The Government of India decided to boost the Startup ecosystem in the country and help India become a nation of job creators rather than job seekers. The ‘Startup India’ initiative was announced on the 69th Independence Day celebration of India, and subsequently, the Startup India Action Plan was launched on January 16, 2016 in New Delhi. Through this initiative the Government aims to empower Startups to grow through innovation and design and to accelerate spreading of the Startup movement.
The focus areas, with regards to implementation of Startup India for the States/ Union Territories are as follows:
- Startup Policy: Notifying a Startup policy
- Simplification & Handholding:
- Enabling ease of registration as a Startup
- Enabling ease of recognition as a Startup
- Enabling ease of compliances under various laws
- Facilitating for setting up of incubators
- Setting up a dedicated Startup Cell/ Helpline
- Setting up a dedicated Portal/ Mobile Application
- Funding Support: Undertaking initiatives to increase access to funds for Startups and formulating a credit guarantee scheme
- Industry-Academia Partnership: Building partnerships with Industry and,
- Educational Institutes to set up incubators and support for vocational training institutes
- Fest/ Events: Organising Startup Fests/ Events.
- Adopting innovative ways for effective implementation of scheme
- Ensuring transparency/ accountability in implementation of scheme
Best Practices for Replication
Simplification and Hand-holding:
- A unified platform for each State knitting together all facilities and services for Startups opened i.e. a single window online platform. The platform eased the registration and recognition process and provided a 24X7 helpline through a Startup cell to address all queries related to the Startup ecosystem. The platform also provided matchmaking between incubators, Venture Capitalist Funds (VCFs) and Startups.
- Karnataka was the first State to announce a muti sector Startup policy. The State has a Startup cell with a dedicated relationship manager and Startup Portal which helps Startups with registration, application for Incentives, and booster kit.
- Karnataka and Telangana allow self-certification based compliance under Labour and Environment laws identified by DIPP.
- The Gujarat Government has launched a dedicated mobile application and web portal for Startups i.e. startupgujarat.in for handholding and end-to-end support in registration, schemes and mentorship.
- The Telangana Government has set up an innovation cell with dedicated web portal providing end to end services to Startups across the state and beyond.
- Increased access to funds facilitated by means of continuous on boarding of Venture Capital Funds (VCFs) and investors. A fund of funds was setup so that funds committed by State, Government Institutions and others are accumulated and disbursed effectively. Karnataka earmarked `200 crore to invest across multiple sectors.
- Different Governments mobilised funds for Startups across different sectors and growth stages providing financial assistance through fund of funds for Startups both in Seed and Growth stage.
- States included different leading institutions to provide financial assistance to Startups. Startup funds, Students Innovation Funds for sector specific and region specific Startups have been setup.
Industry Academia Partnership:
- Efforts were made to enrol more number of incubators for recognition and mentoring of Startups. Innovation Hubs, Tinkering Labs, Research Parks etc. were setup by leveraging educational institutes within the State.
- The Karnataka Government has tied up with NASSCOM, IAMAI and 91Springboard for setting up incubation facilities and for providing mentorship.
- The T-Hub of Telangana partnered with India’s three premier academic institutes IIT-H, ISB & NALSAR, which is a public private partnership, to build a Startup ecosystem in the state.
- Different Open house and other events were organised by the States to create awareness about the initiatives undertaken by Government for startups. Karnataka State created a networking platform for all the stakeholders such as BengaluruITE.biz 2016, YESSS Program, Startup Top Tech-25 Awards, Hackathons, Startup Pavillion, Bengaluru India Bio 2016, Bio Accelerate, Bengaluru India Nano 2016, TiECon 2016 in Hubli and Bengaluru, Anthaprerana 2016 by TiE, Startup Dialogue 2016 by Deshpande Foundation.
- T-Hub of Telangana organised 54 events. India’s largest Startup conference was conducted by the state in partnership with T-Hub and Indian School of Business (ISB).
- A number of events, including Vibrant Gujarat Startup Summit, were organised by the State Government to provide a networking platform to stakeholders.
Suggestions for Effective Implementation
Target beneficiaries can take optimal advantage if benefits under different welfare schemes are converged. There is a need for all States to notify their Startup Policy which amalgamates all incentives, benefits and efforts taken by the State governments to provide a thrust to the Startup vision. The policy would cover the entire framework and way forward for the entire Startup ecosystem. The policy would also be required to be periodically modified in order to be more effective and facilitate more members of the Startup ecosystem.
Focus on multi-sector Startups is required to create a holistic ecosystem for Startups to create opportunities for all people skilled in various disciplines. Initial success stories come from the IT sector and Startups. Sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, IT/ ITes, Skill, Health, etc. should be prioritised from policy to execution. Non-tech Startups should be carefully looked at in order to tap on and retain indigenous Startups which are innovatively tackling local challenges.
Lack of awareness is the biggest challenge for effective implementation. It was observed that the Startup community as well as persons who are willing to enter into the community are not aware of the schemes, benefits and incentives. There is a clear lack of knowledge and ineffective information dissemination. To overcome this challenge, Startup fests, events, programmes and round tables should be held throughout the year to promote the Startup culture within the State. These events should reach out to the masses and serve as a platform for industry, academia and other stakeholders to come together and exchange ideas. These platforms can also serve to unearth hidden talents and help small entrepreneurs get much needed visibility and exposure in order for them to expand and grow.
A unified platform knitting together facilities and services for startups is a necessity for a startup ecosystem to develop.
Single window online platforms drive the ease of registration and recognition process and provide a 24X7 helpline through a startup cell to address queries.
Working on the lines, the Government of Karnataka launched an online platform to register startups, mentors, incubators, institutes, investors and partners. Registered startup have access to a ‘Booster Kit’, which provides software tools (debugging and testing) and services (cloud, telephony, payment, incubation and marketing) at a special price, tailor-made to cater to needs of young entrepreneurs. Over 1,000 startups were registered until December 2017.
Source : Emulating Excellence Takeaways for Replication