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On-Going Government Programs that will Help You Kick-Start Your Company

Sujith Vasudevan, Assistant Editor

The union government has got it right this time. Despite the gigantic hurdles en route, Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) is the only way to engender a sustainable India. It goes without saying that startups will play an instrumental role in every pathway forward to achieve the goal of self-reliant India. The government is rendering a deliberate approach to help startups, especially technology startups to kick-start and thrive forward during the on-going pandemic.

The announcement of the first-of-its-kind National Startup Awards comes just in time to provide budding entrepreneurs with the vital confidence that they require to build their empire up on. An iconic award ceremony under the Startup India program, the National Startup Awards was initiated last year to recognize and reward outstanding startups and ecosystem enablers that are building innovative products or solutions and scalable enterprises, with high potential of employment generation or wealth creation, demonstrating measurable social impact. The parameters of winning the award goes beyond the financial gains for the investors to include contribution to the social good.

DPIIT had invited applications across 12 sectors, and 35 sub-categories. Agriculture, Education, Enterprise Technology, Energy, Finance, Food, Health, Industry 4.0, Space, Security, Tourism and Urban Services comprise the 12 main categories. Besides these categories, the startups that have created a commendable impact in the rural areas, women-led startups and the ones founded in academic campuses were also recognized. In the industry 4.0 category, the winners were Uptimeai Tech (Big Data), Minionlabs India (Internet of Things), Fabheads Automation (3D Printing), Scapic Innovations (Augmented Reality Products/Wearables), Planys Technologies (Robotics), and Gingermind Technologies (Computer Vision).

Going forward, the government’s broad AI vision is something that can be read in alignment with this novel startup recognition program. While inaugurating the 'Responsible AI for Social Empowerment (RAISE) 2020' Summit, Prime Minister Narendra said, “India's National programme on AI will be dedicated towards the rightful use of AI in solving societal problems. While we discuss AI, let us also have no doubts that human creativity and human emotions continue to be our greatest strength. They are our unique advantage over machines. Even the smartest of AI cannot solve mankind's problems without blending with our intellect.”

This is just the tip of the iceberg. If budding entrepreneurs could use the right government initiatives, resources and incubation programs to kick-start their company and thrive forward, it could well be the best ever startup boost in the country. Let’s look at some of those opportunities available.

Prosus Social Impact Challenge for Accessibility
It’s an undeniable fact that India lacks a vibrant market for disruptive assistive technology solutions that can uplift persons with disabilities. In truth, the assistive technology industry’s value chain never really took off with the explosion in the technology arena. The distribution, sales, and service mechanisms are scarcely established, and in many cases, are non-existent. A collective approach by Invest India, Startup India, and Social Alpha, Prosus Social Impact Challenge for Accessibility is poised towards this dire need. Any individual or group of individuals representing a startup can apply. The startup should have an innovative idea that addresses the challenges faced by persons with disabilities. Application can be submitted till 12th of October.

If budding entrepreneurs could use the right government initiatives, resources and incubation programs to kick-start their company and thrive forward, it could well be the best ever startup boost in the country.

NBSX Sustainability Challenge
NBSX Sustainability Challenge, an initiative by Novartis NBSX team in partnership with Startup India, is aimed towards carbon elimination. Any startup/individuals with disruptive ideas that will eliminate carbon through offset and propel us towards carbon positive can apply for the challenge. The last date for submitting an application is 12th of October.

Cisco LaunchPad Cohort 7
A unique program by Cisco LaunchPad in partnership with Startup India, Cisco LaunchPad Cohort 7 aims to collaborate with deep tech B2B startups that can scale-up and go big in terms of addressing myriad modern-day challenges. The startups are invited to explore majorly three key focus areas: Enterprise Tech, IoT & Digitization, and Futuristic Tech, revolving around core technologies such as Networking, Collaboration, IoT, data center, Cloud, Security, Mobility, Analytics (Video/Data/Image). The application is open till 10th of October.

Go, hit your target!

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