Narendra Modi’s startup program picked up pace in 2017. It has set ambitious targets for 2018 which include more funding to a push for woman entrepreneurship and state wise ranking based on startup related initiatives. There will be an injection of money into the Fund of Funds for Startups which was established in January 2016.
Further, the department of industrial policy and promotion will also put in more money into the fund bringing the total investment upto INR 2,200 crore. The Fund invests in startups through Small Industries Development Bank of India and has received only INR 800 crore from the INR 10,000 crore it was promised. About 75 startups have received funding from the corpus which amounted to INR 318 crore.
The Startup India Program was launched in 2016 and saw only about 500 startups through the year. However, the latest figures from 2017 show a different picture. Upto 6,337 startups were recognized in 2017 which is a 12 fold rise in a year. Apart from providing equity funding for mature startups through FFS, the government has removed a number of obstacles which were faced by upcoming players by giving tax benefits and cutting back on red tape.
The income tax exemption has been extended to 78 startups and these companies are now able to avail a tax holiday for any three consecutive years out of a total of seven years from the date of incorporation. The program has helped in protecting patents by reducing the time and cumbersome procedure. About 975 beneficiaries have already received an 80% rebate from the government on their applications.
The Startup India Hub which is a virtual platform connecting entrepreneurs, investors and mentors has 22,000 registered users. It has resolved 78,000 queries and has made it easier for entrepreneurs to find solutions to their problems. Further, the learning and development module of the Startup India Program offers free entrepreneurship courses which are used by 1,91,000 users so far. The Startup India network includes more than 941 labs in schools, 11 business incubators, 15 startup centers, research parks and bio incubators. The Government is trying to tap the student’s young ideas so that their ideas just don’t flounder because they do not know where to go. Due to the program, startups are now booming in a number of cities like Pune, Ahmedabad and Jaipur. A large number of Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are expected to become the hotbed of innovation in a couple of years.
Startup India will be launching a ranking of states and union territories based on their initiatives in 2018. This will promote healthy competition and provide a better ecosystem to support startups. Currently, 6,300 startups are recognized by Startup India and only 2,488 have women founders. The Government strives to reward the states that nurture more woman founders and has taken initiatives like Global Entrepreneurship Summit to promote the same.