In a bid to boost the startup ecosystem in the state, West Bengal Government has launched the State Startup Policy. It aims to support and nurture startup ecosystem in the state. The policy is in effect from January 1, 2016 till December 31, 2021.
The policy document has eight broad pointers comprising of a preamble, a vision, the state’s mission, the enabling environment for startups in the state, definitions related to various aspects of a startup alongside defining incentives and procedures to be followed by the startups. It also aims to create an environment and supporting ecosystem to facilitate about 10,000 startups in the next 10 years.
Under this policy, an Entrepreneurship Development Centre Network (EDCN) would be created by the state in association with universities and leading higher education institutes across all districts in the state to undertake the role of creating entrepreneurial aspiration among the youngsters and to incentivise entrepreneurship. To create a EDC, the universities will be provided up to INR 10 lakh by the state. The government will also support and strengthen existing business incubators & accelerators in the state and will also encourage setting up new business incubators in the state in collaboration with private sector. Presidency University is one of the first in the state to be a part of this initiative. The state would help to set up new incubators in government as well as private sector.
The policy will also allow startups to access government R&D labs through MSME Technology Facilitation Centre set up by the State Government in partnership with CSIR (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research).
It will also implement a supportive regulatory framework that enables hassle-free and time bound statutory clearances for all startups.
State will facilitate creation of a network of kick-starter funds for monthly sustenance or early stage funding to startups and the cost of filing and prosecution of patent application will be reimbursed to the incubated startup companies as per MSME Policy of Government of West Bengal.
Startups will also be provided with an access of priority equity funding from WB MSME Venture Capital Fund, where at least 20% of the fund is earmarked to support startups. Special fiscal incentive to investment bankers @ 1% of the investment made by registered Venture Capital/Private Equity Fund into Bengal-based startups as success fee will also be provided.
The government will also provide special fiscal incentive to incubators @ 2% of the investment received by its incubates from SEBI registered Venture Capital / Private Equity Fund into Bengal-based startups. Adding on, Special grant to TBIs in the state @ 5% of the investment received by its incubates from SEBI registered Venture Capital/Private Equity Fund or Grant received from Government of India for promoting rural technology based startups and social enterprise startups providing solution to service-access problems in rural Bengal.
To connect all the ecosystem stakeholders, network of support, funding and service providers, a digital platform, startupbengal.in, has been launched.
The Directorate of MSME would act as the nodal agency to the Innovation Enabler Mechanism that would be set up by the state to address the statutory compliance issues of the initiatives.
You can access the complete policy here.
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