Assam to transform into startup hub of northeast India
In an attempt to provide strong impetus to budding entrepreneurs and fledgling startups in the state, the Assam Government has joined hands with Invest India, the parent organization of the government’s Startup India in July 2017 with a view to bolster the startup ecosystem of the state. The Invest India team assisted the state government in drafting Assam’s first ever Startup Policy under the Department of Industries and Commerce, Government of Assam, with various initiatives and incentives to generate employment and foster a startup culture in the state.
The pillars of Assam’s Startup Policy
The key highlights of the Draft Startup Policy 2017 included:
- Creating a digital startup ecosystem for the state, including a startup portal and recognizing Assamese startups with a unique ID (MASI- My Startup Assam Id) for providing easy access to government infrastructure and policy benefits.
- Establishing a state-owned marquee incubator to provide state-of-the-art facilities such as co-working space, meeting rooms, collaborative hubs, investor lounge, fabrication labs, etc.
- Creation of a Startup Assam Cell to act as the startup policy implementation unit of the state
- Providing funding options to registered startups, including establishing an angel funding network, loan schemes with interest subsidy, patent filing benefits, and other non-fiscal incentives.
- Launching an online learning and development programme in Assamese, as well as other proactive academic interventions to capture the interest of the youth towards experimentation and innovation.
Recent Startup Policy Initiatives by other Indian States
As of date, 15 Indian States have already announced their respective Startup policies. These are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, Goa, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
- Of these, Goa is the most recent one to create a draft of the state’s Startup Policy in June 2017 with an aim to create 5000 new jobs in the IT sector over the next 5 years. Goa CM Manohar Parrikar has allocated a fund of about $ 25 million for the state`s IT sector, which included $ 2.29 million for startups.
- The Haryana Government allocated a fund of $ 150 million for small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in September 2016. The government will also provide collateral-free loans up to Rs. 1 Crore to startups.
- Following this in the same month, the Bihar Government launched its Startup Policy with a venture capital fund of $ 750 million.
- In September 2016 again, the Chhattisgarh launched its Startup Policy aimed at nurturing startups in priority sectors such as healthcare, animal husbandry, and value addition of core sector products. Under the initiative, 14 camps will be set up in the state to serve as platforms for presenting ideas so as to select around 36 startup units for incubation support.