January 14th, 2016
Image Courtesy: Rediff
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 69th independence day last year had announced a new campaign ‘Start-up India; Stand up India’ to promote bank financing for start-ups and to offer incentives for promoting entrepreneurship and job creation. With 250 million active internet users and more than 350 million unique mobile phone users, the potential for startups and upcoming business ventures in India is huge. Therefore keeping up with his promises the Prime minister is set to launch the start-up India event on 16th of January at ‘Vigyan Bhawan’ in New Delhi. The event will be celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship and will discuss as to how India’s startup ecosystem can be tweaked.
The Event will be inaugurated by Sh. Arun Jaitley and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman will be the Guest of Honour for the event. Unlike other major initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ which was attended by industrial and corporate heavyweights, the Start-up event is aimed at more than 1500 young entrepreneurs participating in the event. More than 40 silicon valley entrepreneurs and investors have been invited to the event who will talk about their experience and inspiring success stories from silicon valley.
The event is set to be a non-stop day long event and will explore, debate and analyze on issues like “Unleashing Entrepreneurship and Innovation: What do Indian Startups Need to Grow and Prosper”, “Celebrating Women: Stories of Innovative Women Entrepreneurs”, “How digitization will change India’s future”, “Making Indian Healthcare Leapfrog” and “Financial inclusion is within reach”. Two particular niche slots have been given to Google and Softbank. Google on its behalf will award $50,000 to its ‘startup launch pad’ winner while Softbank will be represented by its India President and COO Nikesh Arora for an interactive Q&A session. The participants would not only be able to hear the views of Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, who has pledged to invest $20 billion for solar projects in India, Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick and WeWork founder Adam Neumann but also interact with them.
As conveyed by Prime minister in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio program the event will also showcase the full action plan on startups which outlines the various features of a friendly startup culture. Because of huge demand and low availability of passes the event will be telecast live in IITs, IIMs, NITs, IIITs, Central Universities and also to youth groups covering more than 350 districts of India. Heading up to the event the govt. also announced scrapping of tax on domestic angel investors which was indirectly penalizing of funding for startups by domestic investors. Other issues that are causing difficulties for upcoming startups will also be discussed through a Q&A session with policymakers comprising of Secretaries from various departments of the government. Representatives from SEBI and SIDBI will also be present for the session. The final Concluding session will be hosted by Prime Minister Modi himself where he is likely to launch the final Action plan for Startups.
The event is not just about the IT or digital framework for new initiatives, but rather it is an effort to assist people starting new business pursuits, especially those that are involved in innovation and plugging social gaps. The event has been organized by Department of Industrial policy and promotion and is essentially a brainstorming event that will help young participants understand the nuances of business development. Aim of the Action plan is to create a system for enabling startups by freeing them from compliance burden. The idea is to engage young entrepreneurs towards the internet, e-commerce, mobile applications space and beyond.