In an attempt to connect the major startup ecosystems across the country, the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has reportedly decided to launch a free online learning programme for budding entrepreneurs to connect, develop, and learn.
As per a report by TOI, the department has already received 110K entries for the same.
Commenting on the development, at a seminar organised by StartFed and BCCI, Aastha Grover, advisor (startup), DIPP said, “We want new ideas to germinate from the state level. And, for that, we have come up with this free online learning programme. It is now available in English and Hindi. But, we are so keen on inviting new ideas, we will launch it in all major Indian languages soon. The soft launch of the ecosystem portal has already been made to get views from all the stakeholders. The hard launch will be done shortly.”
The programme aims to connect all the prominent stakeholders of the startup ecosystem including collaborators, innovators, and funding agencies under the same platform. “We want everyone to know the proper channels – both administrative as well as business ones – to take (their) business ideas forward,” she said.
As per the Minister, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Delhi are the three startup hubs of the country, with more than 65% of startups emerging from these spaces. Areas like Jaipur, Hyderabad, and Kochi are other three emerging hubs in the country, she added.
The programme will allow participants to gain industry insights and help with formulating business plans. It will also be responsible for networking and mentoring. With this programme, the government further aims to connect startups with each other in the remotest parts of the country, as well, by creating a collaborative platform.
DIPP And Startups: A Key Initiation
The DIPP has been playing a key role in executing the Modi Government’s ‘Startup India, Stand Up India’ mission. In the last one year, the department has taken several initiatives to encourage the startups.
In August 2016, it bid for a startup reality show along the lines of Shark Tank – an American reality television series where aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world, pitch their business models. The DIPP also hosted a startup festival in September 2016, in Hyderabad. In the same month, it also identified about 200 fake ecommerce companies. In October 2016, it also proposed to set up a Credit Guarantee Fund with a corpus of $300 Mn (INR 2,000 Cr).
Then, in January this year, the DIPP proposed a new set of tax concessions on employee stock options, unlisted securities, and convertible instruments. Following that, reports surfaced that it was planning to expand its $1.46 Bn (INR 10,000 Cr) startup funding scheme. In March 2017, Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary of the DIPP, invited feedback from various sectors and said that the current definition mandated by the regulatory body needed alteration.
Following that, the DIPP decided to switch the Startup India Hub website to a ‘LinkedIn’-like networking platform. After a certain number of profiles are archived, the portal will be integrated with the Startup India website and app and will replace the existing Startup India Hub website, which will be subsequently pulled down.