India plans Saarc meet for startups, says Nirmala Sitharaman

India plans Saarc meet for startups, says Nirmala Sitharaman”

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the first start-up incubation centre for Dakshina Kannada will come up at Mallikatta in the city in the next four months.

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs under the Ministry of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman launched Startup India Hub on Monday afternoon.

"I will be working towards having a SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) country meet for startups".

Image: Nguyen Huy Kham/ReutersAlmost a year and a half since Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Startup India initiative in January last year; his government has now started the Startup India Hub aimed at an empowering the startup space in the country. "We'll create the space for startups to interact, but the topics, format, who to invite etc. have to be decided by the startups themselves".

She said the event can act as a platform for exchanging ideas, which can be mutually beneficial and can be worked out.

SAARC members are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Signaling further collaboration between the government and startup entrepreneurs, Sitharaman called for assistance in better branding products and ideas from India.

The ministry is also planning to work in certain districts to identify schools and help them qualify to get tinkering labs under the Atal Innovation Mission.

The Startup India Hub would enable startups gain access to knowledge, mentors, resources, appropriate government schemes and a host of other useful services.

The main objective of Start Up India Hub is to facilitate the resources for helping start ups, including easier access to funding, less tax burden, right infrastructure. The launch took place at the Le Meridien Hotel in New Delhi in the presence of many incubators, investors and startup founders. The Hub attempts to solve the problem of information asymmetry and lack of access to knowledge, tools, &experts, especially in the nascent ecosystems across Tier II and III towns.

Out of the Rs 960 crore funding corpus, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) committed Rs 623.5 crores to 65 startups through funds of funds while 350 startups have benefited from Rs 154 crores committed by DBT India, the government said.

India is the third largest startup ecosystem around the globe, with 3-4 startups commencing every day.

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