Startup India Seed Fund Scheme
The Startup India initiative of the Government of India envisages building a robust Start-up ecosystem in the country for nurturing innovation and providing opportunities to budding entrepreneurs.
An Action Plan with 19 action points for the Startup India initiative was unveiled by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on January 16, 2016.
This Action Plan laid down a roadmap for the creation of a conducive ecosystem for Startups in India. Subsequently, many activities have been undertaken to encourage Startups. Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) is one such scheme provides financial assistance to early-stage startups.
What is Startup India Seed Fund Scheme?
Easy availability of capital is essential for entrepreneurs at the early stages of growth of an enterprise.
Funding from angel investors and venture capital firms becomes available to startups only after the proof of concept has been provided. Similarly, banks provide loans only to asset-backed applicants. It is essential to provide seed funding to startups with an innovative idea to conduct proof of concept trials.
DPIIT has created Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) with an outlay of INR 945 Crore to provide financial assistance to startups for Proof of Concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry, and commercialization.It will support an estimated 3,600 entrepreneurs through 300 incubators in the next 4 years.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India announced the scheme in his Grand Plenary address of Prarambh: Startup India International Summit on 16th January 2021. After approval of EFC and Hon’ble Finance Minister, the scheme has been notified on 21.01.2021.
The Seed Fund will be disbursed to eligible startups through eligible incubators across India.
Objectives of SISFS
The Indian startup ecosystem suffers from capital inadequacy in the seed and ‘Proof of Concept’ development stage.
The capital required at this stage often presents a make or break situation for startups with good business ideas.
Many innovative business ideas fail to take off due to the absence of this critical capital required at an early stage for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization.
Seed Fund offered to such promising cases can have a multiplier effect in validation of business ideas of many startups, leading to employment generation.
An Experts Advisory Committee
An Experts Advisory Committee (EAC) has been constituted by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) , which will be responsible for the overall execution and monitoring of the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme.
The EAC will evaluate and select incubators for allotment of Seed Funds, monitor progress, and take all necessary measures for efficient utilization of funds towards fulfilment of objectives of Startup India Seed Fund Scheme.