AIC-SMUTBI and Mainstage Incubator, Germany signs MOU; NE startups to gain access to EU market

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GANGTOK, 27 Nov: In what could only be great news for entrepreneurs both aspiring and established, AIC-SMUTBI, Sikkim and Mainstage Incubator (haftungsbeschränkt) from Frankfurt, Germany has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the 25th November to enter into strategic partnership, thus enabling the startups of this region to gain smoother access to the European market.

Mr Swen Wegner, Founder and CEO on behalf of Mainstage incubator visited Sikkim to ink the pact with AIC-SMUTBI which is represented by Dr Tej Chingtham, CEO of AIC-SMUTBI. The MOU will enable startups from not only the North-Eastern states but also the rest of the country, to land into the European market in two stages viz, Soft landing (virtual landing) and Hard landing.

Soft Landing will enable start-ups to test their prototypes or product in Europe Market via AIC-SMUTBI’s partner incubator in Germany. The Mainstage incubator will facilitate all the regulatory compliances, certification, legal requirements etc., which are mandatory for entry into the European Union. A total of approximately 10 men-hour of mentoring will be provided to start-ups by their pool of mentors from the EU for the product-market fit, to prepare the start-ups to scale globally. 

In the second stage or hard landing, the Mainstage incubator will provide free office spaces and three months of accommodation in Frankfurt for the start-ups to have a physical presence in Germany. Registration of an entity in Germany will also be supported by them if necessary. 

The main intention behind the MOU is to reduce the overall cost of launching a product from North East India to the EU and help the start-ups focus on scaling beyond the boundaries of the region and country.
The agreement between the two not only signal that Sikkimese startups are ready to venture into international markets with their products and services but signal a change in the way the state’s image will be crafted to future investors.

Further, North-Eastern startups have been introducing new ideas and solutions that have contributed to the region’s economy, formed new jobs and pushed out the rather orthodox mindset, from an entire generation’s mind, that entrepreneurship could be achieved only after attending a business school or getting a degree in the subject.

Apart from these assistances, the Mainstage incubator will also provide all the start-ups with valuable industry connects, mentorship and access to investors from the EU. One of the most important resources for the expansion or even the creation of a startup is the presence of experienced mentors who can help guide businesses into fruitful ventures and give advice on how to build it better, which is why the incubator’s decision to help the startups network with those who can aid them gain an edge in a market that is dominated by big players will make all the difference.

Mr Wegner also conducted a session on “How to pitch to European Customers” followed by a one-on-one sitting with all the start-ups and entrepreneurs present, where he gave suggestions on how their products can be prepared for the global market.

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