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Dosti via profits: Indian Accelerators now inviting Pakistani startups!

NEW DELHI: Indian startup accelerators are now turning to a business model of peace from profits, inviting Pakistani entrepreneurs to participate in contests for their hot money. 

The Indian Angel Network on Friday announced its new cross-border business plan competition - 'Startup Dosti' - in partnership with Karachi-London based SEED Ventures and the Washington DC based Atlantic Council.

The event will kick of next month from London, considering the hurdles in visa issuance, entreprenurs from both sides face, travelling to each others' countries.

The initiative will connect entrepreneurs from India, Pakistan, and the South Asian
diaspora to facilitate collaboration. Through the business plan competition, shortlisted entrepreneurs from Pakistan and India will get an opportunity to access markets, and mentors from across the border.

India's largest angel network IAN has a gamut of investors based overseas investing actively in IAN companies and investee companies based overseas.

Startup Dosti is a unique platform which will bring along a mix of investors and mentors from both the nations. Indian Angel Network President Padmaja Ruparel said: "Startup Dosti will interconnect the entrepreneurial communities across India and Pakistan, thus creating a platform for exchange of ideas, mentoring, assistance in access to markets. Given the similarities in the market stages in India and Pakistan, entrepreneurs from both countries can now look forward to assisted access to a significantly sized market in their neighborhood.

"This collaboration will help drive the economic growth in the region and build another track of seed / early stage ventures between India and Pakistan," she added.

The launch event of Startup Dosti in London on June 3, 2013 will feature remarks by Andrew Stephenson MP, chairperson of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pakistan, 
Virendra Sharma MP, vice chair of the Indo-British All Party Parliamentary Group amongst others.

The Indian Angel Network has over 225 members and has funded nearly 50 start-ups across multiple sectors like IT, Mobile, Healthcare and Education, across India and overseas.