Union Minister Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal Monday informed that Start-up India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) would be launched within three months. The fund would aim to provide financial assistance to start-ups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry, and commercialisation. The scheme was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 16, 2021 in his address of ‘Prarambh: StartupIndia International Summit’, marking the five-year anniversary of the Start-up India initiative. Rs. 945 crore corpus would be divided over the next 4 years for providing seed funding to eligible start-ups through eligible incubators across India. The scheme is expected to support an estimated 3,600 start-ups through 300 incubators.
Speaking on the occasion, Goyal said that that times are tough, but our resolve is strong, and never before has it become more important for us to empower our start-ups.
The minister said that the SISFS would secure seed funding, inspire innovation, support transformative ideas, facilitate implementation, and start start-up revolution. He said that this scheme would create a robust start-up ecosystem, particularly in tier-2 and tier-3 towns of India, which are often deprived of adequate funding. The minister said that he would like to especially encourage innovators from rural areas to come forward and benefit from this scheme.
Goyal said that Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) had worked tirelessly to bring a tectonic shift in the start-up ecosystem in India. he assured that the department had been acting as the facilitator, with open door, open arms and open mind, encouraging large scale youth participation in the innovative activities.
The minister said that there had been change in approach, change in mindset from job seekers to job providers, which was helping start-ups to become the backbone of new India. He said that start-up India Seed Fund Scheme would act as a bridge between ideas and their implementation. Independent and ambitious thinking in the start-up ecosystem would encourage entrepreneurship and create a culture that would recognise innovation.
Goyal said that 2020 was testament to the transformative potential of Indian start-ups. Start-ups with their energy and enthusiasm came up with efficient and cost effective solutions which ensured last mile supply of essential commodities across India. He lauded young entrepreneurs for the ability, agility and dedication. He said that Indian start-ups have been inculcating, incubating and innovating not only for the nation but for the humanity.
Implementation guidelines for Startup India Seed Fund Scheme
The online portal created by DPIIT, for the scheme, would allow incubators to apply for funds under it. An Experts Advisory Committee (EAC) has been created by DPIIT to execute and monitor the Start-up India Seed Fund Scheme. Grants of upto Rs 5 crore shall be provided to the eligible incubators selected by the EAC. The selected incubators shall provide grants of up to Rs 20 lakh for validation of proof of concept, or prototype development, or product trials to start-ups. Furthermore, investments of up to Rs 50 lakh shall be provided to the start-ups for market entry, commercialisation, or scaling up through convertible debentures or debt-linked instruments. The detailed guidelines of the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme are provided on the Start-up India portal (www.startupindia.gov.in).
The promising start-ups that are supported at their early stages shall create huge employment opportunities for everyone. The Seed Fund Scheme also envisions to promote virtual incubation for start-ups by enabling 300 incubators to support start-ups from all corners of the country. The impact of this will be visible by the spur of innovations in tier-2 and tier-3 regions of India.
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