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Union Minister Suresh Prabhu Launches Goa Startup Policy

Union Minister Suresh Prabhu Launches Goa Startup Policy

In continuation of Startup India push, Goa has today launched its startup policy and portal on Goa startup Day.

The Startup Policy envisions making Goa one of the most preferred startup destinations of India and featuring in the top 25 startup destinations in Asia by 2025.

Launched by Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu, Goa Startup Policy aims to make Goa an aspirational geographical and human resource base for startups. The policy contains various incentives for startups and to avail the benefits of these incentives, the startup policy includes various schemes by the government.

The Ministry, through the Invest India team, has been engaging deeply with the Government of Goa to propel as the “national capital for startups”. Invest India will also be providing support by extending call centre facilities for all the aspiring and existing Goan Entrepreneurs to learn more about the policy.

In a tweet, Prabhu said, “At the Goa Startups and Innovation Day – Goa with its strategic location and ecosystem – has the potential to be the entrepreneurship hub. We are working towards it. This event will contribute to the building of a robust ecosystem involving all stakeholders #GSID2018”

The policy’s endeavour is to create at least 100 successful startups in Goa in the next five years, targeting generations of employment for at least 5,000 Goans. It also aims to develop a minimum 2,00,000 lakh sq ft area for technology innovation and incubation centres in the next five years.

The startup policy aims to support the startups by setting up Startup Promotion Cell under the Department of IT (Goa), Government Developed Incubators and Privately Run Incubators amongst others.

In view of the financial support, interestingly, the startup policy will give massive subsidies and incentives to startups which include a one-time grant of $15,373 (INR 10 Lakh) with a promise of the minimum viable product.

Not only that, special incentives will also be given, including reimbursement of up to 50% of the salary for any startup where local youth are hired, subject to a cap of $150.16 (INR 10K) per recruit.

Also, in order to promote innovation amongst the Goan startups, 50% of R&D expenses, including salaries of Ph.D. holders employed by startups will be reimbursed for a period of two years, subject to a cap of $7,507.98 (INR 5 Lakh) per annum.

Some of the funds under the policy are:

Idea-to-PoC fund to provide a matching grant to early-stage startups that have raised some capital from other sources to take their idea to the proof-of-concept stage.
Seed Capital Fund to provide financial support to startups who have achieved a minimum viable product. The amount granted under this scheme shall be used by startups to pay for preliminary operations such as market research and product development.
Working Capital Fund to provide financial support to those startups that have reached a stage where they have developed a product and acquired a consumer base. The incentives provided under this fund shall be used by startups to run their daily operations.
One-time Grant Fund to provide financial support to startups for those requirements that generally arise once in the startup lifecycle, such as stamp duty, trademark registration, etc.
Research and Development Fund to encourage continuous innovation and research. The incentives under this fund shall pay for IPR registrations, researcher salaries, etc.
Student Innovation Fund to provide young minds in the state the chance to experiment with and learn about emerging technologies. The incentives under this fund shall be utilised to conduct innovation competitions for students, technology fellowships for educators, etc. and act as a driver of the culture of innovation and learning in the state.
Skill Development Fund to incentivise institutes to offer courses that add to the technical skill set of students while ensuring that the benefits under the fund reach the students as well.

Startup Policies In Other States

While Karnataka was the first state to launch a dedicated startup policy in the country, other states such as Maharashtra, Kerala, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Punjab also launched new startup policies to push entrepreneurship in the respective regions.

In UP, a startup programme will nurture startup culture using INFUSE model (INcubators – Fund of Funds – Startup Entrepreneurs). Various incentives shall be provided by the state government to incubators, startups and investors funding UP-based startups. Additionally, the policy will also help to provide startups with the necessary lands at cheaper rates. The policy provides for setting up of industrial parks and estates of over 20 acres.

In Punjab also, the state government under the Startup Hub Initiative, has proposed a state-of-the-art incubation centre at Mohali. This policy will cater to startups based on hardware, manufacturing and related startups. Additionally, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also said the state under the ‘Punjab Startup and Entrepreneurship Development Policy 2017’ is all ready to support women startups and entrepreneurs in the state to come forward and start their own ventures.

Uttarakhand has also come up with its own startup policy that aims to help 500 entrepreneurs in the sectors of the sectors of agriculture, health, organic farming, education, food supply, tourism and Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH).

Also, Maharashtra government is set to unveil a new financial technology policy which would facilitate the establishment of 300 startups and a venture capital fund of $30 Mn (INR 200 Cr) for the fintech sector in the next three years. The policy will aim to establish a Global Fintech Hub in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and make the state one of the top five fintech centres in the world in the next five years.

As per a report by Invest India: Startup India, more than 20K startups in India have created a total market value of $50 Bn and made India the second largest startup ecosystem in the world.

With the states recognising the scalability and potential of startups, the continued startup policy innovations in states or union territories like Goa, Karnataka, Rajasthan, etc. are a huge boost for entrepreneurship in the country.