The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched the GENESIS (Gen-Next Support for Innovative Startups) scheme in a significant move to bridge the gap between India's thriving startup ecosystem and smaller cities and towns. Designed to meet the needs of Tier-II and Tier-III cities, GENESIS aims to offer essential support and nurturing for startups in these regions.
Addressing Startup Ecosystem Gaps
India's startup landscape has traditionally been centered around major cities like Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai. However, there's a palpable disparity in terms of funding availability, mentorship opportunities, and access to innovation infrastructure for budding entrepreneurs in Tier-II and Tier-III geographies. GENESIS is the answer to these challenges, offering a comprehensive support system.
Empowering Implementation Agencies
Under GENESIS, organizations and institutions based in Tier II and III cities are eligible to apply. These entities include startup incubators, accelerators, investment platforms, entrepreneurship-supporting organizations, and academic or R&D institutions dedicated to nurturing local student entrepreneurs and innovators.
MeitY has allocated a substantial budget of 490 Crores over five years for GENESIS. The scheme emphasizes the importance of collaboration among startups, government bodies, and corporations to promote digitization while focusing on inclusivity, accessibility, and affordability. The ultimate goal is to boost employment and economic growth in these regions.
GENESIS aims to significantly impact and consolidate over 10,000 tech startups within the next five years. This ambitious initiative is a stepping stone towards a more inclusive startup ecosystem, one that aligns with the aspirations of entrepreneurs seeking socio-economic development across the country.
Tailored Funding Support
GENESIS offers a range of financial support for startups:
- Pilot/Investment Support: Early-stage startups can receive private sector matching funding of 1:1, with an average funding range of Rs. 40 Lakhs to Rs. 50 Lakhs.
- Pilot Funding: Startups in need of pilot funding can secure an average of Rs. 40 Lakhs to Rs. 50 Lakhs without any matching fund requirement.
- Early-Stage Support: Early-stage startups can access funding of up to Rs. 10 Lakhs without any matching fund requirement.
- Deep-Tech Startup Support: GENESIS provides funding support with an upper ceiling of Rs. 1 Crore per startup, without any matching fund requirement, for startups engaged in deep-tech endeavors.
What is the Implementation Process?
MeitY Startup Hub (MSH) will oversee the GENESIS Scheme, collaborating with approximately 50 Implementing Agencies (IAs), preferably from Tier-II and Tier-III cities. The selection process for both implementation partners and startups will be based on a well-defined and structured selection process. GENESIS encompasses four components: Ideation Support (EiR), Pilot (PoC) Support, Deep-Tech Startup Support, and Investment Support.
What is the Selection Criteria for Startups?
To be eligible for GENESIS, startups must meet specific criteria:
- Be a beneficiary of MeitY Schemes or registered with MSH.
- Be a DPIIT-registered startup.
- Indian promoters must hold at least 51% of the startup's shares at the time of application to the incubator, in line with the Companies Act, 2013.
- Have a full-time CEO and market-ready products, seeking funds for business development and commercialization (in certain categories).
A Bright Future for India's Startups
With a duration of five years and a total budget of 490 Crores, GENESIS holds the promise of transforming India's Tier-II and Tier-III cities into vibrant hubs for innovation and entrepreneurship. This initiative is not only about startups; it's about empowering local communities, fostering economic growth, and creating a more inclusive, technologically advanced India.
GENESIS is more than just a government scheme; it's a testament to the unwavering spirit of Indian entrepreneurs and their commitment to building a brighter, digitally-driven future for the nation.
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