Photo: Navdeep Bains, Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (left) announced new Gateway91 program in India.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced the creation of a new soft landing program for international companies looking to expand into India. The program, called Gateway91, will be run by Zone Startups India (ZSI), an international startup accelerator affiliated with Ryerson University.

Bains also announced a partnership between the governments of Canada and Ontario to fund five Canadian financial technology startups to participate in the new program to help Canadian innovators seize the many opportunities provided by the Indian market.

“All around the world, confident, ambitious countries are investing in their own future,” said Bains. “Formidable energies have led to Zone Startups India partnership among Ryerson, Simon Fraser University and the Bombay Stock Exchange, and the Government of Canada is proud to support this program. This work in the emerging field of financial technology has the potential to turn ideas into marketable solutions.”

“We’re proud to be a partner with the federal government and Zone Startups India to support the Gateway91 program,” said Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of International Trade. “This initiative will help Canadian FinTech innovators bring their breakthrough concepts and technologies into the Indian market which will create jobs and economic growth in both regions.”

Matt Saunders, president of Zone Startups, said: “Through programs like Gateway91, Zone Startups will continue to assist early stage enterprise software companies as they look to scale in the Indian market. Our extensive connections and programming continue to attract great founders developing innovative solutions. We’re proud to partner with both the federal and Ontario governments to give Canadian FinTech startups the opportunity to benefit from our leading services to grow and thrive in India.”

Gateway91 will offer end-to-end services for international technology companies looking to set up their first office in India. Zone Startups India will help companies make the transition to a new market by providing supports including:

  • workspace within a community of likeminded entrepreneurs;
  • local industry expert mentors;
  • professional and administrative services for business establishment;
  • corporate connections for customer development; and
  • networking opportunities with potential investors.

“Setting up Gateway91 was a natural extension to what we have been doing at Zone Startups India,” said Ajay Ramasubramaniam, director, Zone Startups India. “The ecosystem of mentors, potential partners and professional service providers needed by international startups to succeed in India is already in place; to date we have supported 16 companies, helping them with introductions to several potential partners and clients.”

Abdullah Snobar, executive director of the DMZ, said: “Zone Startups accelerator program continues to expand, and as companies graduate from the DMZ— the leading business incubator for technology startups in North America — many will have the opportunity to participate in programs like Gateway91. This is a great opportunity for Canadian entrepreneurs looking to expand to India, and introduce their innovations and creative solutions into a new market.”

Zone Startups is a program created by Ryerson Futures Inc. Gateway91 is the fourth new program announced by Zone Startups in India in 2016. Others are empoWer, Rise Accelerator with Barclays and Thought Factory with Axis Bank. To learn more about Zone Startups, or to apply for Gateway91, visit: