conference - Turn Innovative Ideas into Reality

8th international Scientific Conference "Turn Innovative Ideas into Reality"

12 - 13 November 2018
Maribor, Slovenia

This is the 8th International Scientific Conference "Turn Innovative Ideas Into Reality", which will be held in Maribor, Slovenia on November 12 - 13 2018

Smart City Expo World Congress 2018

Smart City Expo World Congress 2018

13 - 15 November 2018
Barcelona, Spain
focus on smart cities

Worldwide leading event for smart cities

10th NASSCOM Design & Engineering Summit

10th NASSCOM Design & Engineering Summit

15 - 16 November 2018
Bangalore, Hotel Leela
Enineering R&D

The summit would focus on where ER&D sector is heading to, with the new disruptive technology that would impact the world and how to develop products to enhance customer experience

G.STIC 2018

G.STIC (Global sustainable technology and innovation conferences)

28 - 30 November 2018
Brussels, Belgium

G-STIC is a unique event that focuses on market-ready integrated technological solutions that have a strong impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Bangalore Tech Summit

Bangalore Tech Summit

29 November - 2 December 2018
Bangalore, India



4 - 5 December 2018
Helsinki, Finland

StarUp 2019

StarUp 2019

18 - 19 January 2019
Mumbai, India
Agri tech fintech healthtech edutech emergingtech cleantech Space & frontiertech fashion media entertainment gaming real estate eMobility

STARup is a gathering of over 2,000 entrepreneurs, investors, corporate representatives and government officials and influencers from the Indian, Asian and European startup ecosystems. This is a networking event that was first launched in 2016

27th NASSCOM India Leadership Forum (NILF)

27th NASSCOM India Leadership Forum (NILF)

20 - 22 February 2019
Mumbai, Grand Hyatt

NASSCOM's annual flagship conference. This event is known as Asia’s biggest leadership conference where you will see who’s who of different industries across globe.

Participating incubators and accelerators

Here is a list of innovation players involved in this EU initiative:

European partners:

Indian partners:

Relevant links

Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan
Startup Europe