Start-ups initiative new hope for India: Sunil Mittal

Feb 6, 2016 0

GURGAON–The ‘Start-up India’ initiative will help the youth in building a strong India, Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman, Bharti Enterprises, said here on Saturday.

Sunil Bharti Mittal

Sunil Bharti Mittal

Addressing students at the convocation ceremony at Amity University Gurgaon after being conferred an honorary doctorate degree, Mittal said that when he completed his education in 1976, there were very little options of help and hope in the business arena.

At that time, everything, every policy was decided by the central government, he said.

“What to produce, how to produce, when to produce, in what quantity. They were all decided by the government in Delhi,” Mittal said, adding that now the time has completely changed, and one can imagine and come forward with ideas and start working.

Options and capital are now available for people who really want to do something, he said, hoping that the Start-ups initiative will help youth make a new India.

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US leads the world with 65 percent of the $1 billion-plus startups, followed by China with 14 percent and India 4 percent

Feb 5, 2016 0

LOS ANGELES—The U.S. continues to be a global magnet for innovative startup companies as measured by the number with valuations in excess of $1 billion and by the total valuation during the past two years, according to a new study released by the USC Marshall Center for Global Innovation.

Between January 2014 and the end of 2015, the U.S. minted nearly two-thirds (65%) of the world’s “Unicorns” – defined as ground-breaking startup companies that achieve a financial valuation of $1 billion or more in any month of the two-year period – according to the “2016 Unicorn Index by Nation: Startups Valued at $1 Billion or More.”

Gerard J. Tellis

Gerard J. Tellis

That was almost five times as many as second-ranked China (14%). Rounding out the list of countries with the highest percentage of Unicorns were India (4%), United Kingdom (3%), Singapore, Sweden, Germany and Canada (all with 2%), South Korea (1.5%), and Russia and Czech Republic (with 1%). The U.S. also captured a 63 percent share of total global Unicorn valuation, followed by China (22%), India (5%), Sweden (2%), Germany (1.5%), and Singapore and United Kingdom (about 1%).

The results provide evidence that the U.S. “has not lost its startup mojo,” and that smaller or emerging countries and regions may be benefitting by making it easier for new businesses to incubate and begin the journey toward a $1 billion valuation, said Gerard J. Tellis, director of the Center for Global Innovation at the USC Marshall School of Business, who developed the index.

“These results may help quiet those who have – perhaps prematurely – bemoaned the decline of the U.S. as a technology innovator and economic power,” Tellis said. “The presence of Unicorns in a country or region signals the creation of new wealth, represents the embodiment of radical innovation, and reminds us that true innovators have the potential to become disruptive market changers, as we’ve seen in the past with startups like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Uber.”

On a regional basis, Silicon Valley accounted for 39 percent of Unicorns, followed by New York (9%), Beijing (6%), Los Angeles (5%), Boston (4%) and Shanghai (3%). London, Singapore, Stockholm, Provo (UT), Berlin, Hangzhou and New Delhi each had 2 percent shares, while Seoul had 1.5 percent and Shenzhen/Hong Kong, Mumbai, Guangzhou, Chicago, Jacksonville (FL), Bangalore, Moscow and Prague each had about a 1 percent share of the Unicorn population.

Silicon Valley again accounted for the highest percentage regional share of Unicorn valuation (45%), followed by Beijing (15%), Los Angeles (8%), New York (5%), Bangalore and Shanghai (both 3%), and Stockholm, Boston, Shenzhen/Hong Kong and Berlin (all 2%). Singapore, London, Jacksonville and New Delhi each accounted for a 1 percent share of the total Unicorn valuation.

Notably absent from the rankings were Japan and Italy, regions such as Tokyo and Rome, and – in the U.S. – Austin, TX.

“What policy-makers should ponder is why Beijing and Bangalore rank high, but Tokyo and Rome do not,” said Tellis. “Factors such as ease of starting a business or starting a competing enterprise, how welcoming a country or region is to new immigrants, and other economic and cultural variables may well play an important role in driving the establishment of new Unicorns.”

Companies were included in the study results if they exceeded a value of $1 billion during any month between January 2014 and the end of 2015 according to source data primarily from The Wall Street Journal and CB Insights, a private venture capital data base. Valuations were not limited to high technology companies. Country and regional rankings were calculated based on shares in terms of numbers and valuations of each Unicorn.

The Center for Global Innovation conducts research based on hard market data and is continuing to research factors behind trends in the Unicorn rankings. It is anticipated that the report will be updated on a regular basis and that academic research will be available for publication after 2017.

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NASSCOM inaugurates startup warehouse in Hyderabad

Jan 18, 2016 0

HYDERABAD– Nasscom on Monday said it has partnered with the Telangana government and other entities to create a “startup warehouse” here that will provide an affordable co-working space to the young entrepreneurs.

T-Hub Nasscom Startup Warehouse would take care of young entrepreneurs’ concerns of building right product in the market and give them a platform to emerge as stronger players, said Nasscom chairman B.V.R. Mohan Reddy in a statement.

B.V.R. Mohan Reddy

B.V.R. Mohan Reddy

T-Hub is a public private partnership (PPP) between Telangana government and Indian School of Business (ISB), International Institute of Information Technology-Hyderabad (IIIT-H) and National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) along with other private sector leaders.

Aiming to create a micro ecosystem where startups and entrepreneurs can work together and share experiences, ‘NASSCOM 10,000 Startups’ is setting up ‘warehouses’ across Indian states.

The first startup warehouse was set up in Bengaluru in 2013, followed Kolkata, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Kochi, and Gurgaon.

“Nasscom 10,000 startup programme is now looking to launch this facility in other emerging cities in partnership with their respective governments,” said the Nasscom statement.

Bengaluru warehouse has recently been expanded from 10,000 sq ft to 40,000 sq ft in keeping up with the response the warehouse elicited from budding entrepreneurs.

According to Nasscom report ‘Start-up India – Momentous Rise of the Indian Start-up Ecosystem’, Hyderabad is one of the emerging cities.

T-Hub in collaboration with ISB, NALSAR and IIIT-H announced a $100 million venture capital fund, the statement said.

Telangana IT and Panchayat Raj Minister T. Rama Rao also attended the inauguration.

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India’s Start-Up Roundup: Modi’s extends tax sops, funding, self-certification for start-ups

Jan 16, 2016 0

NEW DELHI–With an income tax holiday for three years and exemption from capital gains levies on venture capital investments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the “Start-Up India Action Plan” here on Saturday with an enabling eco-system to promote and nurse entrepreneurship.

A host of incentives unveiled by him for start-ups also included self-certification and a three-year exemption from inspections, an online portal and mobile app, an 80-percent cut in the patent application fee and a single-point hub for hand-holding.

Modi-Start-upAt an event at Vigyan Bhavan conference complex here to launch the “Start-Up India Action Plan”, the prime minister also announced a Rs.10,000-crore fund for new enterprises, equal opportunity in government procurement, a Rs.500-crore credit guarantee scheme and easier exit norms.

The list of incentives also included 35 new incubators under the public-private partnership mode, 31 new innovation centres at national institutes, seven new research parks, five bio-clusters and a mission with sector-specific incubators, labs, pre-incubation training and seed money.

“We want to ensure that we interfere as little as possible with the start-ups. For that, we have introduced self-certification. No inspection for three years,” the prime minister told the event to repeated applause from Who’s Who of India’s start-up and Silicon Valley ecosystems.

He also said his government intended to club all related legislation involving start-ups and took a dig at the opposition in this regard. “You all know, where it is stuck. You must must use the internet and tell them so that important matters can be cleared in parliament.”

The prime minister also said the difference that people will find today with governance in India was that on a Saturday, when it is an official day off, with no question of any activity after 6 p.m., such a grand event as today’s was taking place.

The prime minister said he wanted the youth today to transform themselves from job seekers to job givers. “I see that energy in this hall. It reflects the enthusiasm that lies in the hearts of our youth across the country,” he said, adding he wanted start-ups to also look beyond IT.

During the day-long event, several interactive sessions were held with stakeholders, ministers and mandarins on topics ranging from innovation and funding to promoting women entrepreneurs and mentoring.

“Today, it’s been a fascinating experience,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his address, referring to the day-long interactions. “Not only does it mark a change in the social profile of India, but a change in the mindsets of Indians,” Jaitley added.

He also said the government will ensure that it will only be a facilitator for start-ups. “Our only subsequent relation with start-ups will be when they pay their taxes in the year-end and continue to grow.”

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also spoke on similar lines and said discussions were evocative on what start-ups can do for India, if alone the government can understand them.

“Start-ups have spoken loud and clear, and we have heard the message.”

Those who spoke at the final session included SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son, GreyOrange’s Samay Kohli, LimeRoad’s Suchi Mukherjee, InMobi’s Naveen Tewari, Ocimum’s Anuradha Acharya, Practo’s Shashank N.D., WeWork’s Adam Neumann, PaperBoat’s Neeraj Kakkar and Oyo’s Ritesh Agarwal.

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Modi regales entrepreneurs with one-liners on start-ups

Jan 16, 2016 0

NEW DELHI– Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in his elements at the launch of Start-up India’ and ‘Stand-up India’ movement on Saturday, regaling a smart audience of young entrepreneurs, start-up founders, techies, ministers and officials at Vigyan Bhavan here.

Indian Prime Minister Modi

Indian Prime Minister Modi

In his about 50-minute address in chaste Hindi, but with simultaneous translation in English, to the about 1,500 people, Modi treated them to a range one-liners, drawing applause from a well-informed gathering before unveiling the government’s action plan for start-ups in the country.

Some of the one or two-liners:

* We are here so that you can tell us what we should not do.

* We want to focus on hand holding for start-ups.

* Start-ups don’t have to be billion-dollar ventures. Even if it employs five persons, it is contributing to the Indian economy.

* This start-up movement is not linked to money or name and fame. It is about finding solutions to problems of common people.

* Solutions to all problems are in an app. I also have an app – the Narendra Modi app.

* Start-ups are not just because of entrepreneurial capabilities, but also for the aspect of risk-taking.

* Ideas are many, but some leave the idea halfway while others become very involved with the idea.

* Young people across the country have been watching this programme from the morning.

* Today is a Saturday and considered a holiday for the government. And it’s beyond 6 p.m. It’s unthinkable. But this is the change.

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Start-up India initiative is landmark moment: FICCI

Jan 16, 2016 0

NEW DELHI–Leading Indian industry body, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and other business associations on Saturday termed the ‘Start-up India’ initiative as a landmark moment.

“It is indeed a landmark moment and a major shift as we are looking at an unshackled regime where the government would merely be a facilitator of the entrepreneurship

Harshvardhan Neotia

Harshvardhan Neotia

in the country that would provide employment for our large young population,” said FICCI president Harshvardhan Neotia in a statement.

He expressed confidence that with ‘Start-up India’, the ecosystem has been envisioned and incentive put in place for large number of young entrepreneurs in the country to come forward with innovative start-ups.

FICCI sent a 100-member delegation of young innovators and startups to participate in ‘Start-up India’ initiative launched by Prime Minister Naredra Modi, the statement said.

India Electronics and Semiconductors Association (IESA) president M. N. Vidyashankar said: “We are elated by the fact that India has the third-largest number of startups globally. IESA applauds the government to be a facilitator to build the start-up nation. With the government’s support, a start-up can be built in a day which will definitely motivate many young entrepreneurs.”

He highlighted Modi’s announcement of legal support for filing patents at free of cost and 80 percent reduction in patent fee would boost the confidence of entrepreneurs.

“The action plan of a corpus of Rs.10,000 crore made through a Fund of Funds is a major and important decision taken by the government which would enable an entrepreneur to startup from the non-urban areas of India as well,” said Vidyashankar in a statement.

WudStay founder Prafulla Mathur, Girnar Soft founder Anurag Jain, AsaanJobs co-founder Dinesh Goel and Kaaryah founder and CEO Nidhi Agarwal among others also gave a thumbs up for the ‘Start-up India’ programme.

National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) CEO Jayant Krishna said: “This is just the beginning, we will see start-ups driving the social economic growth. Start-up India offers immense opportunity to the youth where the government is also assuring them the ease of doing business.”

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India launches SETU to bolster startups

Dec 9, 2015 0

NEW DELHI– Union Minister for Skill Development Rajiv Pratap Rudy on Wednesday said that the government of India had launched Self-Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) programme aimed at comprehensive support for startups and self-employment.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy

Rajiv Pratap Rudy

Speaking during question hour in parliament, Rudy said SETU was established under NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog with special focus on technology-driven areas.

He said the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurs aimed to foster entrepreneurship and innovation at the grass-roots level by providing fiscal incentives, market linkages, legal support and creation of grass-roots technology innovation hubs.

In August, the government launched India Aspiration Fund (IAF) with a capital of Rs.2,000 crore under Small Industries Development Bank of India to bolster startup ecosystem in India.

IAF aims to mobilise tens of thousands of crores of equity investment into startups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises for creating lakhs of jobs in the next four to five years, Rudy said.

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Microsoft’s Think Next forum concludes, eight certified start-ups graduate

Dec 9, 2015 0

NEW DELHI– Think Next 2015 – a forum that brought thought leaders in technology driving transformation via innovation together under one roof – concluded here on Wednesday.

The forum not only saw the participation of more than 800 delegates from leading corporates, investors, thought leaders and delegates from Microsoft who partnered to push the collaborative innovation agenda for the ecosystem, but also witnessed the graduation of Microsoft Ventures’ winter batch 2015.

Eight certified graduating start-ups from the batch, namely, Canvasflip, Cloudcherry, Shotang, Flutura, KNOLSKAPE, Vymo, Vakilsearch and Vigyanlabs showcased their innovative solutions.

Meanwhile, two senior leaders – Steven Guggenheimer, corporate vice president and chief evangelist at Microsoft, and Scott Coleman, general manager, Microsoft Ventures shared lessons they learnt while working with entrepreneurs across the globe.

A round table focused on topics such as current valuation levels, potential Initial Public Offerings, Unicorns in the venture market and mergers.

Unicorn is a term in the investment industry, in particular venture capital industry, which denotes a start-up company whose valuation has exceeded $1billion.

A session ‘Fireside Chat with Author Devdutt Pattanaik’ discussed the lessons budding entrepreneurs could derive from mythology and stories passed down the generations.

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