Govt Rolls out Samridh schemes to support 300 startups; eyes 100 unicorns
The government of India has launched a program to aid close to 300 IT startups under which it would offer seed funding, mentorship and market access intending to create 100 unicorns out of the chosen startups. Ministry of Electronics and IT special secretary Jyoti Arora states that the concept of the Startup Accelerator of MeitY for Product Innovation, Development & Growth (SAMRIDH) has been initiated on the lines of Silicon Valley-based accelerator YCombinator.
Ashwini Vaishnaw, IT and Telecom Minister states that he has mentored more than 20 startups earlier and understands the requirement of mentoring them during the most important part of their journey when their idea is getting transformed into products.
Ashwini continues, "Lack of getting the idea into a real product or lack of collecting the skill sets which are needed to convert an idea into an enterprise is a bigger challenge for most of the startups. If we are able to startup in that journey then probably our value addition will be huge.”
Samridh program would enable the Meity to provide seed funds of up to 40 lakh for the selected startups and mentorship for around six months.
He further adds, “Employment in traditional as well as new age industries is a stated mission of our government and is also the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Initiatives and schemes like SAMRIDH will help accelerate the implementation of that vision.”
Technology can play a role in accelerating and in taking the quantum jump in reaching out to people which would have taken many years. Using the energy of startups these areas can be reached within months, the minister said.
Speaking at the launch event, MeitY Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney said the SAMRIDH scheme will pick up startups that are ready for acceleration stage and will provide them with funding support, mentorship and a lot of other support that is required by startups at this stage.
The SAMRIDH program would focus on driving 300 start-ups by providing customer connect, investor connect, and international expansion opportunities in the next three years.
Also, an investment of up to 40 lakh to startups, based on their current valuation and growth stage would be provided through selected accelerators. It would also ease equal matching investment by the accelerator or investor.
The program intends to improve the Indian startup growth which has seen the emergence of 63 unicorns n(Startups with over $1 billion valuation), making India the third largest unicorn hub globally with a total valuation of $168 billion.