While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left the country again on a jet plane (this time to Europe), his bureaucrats back home seem to be incessantly working towards making India a better country for startups. Department of Industrial Promotion and Policy (DIPP), headed by Ramesh Abhishek, seems to be on a roll. Two days after DIPP came up with new guidelines (on how to run marketplaces in India), and FAQs on tax benefits for startups, it has unveiled a portal and an app dedicated to Indian startups.
Fulfilling the promises that were made during the launch of “Startup India” on 16th January, yesterday the government announced the launch of the Startup India portal, and the mobile app.
The portal and app, which will act as a single window for receiving latest updates on various notifications, circulars issued by various departments and different funding agencies, was launched by Secretary of DIPP, Ramesh Abhishek.
— Startup India (@startupindia) March 31, 2016
Here are the key features of the portal:
Information Availability: The portal and mobile app will provide up-to-date information on various notifications/circulars issued by various Government ministries/departments. The portal also lists various incubators (68) and investment firms (204) that can be used by startups. It also lists FAQs to help startups, incubators and funding agencies.
Startup India Hub: The Startup India Hub, which has been established within Invest India, will be a single point of contact for the entire startup ecosystem and will enable exchange of knowledge. It will work in a hub and spoke model with Governments, VCs, Angel Funds, Incubators, Mentors, etc. It will assist startups through their lifecycle on various aspects, such as providing mentorship, incubator facilities, IPR support, funding etc. The Hub will be operational from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM on working days.
Application for Startup Recognition: Entities that fulfil the criteria as per the definition of “startup” and are incorporated/registered in India, will be able to obtain recognition as a “startup” to avail various benefits listed in the Startup India Action Plan. Startup would require to fill in the applications and formats of the recommendation/support letters that need to be attached as part of the application form that have already been shared. As far recommendations are concerned, Abhishek stated that incubators should need to act responsibly while recommending, and, in case, an incubator passes on recommendation certificate without proper examination about the innovative nature of the business, it shall be “blacklisted” from giving any future recommendations.
Real Time Startup Recognition: It will also provide a real time recognition certificate to startups on completion of the application process. A request for certificate of eligibility for tax exemptions from Inter-Ministerial Board will be made simultaneously by selecting a simple option.
Verification of Recognition Certificate: The certificate of recognition can be verified through the portal and mobile app by entering the Startup Recognition/Certificate Number.
Approval of Inter-Ministerial Board: DIPP has also setup an Inter-Ministerial Board to verify the eligibility of startups opting to avail tax and IPR related benefits, and to provide a certificate of eligibility to innovative startups.
A separate portal that will act as a single-window interface for information on intellectual property rights (IPR) has also been launched. Called the Indian IP Panorama, the portal is a customised version of the IP Panorama Multimedia toolkit, developed by World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).