Government on Monday launched Startup India Virtual Hub, an online platform for all stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India to discover, connect and engage with each other.
Speaking on the launch Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned that Startup India Virtual Hub is an effort to create a marketplace where all the stakeholders can interact, exchange knowledge, and enable each other to grow.
“I would want the engagement to be a lot more dynamic, so that we are able to respond and correct our course at every stage. We are trying to expedite the disbursement of funds and tax services, reducing the time lag between the inception of the idea and creating success. I invite all of you to come forward with us and brand India, brand Indian projects and bring uniformity and novelty to our approach. Join us,” she said.
The Minister also announced a new initiative, wherein a Startup exchange program amongst the SAARC nations would be organized.
The portal will host startups, investors, funds, mentors, academia, incubators, accelerators, corporates, Government bodies and more. The Hub attempts to solve the problem of information asymmetry and lack of access to knowledge, tools, &experts, especially in the nascent ecosystems across Tier II and III towns.
The Virtual Hub is a dynamic & interactive platform that will facilitate learning & development, networking, mentorship, funding,etc. for startups. The basic principle behind developing this platform is to aggregate different offerings of the ecosystem and enable discovery by the right audience. Startup India Hub has partnered with various organizations to on-board entrepreneurs & investors, as well as build knowledge modules. To ensure accessibility across various platforms, dedicated Apps are also available on both Android and iOS.
India is the third largest startup ecosystem around the globe, with 3-4 startups commencing every day. The Hub will act as a nodal platform and will enable users to connect with ecosystem stakeholders, access free learning resources, tools & templates on legal, HR, accounting & regulatory issues and discussion forums.
The Hub has also aggregated over 50 relevant Govt schemes. In the next phase, the platform will also aggregate schemes available across various state governments. To provide a better user experience, the platform has been enabled to build smart intelligence along with Chatbots to automatically collate, update information and respond to queries.
More than 1000 startups identified
The government also claimed that it has provided Rs 960 crore in fund commitment through its Startup India fund and close to 3,385 startups have benefited from the same. It released this data on the launch of the Startup India Hub, a centralised portal which will provide access to investors, mentors, founders and government authorities on a single platform.
According to the data, 1,333 startups have been recognized and about 39 have been given tax exemptions since January 2106 under the Start Up India initiative.
Out of the Rs 960 crore funding corpus, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) committed Rs 623.5 crores to 65 startups through funds of funds while 350 startups have benefited from Rs 154 crores committed by DBT India.
“We have seen that the number of applications saw a 3x jump ever since the definition of a startup was simplified last month,” Rajiv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) was quoted as saying.
The government has revamped the definition of a startup and has now included companies which were incorporated seven years ago from five years ago.