Startup India States’ Conference held in New Delhi

The Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (Independent Charge), Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman delivering the inaugural address at the Start Up India States’ conference, in New Delhi on July 23, 2016.
The Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (Independent Charge), Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman delivering the inaugural address at the Start Up India States’ conference, in New Delhi on July 23, 2016.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech had announced the “Start-up India” initiative. This initiative aims at fostering entrepreneurship and promoting innovation by creating an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of Startups.

The Government of India launched the “Startup India” movement on January 16, 2016 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. The Action Plan for Startup India was unveiled by the Honorable Prime Minister of India. This Action Plan lays down the roadmap for creation of a conducive ecosystem for the growth of Startups in India.

The Startup India initiative of the Government of India envisions building a strong eco-system for nurturing innovation and Startups in the country and empowering Startups to grow through innovation and design. The Government has been making fast paced efforts towards making the vision of the Startup India initiative a reality. Since the launch of the initiative in January 2016, considerable progress has been made in this regard.

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) successfully organized a day-long conference on 23rd July, 2016. The conference was presided over by Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce & Industry. She emphasized that the government’s aim is to create a conducive Startup ecosystem. She pointed out the reforms that the government has made to ensure the thriving atmosphere for startups and also the instances when the government acted on the feedbacks received from the ecosystem. She also added that the government needs to balance the reforms with accountability. Minimum intervention of the Papplications which have applied for tax incentives. For all the other applications the recognition is almost automatic. She stressed at the fact that startups need to only focus on their ideas and not worry about compliances under various acts.

The aim of the conference was to serve as a platform for all States to discuss the progress, policies and good practices they have made on the Startup India initiative. State Governments of Telangana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kerala and Karnataka presented the initiatives undertaken by them to promote Startups. The state of Karnataka pointed out that it ranks among the world’s top twenty startup ecosystems. While Rajasthan stressed on the fact that Jaipur is one of the top 10 cities in India for startup investments. Telangana announced that a dedicated defense and aerospace incubator will be launched in IIT Hyderabad. Many more impressive reforms were pointed out in the presentations.

Ramesh Abhishek, SIPP urged all the states to set up Incubators and Startup hubs and said that he is proud of the progress that the national initiative has made and how the Startup ecosystem has improved. He also gave examples of Startup Village, ICreate and T-hub were presented to act as illustrations and let competitive federalism drive other states to take all possible steps to create enabling environment for startups and entrepreneurs. Besides the States, Startups, Investors, Incubators and various ministries and departments of Government of India related to Startups were part of separate panel discussions on various facets, like funding and incubation, of the Startup India initiative and the Startup ecosystem as a whole.

While the Startups shared their growth stories and expectations from the government, the investors deliberated on access of funds in different stages of the Startup life-cycle. Frameworks and models to provide infrastructure, mentoring and handholding to startups were discussed by a panel of selected Incubators. The Startups had positive feedback for the Startup India initiative and stated that the present government is actively promoting the startup ecosystem.

The Ministry and various departments working on Startup India initiative discussed on implementation of the Startup India Action Plan and way forward. 13,500 applications for setting up of new tinkering labs in schools have been received by NITI Aayog while the target was only 500. Similarly, for a target of setting up of 100 new incubators, 3300 applications were received. Adding to this, Amitabh Kant pointed out many others impressive statistics about the measures taken by NITI Aayog to support the Startup India initiative.

All the panel discussions were followed by an interactive question and answers session with the audience.

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