The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has been diligently executing the Modi Government’s ‘Startup India, Stand Up India’ mission.
At the one-year anniversary event of ‘Startup India’ in January 2017, Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Commerce & Industry announced the development of the Startup India Online Hub. It is an online platform for all stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem to discover, connect and engage with each other.
It is developed by Invest India and is expected to go live soon. The portal will host startups, investors, funds, mentors, academia, incubators, accelerators, corporates, government bodies, etc.
The Online Hub will facilitate learning and development, networking, mentorship, funding, etc. for startups. It will also function as a nodal platform that will offer coherent access to information, knowledge, funds, and other non-financial resources.
Currently, the Startup India Hub, which was established in March 2016, within Invest India, is already operational and acts as a single point of contact for the entire startup ecosystem and to enable the exchange of knowledge.
The Online Hub will have the following key features –
- Location-based discovery: The hub will have location-based discovery and be able to deliver custom recommendations to users about incubators/accelerators/co-working spaces, patent facilitators, etc. as per their location
- Artificial intelligence: The platform will build smart intelligence along with chatbots to automatically collate, update information, and deliver relevant replies to queries
- Open Application Programming Interface (Open API): The Online Hub will be the first Government website in India to operate on an open architecture model allowing the integration of content from Government and private stakeholders.
- Analytics (traffic & engagement): Integrating Google Analytics, Firebase etc. to analyse and optimise page traffic as well as increase user engagement on the web portal.
- Gamification: The platform will be gamified to boost the effectiveness of interactions among stakeholders and will also boast a ‘lite’ version which will use web cache to deliver recommendations on the basis of past user history on the website.
- Networking platform: The platform will also act as a networking platform and provide users with access to networking opportunities through activities such as access to other user profiles, connection & message requests, relevant startup events, etc.
In addition, The Online Hub is expected to have integrated learning development modules such as a step-by-step guide on how to incorporate a company, explainers for how to pitch to investors, templates for term sheets and more.
The DIPP has been always looking to encourage the Indian startup ecosystem. In January 2017, in a bid to promote entrepreneurship, it announced plans to amend the $1.46 Bn (INR 10,000 Cr) startup funding scheme.
In March 2017, the Union Cabinet approved the amended proposal with regard to the Fund of Funds. As per the new approval, the AIFs supported by FFS shall invest at least twice the amount of contribution received from the FFS in startups qualifying as per the DIPP criteria.