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Indian Ministry of IT Sets up Hub for Start-ups

Indian Ministry of IT Hub for Start ups

The Ministry of Information Technology and Electronics (MeitY) has established a hub for emerging enterprises, to boost the start-up ecosystem in the country.

The platform will allow start-ups to connect with incubators, accelerators, mentors, angel funds, and venture capitalists.

The MeitY Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, formally inaugurated the platform last week, where nearly 1,000 start-ups and 130 incubation centres have gone live.

According to media reports, the “social media platform” lists start-ups according to their area of expertise or the state they belong to. It will bring together all existing programmes and connect start-ups to the right talent, mentor, or VC fund.

Although there are many incubation centres or start-ups scattered across the country, a common link that connects them is missing, a government official told news reporters.

Through this platform, a start-up in a small city can reach out to a mentor specialised in its area from another part of the country. This was not possible earlier, the official added.

So far, Qualcomm, HSBC, along with associations such as the Confederation of Indian Industry, have partnered with the government on the initiative, news reports said.

Start-ups will have a webpage for their enterprise, connect to incubation centres, have access to mentors and centres of excellence, benefit from government schemes, and make use of R&D facilities and labs.

Further along, investors will be able to view the platform to get access to start-ups that are doing work in areas they are interested in and look at funding them.

India has emerged as the third largest ecosystem, with 21 unicorns, for successful start-ups after China and the United States but ahead of Britain and Israel, according to the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2019.

The research showed that Beijing is the world’s unicorn capital with 82, ahead of San Francisco with 55, followed by Shanghai, New York, and Hangzhou.

It also found 494 unicorns in the world, based in 25 countries and 118 cities. Set up seven years ago on average, they are worth US $3.4 billion and US $1.7 trillion in total.

The list showed e-commerce and fintech make up 31% of the world’s unicorns, followed by cloud and AI. The world’s unicorns span 25 industries, with the Big 5 Industries making up half of the total.

For India, start-ups are crucial to its social and economic development and are an important source of employment for the country’s youth.

India currently hosts more than 450 start-ups in the agri-tech segment alone, and the sector has received more than US $248 million of funding in the first six months of this year, a recent report said.

According to data from the government’s flagship Startup India initiative, 15,113 start-ups were recognised under the programme across 492 districts in 29 states and union territories, from 2016-2019.

55% of the recognised start-ups were from Tier 1 cities, 27% from Tier 2 cities and 18% were from Tier 3 cities.

24 states in the country have introduced a start-up policy and the government has made 22 regulatory amendments and approved 1,275 patent rebates in the last three years.

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