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BENGALURU: Gujarat, Karnataka and Meghalaya were the ‘best performers’ in developing startup ecosystems for entrepreneurs last year, according to the latest ranking of states and union territories by the Centre’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Jammu & Kashmir were in the next category of ‘top performers’.
In the previous report in 2019, Gujarat and Andaman & Nicobar Islands were in the ‘best performer’ category, and Karnataka and Kerala were in the ‘top performer’ category.
There are three other categories: leaders, aspiring leaders, and emerging startup ecosystems. Tamil Nadu, UP, and Punjab are among the eight states and UTs in the leaders category. Tamil Nadu and UP were in the emerging startup ecosystems category in the 2019 study.
Rajasthan, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh are among the 11 states and UTs in the aspiring leaders category. Among major states, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar are in the emerging startup ecosystems category.
The study looks at areas like institutional support to startups, access to markets, incubation support and funding support. This year, three areas were added to the framework, including capacity building of enablers, mentorship support and fostering innovation & entrepreneurship. India has the world’s third biggest startup ecosystem, after the US and China. Commerce & industry minister Piyush Goyal, while releasing the latest report, said India should aspire to be No. 1.
The government, he said, has enacted 52 regulatory changes to support ease of doing business for startups and to facilitate their growth. “Indian startups have raised $42 billion in funding during the calendar year 2021, surpassing funding raised in any other calendar year previously. This momentum has continued forward in 2022, with startups raising over $11 billion in the first quarter of 2022 itself,” he said.
The state specific reports for each of the 31 participating entities include a comprehensive analysis of the respective ecosystem and an overview of the strengths and priority areas for the future.
Policy interventions have been high on the government’s agenda. The electronics & IT ministry, for instance, has formulated the National Policy on Software Products for the holistic growth of the IT industry. The policy aims to provide a germinating ground for software product startups, encourage R&D and innovation, and improve domestic demand to develop India as a software product nation. Through this policy intervention, the software product industry is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 40% to reach Rs 500,000-6,00,000 crore by 2025 and generate direct and indirect employment for 3.5 million people by 2025.
Karnataka’s minister for higher education, IT & BT, science & technology Ashwathnarayan C N tweeted, “Great news! Namma Karnataka startups lead the way. We are now declared as one of the best performers for our startup ecosystem in the @DPIITGoI States’ Startup Ranking – 2021.”
Karnataka was ranked best performer for launching an engineering research and development policy to attract sector-focused incentives, and creating regulatory sandboxes for startups to avail exemption from state and municipal laws..

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