National Startup Day: The Growth Story of the Indian Startup Ecosystem

What is the total number of startups in India? How many Indian startups have achieved unicorn status? How many jobs have startups created so far? Check out all the milestones of Startup India Initiative in this exclusive story.

Shreshtha Verma
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National Startup Day Growth Story of the Indian Startup Ecosystem

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Today marks the 7th anniversary of the Startup India Initiative, and the release of the National Startup Report 2022 has brought to light a staggering growth and remarkable achievements in the country's startup ecosystem over the past seven years (2015-2022). The report showcases a 7x increase in the number of incubators, a 9x increase in the number of investors, and an impressive 15x increase in the total funding for startups.

Growth Story of the Indian Startup Ecosystem

The report highlights several key metrics that reflect the dynamic and flourishing startup landscape in India. With over 1,17,000 startups, the country has witnessed an exponential growth in entrepreneurship. These startups are not confined to metropolitan areas, as the report indicates their presence in 670+ districts, with 50% of them originating from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.

The Startup India Hub, serving as a crucial platform for startup enthusiasts and investors, boasts an impressive user base of over 6 lac individuals actively engaged in the startup ecosystem. This vibrant community has not only fostered innovation but has also facilitated the creation of over 1 million jobs across the nation.

A significant achievement highlighted in the report is the emergence of 112+ unicorns – startups valued at over $1 billion. This surge in unicorn companies signifies a robust and globally competitive startup ecosystem in India. Furthermore, 20 international bridges connecting startups globally and 11 jobs startup international bridges have been established, fostering cross-border collaborations and job creation.

India's active engagement in the global startup community is underscored by its involvement in 5+ multilateral engagements, showcasing the country's commitment to building strategic alliances and partnerships on an international scale.

In terms of policy support, the report indicates that 31 states in India have formulated dedicated startup policies, providing a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to thrive. This policy backing has played a pivotal role in attracting a diverse range of startups across various sectors.

Perhaps one of the most significant indicators of success is the colossal funding received by startups in India. The report reveals that startups have attracted a staggering $70+ billion in funding, demonstrating the confidence of investors in the innovation and potential of Indian startups.

As the country enters in the 8th years of the Startup India Initiative, the National Startup Report 2022 paints a promising picture of India's startup ecosystem. With robust infrastructure, supportive policies, and a flourishing community of entrepreneurs, the nation is poised for continued growth and prominence in the global startup landscape. The achievements showcased in the report serve as a testament to the resilience, creativity, and determination of the Indian startup community.

Startup India Initiative

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.

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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