New Delhi , Shortlisted by the NITI Aayog, as one of the 13 institutes nationwide to host the prestigious, innovation-oriented Atal Incubation Centre (AIC), the Goa Institute of Management (GIM), one of the premier B-Schools in India, will host its AIC's first initiative, IdeaLab 2018, an international event featuring over 300 start-ups. IdeaLab 2018 is one of the several initiatives undertaken by GIM to celebrate its completion of 25 years of imparting knowledge to the country’s future corporate leaders. IdeaLab 2018 is an initiative of the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation’s Young Leaders Network (WYN) and the Goa conference is the event’s fourth edition. It is a distinguished start-up conference that cultivates entrepreneurs and assists in the development of start-up ecosystems. IdeaLab's relevance is from its assorted features, that spur key players in the global start-up ecosystem to network, share experiences, find ways to sustainably scale up and explore business collaborations. After three successful editions in Kuala Lumpur, IdeaLab has expanded beyond ASEAN with its first regional edition to be held at the GIM campus in Sanquelim, on October 16-17, 2018 with a primary focus in early stage start-ups. ‘This is the first time WIEF’s IdeaLab has travelled out of its home city, Kuala Lumpur. We started IdeaLab in 2015 and aimed for it to become a startup empowerment platform. Goa fits the bill perfectly for IdeaLab 2018 as Goa’s government has proclaimed to make Goa not just a national startup hub, but the top 25 startup hub in Asia, by 2025,’ said Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of WIEF Foundation. Added Prof. Ajit Parulekar, Director, GIM, “The Atal Incubation Center (AIC) at GIM will serve as an active knowledge and resource catalyst for the development of promising entrepreneurs and will aid in accelerating the growth of early stage organizations from ideation to marketplace success. Goa Institute of Management (GIM) in its 25th year of operation has taken on this initiative.” IdeaLab 2018 would also provide an excellent platform for promoters of young Goan start-ups to network, learn more about the global start-up ecosystem, while also enabling them to engage with resource persons and experts invited to the conference to deliberate on new trends, trouble-shooting, nurturing and expanding young businesses. Some of the top names who have confirmed attendance at the event are former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and Chairman of WIEF Foundation Tun Musa Hitam, Managing Director of TransAfrix Holdings, South Africa Ebrahim Patel, Portfolio Manager, 500 Startups, United States, Betty Kux, Chief Executive Officer, Joompa, Singapore Anisa Hassan, President, Mumbai Angels Network, India, Sachin Karnik, etc. Startups in India are hitting new highs in terms of their valuations. Global investors are ploughing funds into the sector. In the past, the startup scene has been defined by consumer-driven ventures. Lately, there has been a shift in that ecosystem as India’s startups begin to focus on technology and product innovation. This trend is largely being driven by India’s expanding economy, rising disposable income, and the technology boom. India has seen a wave of entrepreneurs trying to tap the market with new ventures. India’s GDP grew at 7.7 per cent in the first three months of 2018, making it the world’s fastest growing major economy. According to data from Nasscom, the number of startups funded and funding deals actually went up marginally in 2016. VCs raised US$2 billion for investment in seed or early-stage startups. Student entrepreneurs formed 350 startups in 2016, a 25 percent rise from 2015. With reference to industry body, Assocham’s numbers, India ranked third in the world – just after the US and the UK – when it comes to the number of tech startups . IdeaLab 2018 will also provide a good opportunity for GIM to showcase world class incubation facilities at its AIC, which is the third incubation centre to be set up within the state. NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission including Self-Employment and Talent Utilization (SETU) is one of the flagship programs of the Government of India to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.