“I firmly believe that to build a successful and perfect startup ecosystem, the factors required are government policies and regulations, capital resource, knowledge resource, human resource, infrastructure, and markets, and networks.” — Akhil Arora, Principal Secretary, DoIT&C, Rajasthan.
True to Akhil Arora’s words, the Rajasthan government has groomed the state as the top contender for the DIPP’s state startup ranking framework in the past three years. The team of state authorities, working under the farsightedness of the Hon’ble CM Vasundhara Raje, has proactively embraced digital initiatives such as e-governance since 2005. Fast forward to 2018, and these efforts are bearing fruit — Rajasthan is now poised to emerge on the top of startups ecosystem chart among Indian states.
Names such as SRJNA, Qriyo, and Myly among others, are raising their success flags from the state, which is today home to more than 1,000 startups. Since the advent of the Centre’s Startup India movement in 2015, the state has left no stone unturned to provide the necessary growth infrastructure to the local brigade of entrepreneurs realising their dreams under the aegis of its own startup initiatives.
The Rajasthan government has been the first and foremost in launching startup initiatives such as iStart, Digifest, IT Day, hackathons, Rajasthan Stack, Challenge For Change (an opportunity for startups to get INR 1 Cr worth government projects), eSakhi, and more. To cater to startups’ need for seed stage capital, CM Raje announced the $77.3 Mn (INR 500 Cr) Bhamashah Techno Fund in August 2017.
Named after the great Rajput King Maharana Pratap’s general, Bhamashah, the techno fund is one of the most important government initiative towards creating a compelling startup ecosystem in the state. The one-of-its-kind fund will offer all-encompassing incubation assistance at the largest startup incubator in the country — the Bhamashah Techno Hub — which has a seating capacity of more than 700 startups.
While, so far, more than 23 startups have received financial support from the state government under various funds, at the Rajasthan IT Day held in Jaipur in March 2018, seven startups received INR 20 Lakh each from the Bhamashah Techno Fund.
It is to be noted that all startups funded by the Bhamashah Techno Fund have undergone the QRate skill-building program. QRate, a programme by the Rajasthan government, is part of the iStart initiative that is designed to help startups increase their chances of success.