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Empowering Startups and MSMEs for inclusive growth in the Digital Age: India-US CEO Forum WG7 launches bilateral knowledge-sharing platform and innovation hackathon with prize pool of up to INR 1 cr

  • Nihit Knowledge Platform launched for integrating MSMEs and startups in the global supply chain; will boost jobs

  • Prakshepan Hackathon launched for startups and MSMEs with a prize pool and mentorship of over a crore

  • With a Cybersecurity & AI Skilling and capacity building workshop

Empowering Startups and MSMEs for inclusive growth in the Digital Age: India-US CEO Forum WG7 launches bilateral knowledge-sharing platform and innovation hackathon with prize pool of up to INR 1 cr

The India-US CEO Forum’s Working Group 7 (WG7) on Entrepreneurship, Inclusive Growth, and Promoting Small Businesses, in partnership with United Services Institute (USI) and CyberPeace Foundation, today launched the bilateral knowledge-sharing platform between India and the US, during the dialogue on inclusive growth, unlocking trade, empowering Startups and MSMEs in the Digital Age at USI.

The dialogue also saw the launch of Prakshepan, an innovation Hackathon, and Cybersecurity & AI Capacity Building and Skilling Workshops for MSMEs and startups. The workshops will focus on protecting MSMEs and startups from online threats, and provide these businesses with the knowledge and tools necessary to build resilient security structures.

Speaking at the event, Dr Subi Chaturvedi, Chief Corporate Affairs & Public Policy Officer, Global Senior Vice President (SVP), InMobi, and Sherpa WG7, said, “The dialogue and the knowledge-sharing platform will enhance the bilateral relationship and unlock trade between India and the US, promoting inclusive growth by empowering startups and integrating MSMEs in the global supply chain and fostering a resilient, innovative, and inclusive economy. Through our collaborative efforts in cybersecurity and capacity-building, we aim to create a secure environment for businesses to thrive, ultimately contributing to the socio-economic development of our nation. The launch of NIHIT and PRAKSHEPAN underscores our commitment to nurturing innovation and ensuring equitable participation, especially for women, in this digital transformation journey.”

“The ‘Prakshepan’ hackathon will identify, mentor, and accelerate startups that contribute to enhancing the relationship between India and the US. This bilateral hackathon will focus on fostering innovation with a strong emphasis on women-led businesses, aiming for 50% female representation among participants,” she further added.

Sh. Mahaveer Singhvi, Joint Secretary (New Emerging and Strategic Technologies Division), Ministry of External Affairs, who was the Chief Guest, appreciated the initiatives and emphasized the Government’s focus on improving bilateral trade and enhancing the nation’s competency in innovation and adoption of emerging technology. “I believe initiatives and dialogues like this will help foster a better relationship between the two nations, especially in trade and innovation, new and emerging future technologies and startups have a key role to play,” he said.


Major Vineet Kumar, Global President, Founder of CyberPeace Foundation, said, “The Cybersecurity Capacity Building Workshops aim to create a safe and equitable internet for all. CyberPeace Foundation looks forward to collaborating with all stakeholders and netizens to foster an environment where innovation can thrive securely and we can empower startups and MSMEs with the knowledge and tools to navigate cyber threats and build capacity.”

The dialogue and launch were organized by InMobi, Mastercard and Tata Sons and supported by CyberPeace Foundation, USI and USIBC. The Guest of Honour was Mr. Jonathan Heimer, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs, United States Government who shared his best wishes and pledged support for the continued success of the forum. Other key speakers and dignitaries included Major Gen. (Dr.) Pawan Anand, AVSM (Retd.), Director USI-CANB and Varun Sakhuja, Director of Product Development - Innovation & Customer Solutions at Mastercard, Asia Pacific, on behalf of the Chair from the US side of WG7. Mastercard shared several initiatives on financial capacity building and reiterated their commitment towards inclusive growth and MSMEs and startups.

Empowering startups and MSMEs through digital technologies is crucial for driving economic growth, enhancing market access, improving operational efficiency, and fostering innovation. By leveraging these technologies, businesses can unlock new opportunities, strengthen their competitiveness, and significantly contribute to the overall socio-economic development of India. This initiative not only aims to secure businesses against cyber threats but also promotes inclusive growth and entrepreneurship, enhancing the bilateral trade relationship between India and the USA.

About India-US CEO Forum

With the aim of improving bilateral trade between India and the US, the forum brings together top businesses from both the nations under the guidance of the Ministry of Commerce and the Department of Commerce from India and the US respectively.


The USI-CyberPeace Centre of Excellence (CoE) is a collaboration between the United Service Institution of India and CyberPeace Foundation, to bring together military and cybersecurity experts to promote digital empowerment.

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