Startup India 2.0: Charting the Evolution, Deeptech Rise, and Future

Since 2016, around 1.14 lakh startups have emerged in the country, creating 12 lakh jobs. Phase II, set to launch on January 16, 2024, focuses on deep-tech, promising enhanced policies and collaboration. Read the article for all the interesting details.

Swati Dayal
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Startup India 2.0

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After the launch of Startup India initiative in 2016, around 1.14 lakh startups emerged in the country creating over 12 lakh jobs with an average of 11 jobs by a startup. The program, reportedly, is poised to enter its second phase on January 16, 2024, focusing on deep-tech startups and anticipating enhanced policies and collaboration.

In this article, let's read about the evolution of the Startup India scheme, its performance, Deeptech startup landscape in India and explore the eagerly anticipated launch of Phase II of the Startup India Programme.

The Evolution of Startup India

Addressing the 19th Convocation of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Dr. PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, lauded the success and evolution of the Startup India initiative. He emphasized that since its launch in January 2016, the program has transformed into a vital launchpad for fostering innovation and turning ideas into reality within the country.

"The Startup India initiative has evolved into the launchpad for ideas to innovation in the country. Several support measures to entrepreneurs have resulted in a robust startup ecosystem. It has the potential to transform India into a country of job creators rather than job seekers," said Dr. PK Mishra during his speech.

He further highlighted the impressive statistics, noting, "Today there are more than 1.14 lakh startups that have reported creation of more than 12 lakh jobs with an average of 11 jobs by a startup."

Performance of Startup India Program: A Snapshot

Since its launch on January 16, 2016, the Startup India initiative has made substantial strides. Over 1.17 lakh startups in India are registered with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), with 2,977 receiving income tax exemptions. Notably, the SIDBI Fund of Funds scheme, established in 2016, has supported 3,682 startups with a total investment of Rs 17,272 crore.

Under the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS), Rs 747 crore has been approved to 192 incubators, benefitting 1,579 startups. To be eligible, startups must be operational for under 10 years, incorporated as private limited companies or registered partnerships, and exhibit a commitment to product, process, or service development.

Moreover, startups should not have been formed by splitting up or reconstructing an already existing business and should work towards the development or improvement of a product, process or service and/or have a scalable business model with high potential for the creation of wealth & employment.

India's Thriving Deeptech Landscape

India stands as the world's third-largest startup ecosystem, boasting over 3000 deeptech enterprises spearheading technological breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data analytics, IoT, blockchain, and more.

These ventures are diversifying into sectors like agriculture, life sciences, chemistry, aerospace, and green energy, aiming to revolutionize industries with innovative tech solutions.

Following public feedback on a draft policy unveiled in July 2023, the government is expected to present the final version of the 'deep tech' policy to the Union Cabinet in the coming weeks for approval.

Launch of Startup India Program Phase II: A Glimpse into the Future

Building on the success of the initial phase, the government is set to launch the second phase of the Startup India program on January 16, 2024, according to a media report. This second leg will place a heightened focus on deep-tech startups, particularly in areas such as semiconductors, quantum computing, and AI.

The government aims to offer more stable policies and taxation, improved valuation norms, and increased research collaboration initiatives with industry and academia in the upcoming phase. The second phase is anticipated to provide support to deep technology startups involved in semiconductor chips, quantum and high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity.

Expectations include a higher corpus for Funds of Funds for Startups, signalling an extended gestation period for eligible startups. The government is also poised to facilitate eligible startups in securing research and development support from global institutions, further propelling India's innovation ecosystem into the future.

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