In its bid to strengthen the startup ecosystem in the country, the government has launched the Startup India Hub, a virtual online platform for all stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India to discover, connect, and engage with each other.
Launching the Hub, Union Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said,
“We are here to help you. We want you to succeed.”
The portal will host startups, investors, funds, mentors, academia, incubators, accelerators, corporates, government bodies, and more. It is an attempt to solve the problem of information asymmetry and lack of access to knowledge, tools, and experts, especially in the nascent ecosystems across tier II and III towns.
The Hub aims to be a dynamic and interactive platform that will facilitate learning and development, networking, mentorship, and funding for startups. The idea behind the platform is to aggregate different offerings of the ecosystem and enable discovery by the right audience.
Startup India Hub has partnered with various organisations to onboard entrepreneurs and investors, as well as build knowledge modules. To ensure accessibility across various platforms, dedicated apps are also available on both Android and iOS.
India is the third largest startup ecosystem around the world, with three to four startups being born daily. To ensure that these startups succeed, it is imperative that they receive government support.
The Hub has also aggregated over 50 relevant government schemes/programs. In the next phase, the platform will also aggregate schemes available across various state governments. To provide a better user experience, the platform has been enabled to build smart intelligence along with Chatbots to automatically collate, update information, and respond to queries.
While addressing stakeholders present in the event, Sitharaman stressed the importance of bringing all stakeholders on a single platform. She said, “Although the Startup Hub has been initiated today, I would want the engagement to be a lot more dynamic so that we are able to respond and correct our course at every stage.”
The Hub was inaugurated by Nirmala Sitharaman along with Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary DIPP, Deepak Bagla, CEO of Invest India, and Rajeev Aggarwal, Joint Secretary DIPP, launched Startup India Hub.
This new initiative falls under Invest India, the official Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of the Government of India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ‘Startup India’ initiative on January 16, 2016, with an aim to nurture innovation and startups, which will drive economic growth and employment opportunities in the country.
Nirmala Sitharaman also highlighted the government’s plan of launching a SAARC startup meet to garner international exposure for Indian startups and facilitate better exchange of ideas through the initiative.
The launch event was kickstarted by a powerful discussion on ‘Navigating the startup ecosystem’. The panel included various representatives of the startup ecosystem, from startups to investors, accelerators to incubators and mentor communities. The focus of the discussion was on the various challenges that entrepreneurs face while starting out and how can such issues can be resolved.