The department for the promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT), in its state-wise startup rankings for 2018, had called Punjab an emerging state for startups. And now to align itself to the DPIIT’s testament, the startup hub of the department of industries and commerce and the department of research, innovation, sponsored projects and entrepreneurship (RISE) of the government of Punjab has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chandigarh Group of Colleges (CGC).
This tie-up between the government departments and educational body will help in the development of the startup ecosystem in the state through workshops, acceleration programs, hackathons, and boot camps for early-stage startups at CGC. The initiative will also help startups to find investors, complying with regulatory issues, and business advisory. An advantage to women entrepreneurs will be reportedly provided under this partnership.
Tanu Kashyap, a state startup nodal officer, said that Mohali is going to become a hub for startups that want to seek the support of the Punjab government. “However, this doesn’t mean that Punjab will shift itself from agriculture to any other sector; rather the state will focus on agritech,” he added.
Besides agritech, other sectors in which this initiative will work are information technology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and others.
This collaboration for startup promotion in the state comes after the Punjab government, in December 2019, announcing its plan to set up an INR 100 Cr startup fund to support the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector and entrepreneurship. The announcement was made by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh at the two-day Progressive Punjab Investors Summit-2019.
The fund is set up by the state in partnership with IKG Punjab Technical University for the promotion of incubators. Venture capitalists and angel networks such as Indian Angel Network and Bharat Fund may also contribute to the INR 100 Cr corpus.
According to DataLabs by Inc42, Punjab has over 1,000 active startups. However, about 140 startups are registered with the DPIIT and the number is increasing every day.
In Punjab, Chandigarh has particularly seen a lot of attention from many entrepreneurs and has witnessed the growth of many innovative startups that are creating history. The city was even ranked among the ‘startup beginners’ in Startup Ranking 2018 by DPIIT.