January 17, 2021 1:28:59 am
The government will launch a Rs 1,000-crore seed fund for startups, called Startup India Seed Fund, which will help startups with the initial capital for growth and operations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.
“Going ahead, the government will provide guarantees to help startups raise debt-capital. We are trying to build a startup ecosystem which functions on the ‘of the youth, by the youth, for the youth’ mantra,” the Prime Minister said, speaking at the Prarambh Startup India International Summit in an online address.
During the address, Modi said the target for India’s startups over the next five years should be to become global giants in their respective service areas.
“Our startups should lead in futuristic technologies. If all BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries push for this, a large population would benefit from this,” the Prime Minister added.
During the event, Modi also interacted with the founders of startups from BIMSTEC nations, which include Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
“In the 2018 Bimstec summit, I had said that all these countries will come together in the field of technology and innovation. All Bimstec are working to improve their connectivity and business,” Modi said.
The new seed fund for startups comes after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had earlier last year initiated a similar fund to identify startups and give them financial help. In August, the ministry had launched a fund to identify 300 startups which would be provided seed fund of up to Rs 25 lakh and other facilities as well. A budget of Rs 95.03 crore has been earmarked for the programme named ‘Chunauti’, to be spent over a period of three years.
The IT Ministry’s programme seeks to award startups in the fields of edu-tech, agri-tech, supply chain, logistics, and transport management, as well as medical healthcare, diagnostics, preventive and psychological care among other areas.
Apart from these seed funds, the ministry has over the last year also conducted several other competitions to award startups working in several areas, such as video-conferencing, artificial intelligence among others.
Last July, the ministry had launched a challenge inviting Indian developers to come up with apps in a range of segments such as office productivity, social networking, e-learning, news, games, health and wellness, agri-tech, fin-tech and entertainment, and speech translation, among others.
A different challenge launched in April last year, which sought a world class video-conference solution, which could be an alternative to global apps such as Zoom, saw Kerala-based Techgentsia Software Technologies win a prize money of Rs 1 crore.
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