Taking forward the Startup India initiative to the next level, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government of India organized the Second States’ Startup Conference today at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi. 60 enablers comprising Venture Capitalists (VCs), Incubators, Accelerators, Banks, etc. and over 100 Startups from all over the country participated in the conference. The conference gave them the unique opportunity of interacting with senior officials from as many as 23 States and UT Governments, as also Central Government. The discussions in the conference focussed around the themes related to incubation facilities in India, role of State Government in setting up and operationalizing Fund of Funds through AIFs and VCs and making regulatory compliance easier for Startups. In his inaugural address, the Hon’ble Minister of State, Commerce and Industry, Shri C.R. Choudhary emphasized on the larger role States need to play in facilitating and encouraging Startups which would determine the ultimate success of Startup initiative. He exhorted all to ensure that the benefits of Startup India program should percolate down to entrepreneurs in tier-2/tier-3 cities.
Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, DIPP stressed upon the need to take positive steps to support the budding entrepreneurs of the country. He also highlighted the game-changing initiatives such as Startup India Hub and Learning & Development program launched by DIPP for benefit of budding entrepreneurs. The role of States/UTs in creation of a strong startup ecosystem in the country was focussed upon in the sessions. Several states showcased key initiatives they had taken to promote startups. Odisha showcased various tools they have developed to equip startups, including a comprehensive portal, helpline and various learning & development initiatives. Tamil Nadu presented the extensive network of innovation centers which have been developed on a hub and spoke model across colleges in the state. Jharkhand showcased their bottom up approach of fostering innovation by reaching out to schools to nurture a culture of innovation through a ‘germinator.’ Other States viz. Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Bihar, Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh also made presentations showcasing their efforts in supporting Startups.
The event witnessed dedicated sessions on ‘Incubation facilities across States: Challenges and Solutions’ and ‘Funding for Startups - Role of State Government’. The panelists debated on how State Governments in collaboration with Startup enablers can facilitate setting up of incubation facilities and funding for Startups across States/UTs. Another session on ‘Making regulations easier for Startups’ brought forth suggestions from Startups on resolving regulatory issues in e-vehicles, e-pharmacy and other disruptive technology business domains. The conference provided a platform that saw all the Startup ecosystem players from Central and State Governments to Startups, Incubators, investors and mentors coming together. The sessions highlighted key learnings as takeaways that would encourage State Governments to undertake initiatives for development of their respective Startup ecosystems. The healthy cross-pollination of ideas and best practices augurs well for the entire startup ecosystem in the country.