Mumbai: The Wharton School is organising its global India-focussed summit for the first time both in the country as well as at its Pennsylvania campus this year, with focus on the red-hot startup economy.
The Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) will be held in Mumbai on January 5.
The event marks the 20th anniversary of the conference, featuring a startup competition -- The Wharton India Startup Competition -- which will provide new-age companies a platform to showcase their ideas, organisers said in a statement.
WIEF is an annual student-run India-focused conference hosted by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Startups led by e-commerce players such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Ola, among others, have seen a whopping over USD 8 billion investment, mostly from foreign PEs.
With over 3,000 technology start-ups, mostly based in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Pune, the country is the fourth-largest base for young businesses in the world. By 2020, it's expected to be the largest start-up market with over 11,500 players.
The event is unique in the sense that it brings together industry leaders, investors, government leaders and Wharton professors on a single platform to discuss the challenges facing the economy and small businesses.
Wharton had kicked up a lot of dust in 2013 when it cancelled the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's keynote address at the India Economic forum.
The award categories include the best emerging, the best established and the best social impact start-ups.
The organisers have so far received over 750 applications from across industries, both for-profit and social ventures.
Of these, 10 finalists have been selected. A majority of the entries came from e-commerce, travel, consumer Internet and other sectors such as social,
healthcare, not-for-profit and hardware.
The second event will be an annual full-day conference in Philadelphia, scheduled for March 25, 2016.
Some of the notable speakers this year include Harsh Mariwala, chairman of Marico, entertainment entrepreneur
Ronnie Screwvala of the UTV fame, Haigreve Khaitan, senior partner at law firm Khaitan & Co, and Kirthiga Reddy, head of Facebook India.