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DPIIT’s States’ Startup Ranking: Rajasthan Emerges As The ‘Top Performer’ For The Second Time


DPIIT hosted the fourth edition of the Startup Awards & State Ranking in Delhi on the National Startup Day on January 16, 2024

The rankings, which rate Indian states/UTs based on their contribution towards the growth of the startup ecosystem, recognised Rajasthan as the ‘Top Performer’ for the second time

As per Inc42, Rajasthan is home to 3,700 DPIIT-registered startups and has received cumulative investments exceeding $307 Mn since 2014

Rajasthan, India’s largest state by area in the country, emerged as one of the ‘Top Performers’ in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)-initiated States’ Startup Ranking Framework (SRF) for 2022.

This was the second time when Rajasthan bagged this honour. The state was previously ranked as the ‘Aspiring Leader’ in the States’ Startup Ranking 2021 and ‘Top Performer’ in 2018.

The fourth edition of the Startup Awards & State Ranking Awards for 2022 was announced on the occasion of the National Startup Day on January 16, 2024. The ranking of the states and union territories (UTs) is based on the steps taken by them for the growth of the startup ecosystem.

Addressing the event, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles Piyush Goyal said that the startups are pivotal in India’s journey towards becoming a developed nation by 2047.

Talking about Rajasthan, the state’s performance in the startup ranking doesn’t come as a surprise as it has been hailed consistently by DPIIT given its efforts to support its homegrown startups and entrepreneurs.

Why Rajasthan Is The ‘Top Performer’ 

Inc42 research reveals that Rajasthan boasts over 3,700 DPIIT-registered startups. Notably, Jaipur serves as the primary hub for startups, hosting more than half of Rajasthan’s total startup ecosystem, driven by the state government’s initiative iStart. As per the report, the total funding raised by the startups based in the state since 2014 exceeded $307 Mn.

While talking about the Rajasthan government’s efforts towards a thriving startup ecosystem in the state, Inderjeet Singh, Commisioner and Special Secretary, Rajasthan Government, said, “Since its inception in 2017, iStart has been pivotal in supporting startups across sectors like agritech, SaaS, healthtech and ecommerce. It has become a hub for local talent, showcasing Rajasthan’s commitment to driving innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Moreover, to cultivate entrepreneurship at an early age, in 2021 Rajasthan CM announced the ‘The iStart School Startup Programme’ to foster an entrepreneurial mindset in students.

 The initiative provides support through mentoring and providing resources to students for activities related to entrepreneurship, innovation and emerging technologies. It is open to students from classes 8th to 12th in state-run schools in Rajasthan. It also offers infrastructural support with incubation centers across 33 districts.

According to Inc42’s State Of Rajasthan Startup Ecosystem Report 2023, iStart has contributed to the creation of over 29K jobs within the state. It has onboarded more than 3.9K startups, with over 1,100 focusing on cutting-edge technologies. 

“iStart has gone beyond incubation support, startups affiliated with iStart have secured over INR 670 Cr in additional venture capital funding,” said Singh. 

Adding, that iStart has simplified the startups’ journey by consolidating essential information and resources and offering guidance on aspects such as intellectual property rights and procurement.

How States’ Startup Ranking Framework (SRF) Works

The States’ Startup Ranking Framework (SRF), launched in February 2018, evaluates the efforts made by the Indian states/UTs towards the growth of the startup ecosystem. 

To ensure the growth and expansion of the Indian startup ecosystem, the SRF ensures that states/UTs take relevant initiatives and make policies within their respective jurisdictions. It has relevant parametres in place to map out the initiatives of the states/UTs towards the growth of startups within their jurisdiction

Further, it aims to facilitate the growth of states/UTs by making them conducive for startups and entrepreneurial activities. It also assists them in identifying gaps and areas of improvement, based on which initiatives and policies are created. 

The states and UTs were categorised into two groups for the latest edition of the rankings. While Category A included states with a population of over 1 Cr, Category B comprised states and UTs with a population less than 1 Cr. 

The Startup Ranking Framework report said that the fourth edition of the SRF saw participation of 33 states/UTs. Out of this, 31 states and UTs have created state startup policies. Moreover, 3,102 startups received funding of INR 392 Cr. 

The evaluation covered seven broad reform areas with 25 action points: institutional support, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, access to market, incubation and mentorship support, funding support, capacity building of enablers, and a roadmap to a sustainable future.

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