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National Startup Day 2024: Taking A Look At Indian Startup Ecosystem!

Curious about India's skyrocketing startup journey? How did the Startup India initiative propel the nation from 340 to over 115,000 startups? Check out everything in this National Startup Day special story!

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Shreshtha Verma
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National Startup Day 2024 Taking A Look At Indian Startup Ecosystem

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In just a span of a few years, Indian Startup Ecosystem has witnessed an unprecedented transformation, evolving from 340 startups in 2016 to a staggering 1,15,000 in 2023. Over the past sever years (2015-2022), there has been an 7x increase in the number of incubators, 9x increase in the number of investors and 15x increase in the total funding of startups, reveals the National Startup Report 2022. 

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At the heart of this remarkable journey is the Startup India initiative, a catalyst that has not only fueled growth but has become synonymous with India's entrepreneurial spirit. Today, the country enters in the 8th year of Startup India Initiative. The day is celebrated as National Startup Day.

To mark this ocassion, Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal extends his best wishes to the talented entrepreneurs of the country, while also expressing gratitute to PM Modi.

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On this ocassion of celebrating innovation and ideas, we take a closer look at Startup India Initiative, India's Vibrant Startup Ecosystem, What is National Startup Day and it's significane?

Startup India Initiative

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Laucnhed on 16th January, 2016, Startup India is a flagship initiative of the Government of India, intended to catalyse startup culture and build a strong and inclusive ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India. This dynamic initiative has been instrumental in shaping the startup ecosystem, offering a fertile ground for ideas to flourish and businesses to thrive. Anchored by key pillars such as the Seed Fund Scheme, Fund of Funds Scheme, Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups, MAARG mentorship platform, National Startup Awards, and the State Ranking Framework, it has created a robust support system that nurtures the aspirations of visionary entrepreneurs.

Beyond mere statistics, Startup India has rolled out targeted programs that address specific needs within the ecosystem. Initiatives like ASCEND, designed to Accelerate Startup Calibre & Entrepreneurial Drive in the North-Eastern region, Women for Startups, empowering women entrepreneurs, and Startup Angels, cultivating budding angel investors, reflect a nuanced approach that caters to diverse aspirations.

Indian Startup Ecosystem

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The country’s talented workforce, entrepreneurial and innovation spirit, and digital transformation has made it the third largest Startup ecosystem in the world and is growing at a steady pace. It ranks second in innovation quality and ninth in terms of finance for Startups and scaleups. The number of recognised Startups has grown at 120% (CAGR) over the last 7 years and stands at over one lakh Startups as on October 2023. The coverage of Startups has increased six folds in the last seven years with presence in close to 670+ districts across the country. Close to 50% of the recognised Startups are based out of Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. As of December 2023, India is home to a total of 112 unicorns with a total valuation of ~ INR 30L Cr. Out of the total number of unicorns, 45 unicorns with a total valuation of ~ INR 8.5L Cr were born in 2021 and 22 unicorns with a total valuation of ~ INR 2.5L Cr were born in 2022.

Growth Drivers Of Indian Startup Ecosystem

Corporate Connect

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Enterprises are realizing the disruptive potential of start-ups and are thus, partnering/investing in them. Examples of corporate support:

  • Facebook in partnership with Startup India disbursed cash grants of $50,000 each to the top 5 selected startups.
  • 10000 Women program by Goldman Sachs is providing women entrepreneurs all around the world with a business and management education, mentoring and networking and access to capital. 
  • Microsoft Ventures Accelerator Program in India has recently picked up 16 startup.

Government Support

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Government of India is understanding the value of working with disruptive innovators across the value chain and using their innovations to improve public service delivery. Examples of such programs are:

  • Department of Animal Husbandary and Dairying has conducted a grand challenge in association with Startup India to award top startups in 5 categories 10 lakhs INR. 
  • Small Industries Development Bank of India has launched a scheme to provide assistance to existing Small and Medium Businesses in need of capital for growth.
  • Over 26 states in the country have Startup policies.

The impact of this support is vividly reflected in the staggering numbers. In 2022 alone, Indian companies successfully secured a remarkable $42 billion in investments, marking an extraordinary leap from the $16 billion raised in the preceding year. This meteoric rise not only underscores the resilience and potential of the Indian startup community but also positions India as a formidable player on the global entrepreneurial stage.

What is National Startup Day?

National Startup Day, an initiative spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was officially declared on January 16, 2022, marking the foundation day of Startup India. This strategic move underscores the pivotal role startups play in shaping the trajectory of the new India, as emphasized by Modi during the inauguration. These innovative enterprises have been instrumental in propelling India from the 81st to the 40th position in the Global Innovation Index, a testament to their transformative impact.

The core objective of National Startup Day is to celebrate and champion the spirit of entrepreneurship, fostering a resilient and thriving startup ecosystem. The vision extends beyond mere economic advancement, aiming to transition India into a nation where individuals become creators of jobs rather than mere seekers. This monumental initiative aligns with the broader efforts to cultivate an environment where innovation flourishes, propelling India to new heights on the global stage.

In conjunction with this significant day, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), operating under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has designated an entire week as Startup India Innovation Week, spanning from January 10 to 16. This extended celebration underscores the commitment to nurturing and promoting the entrepreneurial spirit, acknowledging the profound impact startups have on India's socio-economic landscape.

India has proudly secured its position as the third-largest ecosystem, a testament to the phenomenal growth experienced by Indian startups in recent years. At the forefront of this surge is the unwavering support provided by the government through initiatives like the Startup India scheme, fostering a climate where entrepreneurial aspirations thrive.

National Startup Day 2024

While no official theme has been announced for this year's festivities, the previous year centered around the compelling theme of "Founders of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow." The upcoming week-long celebrations promise to serve as a collaborative hub for innovators, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts alike.

The inaugural address for this spirited week was delivered by Rajesh Kumar Singh, the Secretary of DPIIT, on January 11th, 2024. Under the theme 'Startups Unlocking Infinite Potential,' Singh's address marked the commencement of the celebratory activities, coinciding with the Tenth Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

Simultaneously, a diverse array of events is being organized nationwide to commemorate the groundbreaking innovations by Indian entrepreneurs. These encompass dedicated workshops for startups, mentorship sessions, stakeholder round tables, and engaging panel discussions, among other enriching activities. Additionally, from January 10 to 17, a series of eight virtual Ask Me Anything (AMA) live sessions are scheduled, featuring key players in the startup ecosystem, including incubators, accelerators, investors, mentors, unicorns, corporates, startups, academia, and government officials, collectively contributing to the ecosystem's growth.

Five specialized mentorship sessions, focusing on 'How to Start Up,' will delve into critical topics such as understanding business structures, incorporating entities, and crafting comprehensive business plans.

The pinnacle of this celebration will be the India National Startup Day Summit and Awards 2024, set to take place on February 23, 2024, in Bangalore. These awards serve as a commendable initiative, recognizing and rewarding exceptional startups and ecosystem enablers that are spearheading innovative products or solutions, building scalable enterprises with significant potential for employment generation or wealth creation, and showcasing measurable social impact.

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