Rajasthan Startup Policy
Rajasthan Startup Policy
Rajasthan, being the cradle for entrepreneurship, is the birthplace of some of the most successful business individuals and large industrial houses across the world. However, a large number of Rajasthan’s educated youth leaves the State after the completion of their education in search of better opportunities to other states and countries. The State of Rajasthan has formulated the Rajasthan Startup Policy to develop low cost, indigenous and technology-enabled solutions that would answer the various challenges that the State faces like water availability, agriculture, arid land, rural healthcare, food processing and efficient food supply chains while also boosting entrepreneurship. In this article, we look at the Rajasthan Startup Policy in detail.
Targets of the Policy
The following are the principal targets that are expected to be achieved by the Policy.
- Five hundred innovative startups to be supported and incubated.
- Fifty incubators or incubator-like organisations to be established.
- 100,000 Sq. Ft. of incubation space to be facilitated or developed.
- Development of innovation and problem-solving culture throughout the State.
- Angel and Venture Capital of INR 500 Crores to be mobilised for startups.
Focus Areas of the Policy
The Policy has the following domains as the critical focus areas.
- Social and Cleantech: Rural services and infrastructure, water, sanitation, crafts, renewable energy, healthcare along with asset-light models of healthcare delivery and medical devices.
- Information and Mobile Technology, including but not limited to crowdsourcing and funding, online financial services.
- Internet of Things (IoT), electronics and hardware.
- “IT for X” in the areas of crafts and garments, mining and SME manufacturing and services.
- Disruptive ideas or technologies in any sector.
In time, the Science and Technology Department, GoR in association with RIICO and Startup Oasis would work to create Rajasthan Startup Village and an e-Platform which would be able to host a cloud server for startups, run MOOCs and coordinate with multiple related State and Central Government agencies to strengthen startup ecosystem in Rajasthan further.
The Rajasthan Startup Policy applies to the following.
- Any individual or group of individuals who have an innovative idea or concept would be eligible to receive the support under the Policy.
- Students of institutions and colleges of higher learning from Rajasthan affiliated under the Rajasthan Technical University and Rajasthan University, NITs, IITs and other private universities and every student enrolled in such institutions.
- Universities or Educational Institutions, R&D Institutions, Incubations Centres or Private and other establishments would be eligible as an institution in order to support and mentor startups as approved by the Committee.
The following are the support offered for startups on behalf of the State Government of Rajasthan.
Assistance for Startups at Prototype Stage
- INR 10,000 per month would be offered to a startup as a sustenance allowance for a period of one year. However, the project of the startup must be recommended by the Nodal Institution and has to be approved by the Committee.
- Incubators would provide appropriate support to the startups by offering mentoring services along with access to their laboratories, facilities and so on at free of cost.
- The State Government would also recommend selected startup units to get access to Universities, Libraries, Government Laboratories, Centre of Excellence, PSUs and many more, for free.
Assistance for Startups at the Pilot Stage
Marketing and commercialisation assistance of maximum INR 10 Lakhs would be provided to the startup to launch its products or services in the market. The aid would be offered in the following manner.
- It may be offered to a startup where they have to secure funding of a minimum 25% from a known and registered angel or venture funds, or reputed incubator. The amount would be disbursed as purely or partly grants or soft loan or equity on a case-to-case basis as given by the registered angel/ venture funds/ reputed incubators.
- It may be given as matching assistance to reputed incubators established by institutions such as IITs, IIMs or NITs to fund startups as part of the accelerator programme as purely or partly grants or soft loan or equity on a case-to-case basis.
Tie-up for other Assistance at the Pilot Stage
- The startup would also be assisted in sourcing Venture Capital from Angel Investors or Venture Capital Funds.
- There would be efforts towards leveraging relevant benefits available under various schemes of the Government of India or the Government of Rajasthan.
Student Entrepreneurship Support
The following support would be offered for students who aim to be entrepreneurs and to start their own ventures in the State of Rajasthan.
- The student or student teams who apply to an Incubator for incubation support shall be offered 5% grace marks and 20% attendance for every semester if duly accepted by the concerned education institution.
- Students working on an innovation project shall be permitted to convert their project into their final year project for degree completion credits and requirements. However, this project must be incubated at an Incubator.
Students who aim to be entrepreneurs and have their own businesses shall be permitted to take a break of one year, or otherwise known as a Gap Year. This could be made after the first year of the graduation or post graduation course in technical institutions in order to pursue their ventures full time at any Incubator. This may be extended for a maximum period of 2 years and this period would be counted in the maximum time required to graduate. The ‘Gap Year’ option may be offered to ensure the continuity of the syllabus at the time of joining back and after an appraisal process by an Incubator where the student is attached.
- To promote entrepreneurship at a college level, Entrepreneurship Cells or E-Cells would be created in collaboration with the Incubators for creating awareness and support at the ground level within the professional college campus. Colleges would be given a one-time capital grant of INR 10 Lakhs to establish and operate an E-Cell. The college is required to generate necessary financial resources through its own sources in order to continue the programs and events started as a part of the E-Cell.
- State Business Plan Competition: The Nodal Institution would organise a state-wide business plan competition to invite new innovative business ideas from across various parts of the State. The top 50 winners of the competition would be selected by the Committee and would be given an award of INR 50,000 per winner.
The following support would be offered for Incubators in the State of Rajasthan.
The Government encourages the Host Institutes such as reputed technology, management and R&D instituted of the State of Rajasthan to set up new Incubators and Accelerators to form the startup ecosystem within the State. All such Host Institutes would be provided with a one-time grant for capital items with a maximum of INR 50 Lakhs to conduct entrepreneurship development and startup support programs in their regions. The Accelerators and Incubators would be further linked to the Nodal Institutions to ensure alignment of activities. The procedures for the grant would be specified subsequently. The Nodal Institution would also ensure that the startups nurtured through the State-supported Incubators, would be able to get connected with the national and international markets and ecosystems for commercialisation, funding and value addition.
Support by Private Players
A grant of maximum 25% for the creation of fixed assets and new incubation centres with a limit of INR 50 Lakhs would be offered to existing, established, reputed corporates, angel investors, VCs subjected to a maximum of 5 per annum a maximum of 2 per district.
Support for Accelerator Programme
A grant of maximum INR 10 Lakhs would be given to competent institutions like incubators, angel investors, etc. in order to operate Accelerator Programs in the State. The angel investor must be registered with SEBI, Banks or reputed Institutions or Government-approved Incubation Centres.
Most Startup Fests and two small Mini Startup Fests would be organised in the State to galvanise the startup ecosystem that would provide national and international visibility to startups, innovators and the ecosystem plays and would bring every player to a common platform.