DIU begins monthly meetings for investors interested in U.S. and Indian start-ups

By Tony Bertuca / November 8, 2023 at 3:23 PM

The Defense Innovation Unit, in coordination with the Indian Ministry of Defence, will be establishing a monthly series of meetings between government officials and the private sector to discuss potential business and technology investment opportunities, according to the Pentagon.

The monthly “education series” will be conducted under the auspices of the India-U.S. Defense Acceleration Ecosystem program, or INDUS-X, which was announced in June to expand the defense industrial cooperation between the two countries.

The monthly meetings, called INDUS-X Gurukul Education Series, will bring government officials and private-sector leaders together with U.S. and Indian start-ups “to discuss business and technology development, regulatory regimes and investor pitches,” according to a Pentagon announcement. “The Education Series will inform start-ups of new programs and opportunities available through INDUS-X and be tied to priorities established by both governments, as well as other areas of interest[.]”

The announcement comes as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are in New Delhi for the fifth 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, during which U.S. and Indian defense officials participated in the “first investor strategy session” for INDUS-X.

The session included DIU Director Doug Beck and Innovations for Defence Excellence Chief Operating Officer Vivek Virmani of the Indian MOD.

“Beck addressed investors alongside joined investors and start-ups to discuss harnessing private capital to drive defense innovation and equip both countries' armed forces with the capabilities to defend a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the Pentagon said.

The strategy session follows recent collaboration between DIU and iDEX, which have “opened applications for joint challenges that enable start-ups in both countries to develop technological solutions for shared defense challenges,” according to the Pentagon.

“Aligned with the Roadmap for U.S.-India Defense Industrial Cooperation, the challenges will culminate in financial awards for the most promising technology along with potential procurement opportunities,” the Pentagon said.