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Source: IBEF

“Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution Mr. Piyush Goyal today launched the Start-up India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS). The Fund aims to provide financial assistance to Start-ups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry, and commercialization. The Scheme was announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi on 16th January 2021 in his Grand Plenary address of ‘Prarambh: Start-up India International Summit’, marking the five-year anniversary of the Start-up India initiative. Rs. 945 Crore corpus will be divided over the next 4 years for providing seed funding to eligible Start-ups through eligible incubators across India. The scheme is expected to support an estimated 3,600 Start-ups through 300 incubators.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Goyal said that this scheme is being launched within 3 months of its announcement, one of the fastest in the recent times. He said that times are tough, but our resolve is strong, and never before has it become more important for us to empower our Start-ups.

The Minister said that the SISFS will Secure seed funding, Inspire innovation, Support transformative ideas, Facilitate implementation, and Start Start-up revolution. He said that this Scheme will create a robust Start-up ecosystem, particularly in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns of India, which are often deprived of adequate funding. The Minister said that he would like to especially encourage innovators from rural areas to come forward and benefit from this scheme.

Mr. Goyal said that under the guidance of Hon’ble PM Mr. Modi, DPIIT has worked tirelessly to bring a tectonic shift in the Start-up ecosystem in India. he assured that the department has been acting as the Facilitator, with Open door, Open Arms & Open Mind, encouraging largescale youth participation in the innovative activities.

The minister said that there has been change in approach, change in mindset from jobseekers to job providers, which is helping Start-ups to become the backbone of New India. He said that Start-up India Seed Fund Scheme will act as a bridge between ideas and their implementation. Independent & ambitious thinking in the Start-up ecosystem will encourage entrepreneurship and create a culture that will recognise innovation

Mr. Goyal said that 2020 is testament to the transformative potential of Indian Start-up- Start-ups with their energy &enthusiasm came up with efficient and cost effective solutions which ensured last mile supply of essential commodities across India. He lauded our young entrepreneurs for the ability, agility & dedication. He said that Indian Start-ups have been inculcating, incubating and innovating not only for the nation but for the humanity.

The minister said that with the motto of Connect, Collaborate & Catalyse, the Government has introduced initiatives like Start-up Innovation Challenges, National Start-up Awards, Ranking of States, SCO Start-up Forum, Prarambh etc.

The online portal created by DPIIT, for the scheme, will allow incubators to apply for funds under it. An Experts Advisory Committee (EAC) has been created by DPIIT to execute and monitor the Start-up India Seed Fund Scheme. Grants of up to Rs 5 Crores shall be provided to the eligible incubators selected by the EAC. The selected incubators shall provide grants of up to Rs 20 lakhs for validation of Proof of Concept, or prototype development, or product trials to Start-ups. Furthermore, investments of up to Rs 50 lakhs shall be provided to the Start-ups for market entry, commercialization, or scaling up through convertible debentures or debt-linked instruments. The detailed guidelines of the Start-up India Seed Fund Scheme are provided on the Start-up India portal (www.startupindia.gov.in).

The promising Start-ups that are supported at their early stages shall create huge employment opportunities for everyone. The Seed Fund Scheme also envisions to promote virtual incubation for Start-ups by enabling 300 incubators to support Start-ups from all corners of the country. The impact of this will be visible by the spur of innovations in tier 2 and tier 3 regions of India.”