The Punjab government, on Friday (December 6), announced 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 reports added that the startup fund will be set up by the state in partnership with IKG Punjab Technical University for the promotion of incubators. Further, venture capitalists and angel networks such as Indian Angel Network and Bharat Fund may contribute to the corpus fund.
Further, the chief minister also announced a dedicated MSME marketing cell. The state has also set up a working group chaired by the Chief Secretary to ensure expeditious delivery on all proposals discussed at the summit. A report shall be submitted by the working group within a month.
The state government assured investors of industry-friendly policies while portraying the strength of Punjab MSMEs. Further, at the summit, the state government signed an agreement with Atal Incubation Centre at ISB (Mohali) to support agritech startups.
According to DataLabs by Inc42, Punjab has over 1,000 active startups and about 140 startups are registered with the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the number is increasing every day.
The capital of the state, 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.
However, the growth of the state’s startup ecosystem has been slow and gradual. According to the secondary research by DataLabs by Inc42, in 2019 there were only four startups that were funded in Punjab (including Chandigarh) with the total amount of over $8 Mn.
Among the initiatives and efforts in Punjab, the state’s Startup And Entrepreneurship Development Policy of 2017 has been a major step. Applicable for five years from its implementation (2017), the policy works with the mission of creating a conducive environment for the growth of startups.
Additionally, the state government has also provided seed funding and incentives for startups, as well as events and opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors to network and connect.