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DST Commits $75 Mn For PM’s Startup India Vision

DST Commits $75 Mn For PM’s Startup India Vision

After announcing a $15 Mn commitment towards the welfare of startups in India, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has now announced that it has earmarked $75 Mn (INR 500 Cr) to scale up the startup ecosystem.

The announcement was made by the Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

He also stated that the central government has approved six proposals to set up centres of excellence to promote and fund startups under the National Initiative for Development and Harnessing Innovation (NIDHI).

“The proposals for six centres of excellence that were approved on September 3, 2016, by the National Expert Advisory Committee include SINE-IIT Bombay, Venture Center-NCL Pune, CIIE-IIM Ahmedabad and a research park at IIT-Gandhinagar,” he said.

Key Components Of NIDHI

  1. NIDHI-GCC – Grand challenges and competitions for scouting innovations.
  2. NIDHI-PRomotion and Acceleration of Young and Aspiring technology entrepreneurs (NIDHI-PRAYAS) – Support from idea to prototype.
  3. NIDHI-Entrepreneur In Residence (NIDHI-EIR) – Support system to reduce risk.
  4. Startup-NIDHI through Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centres (IEDCs) in academic institutions – Encouraging students to promote startups.
  5. Startup Centre in collaboration with MHRD – Inculcating a spirit of entrepreneurship in national institutions of higher learning.
  6. NIDHI-Technology Business Incubator (TBI) – Converting innovations to startups.
  7. NIDHI-Accelerator – Fast tracking a startup through focussed intervention.
  8. NIDHI-Seed Support System (NIDHI-SSS) – Providing early stage investment.
  9. NIDHI Centres of Excellence (NIDHI-CoE) – A world-class facility to help startups go global.

NIDHI will help startups with initial funding. Startup-NIDHI plans to financially support each of the selected startups with $15K (INR 10 Lakhs) which will be given as ignition grant/award.

The minister further added that under the scheme, seed funding of up to $15K (INR 10 Lakhs) will be given to develop a prototype and access fabrication facilities in incubators.

Thereafter, the department will also help connect the innovators with angel investors and venture capitalists. The department has already held camps to promote NIDHI in 4,000 colleges, he added. So far, the DST has established 100+ TBIs (Technology Business Incubators) in IITs, IIMs, NITs and other institutions with an aim to launch 10 more in the coming months under NIDHI-Seed Support System programme.

The development was first reported by Hindu Business Line.