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The Thriving Start-up Ecosystem in India and the Platforms Available for Growth

The start-up ecosystem has developed rapidly in India in the past decade. The government and private sector have embarked on several projects to provide a platform for young entrepreneurs to thrive on their innovative ideas and projects. 

The government has geared up in building start-up infrastructure in India. This includes the setting up of over 50 Atal Incubation centres.  Government schemes such as venture capital fund for start-ups with Rs 10,000 crore fund, an eighty-percentage rebate to start-up companies filing patents (377 start-ups benefitted by this), and an exemption of income tax to approved start-ups for three years.

The government hopes to provide future entrepreneurs with a supportive environment and eco-space through these schemes. This space or environment will enable them to develop ideas and convert them into successful business propositions. 

The private sector in India has also come forward in setting up several incubation centres with a model of pay as you use or partnering with the entrepreneur in the start-up equity.

These initiatives have ushered India as one of the world’s fastest-growing start-up ecosystems, with over 71 Unicorns start-ups.

The push from the government and the private sector has created a buzz around entrepreneurship.  Specifically among the youths who are in the final year of their graduation. Engineering graduates are leading the way in setting up start-ups with their ideas in co-spaces provided by the government and the private sector.

However, the youth has soon realized that the initial excitement to set up a new venture is short-lived. Why?  Because of the associated challenges in the creation and growth of these start-ups. The young graduate knows there is much more to just an idea and converting it into a viable business. This includes a myriad of legal, accounting, and marketing challenges. These functions create the biggest hurdles in the operation and growth of the young company. 

The government and private sector have focused and set up several incubation centres to provide an end-to-end solution to young entrepreneurs. But the reality has shown that these centres often lack support functions such as legal, marketing, finance, and technology (Business Today, Feb 2021). These centres ultimately end up only as a co-space for these entrepreneurs. With no other support, these centres are leading to high incubator mortality.

With this background, Vidyashilp University has embarked on a program focusing on young entrepreneurs who want to ‘start-up’ their businesses rather than seek employment. The “Start-up Founders Program” is a 10-months long program based on Design Thinking and Lean Start-up Canvas. The rigorous training program consists of selectively curated courses (knowledge-based, practice-based and skill-based) specifically for the start-up business environment. Expert start-up founders and industry experts will deliver these courses and modules. The program provides an opportunity for the students to interact with several founders who have succeeded in building their ventures.

The Start-up Founders Program will help young entrepreneurs to achieve milestones. It will prepare the student in various areas such as legal matters, valuation methods, marketing solutions, technology options, and operations, which entrepreneurs are likely to face in their journey from the start-up phase to the mature. Entrepreneurs enrolled in the program will be mentored from the financial projections to the final business plan development. The sole purpose is to ensure they provide the right pitch to the potential investor.

The program highlight includes the business plan final presentation by each student or a group of students in front of a panel. The panel consists of funding agencies, VCs, and angel investors. They will evaluate these businesses and invest in appropriate start-ups. This partnership will boost the growth of the start-ups and provide them a platform for future growth with the funding entity as a mentor and partner.

Brand Solutions is a marketing initiative for sponsored posts. No VCCircle journalist was involved in the creation of this content.

Dr. Umesh Mahtani
Professor, School of Business Studies
Director, Start-up Founders Program
Vidyashilp University

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