The Central Government has approved Rs 945-crore for the Start-up India Seed Fund Scheme’ (SISFS) that will be operational from 1 April 2021 to 2025. The scheme will provide additional financial assistance to start-ups for the product trials, market-entry, proof of concept, prototype development, and commercialisation. The financial support will be disbursed through selected incubators across India.
With the help of the SISFS, the government wants to boost the ecosystem and provide the crucial capital for young companies or start-ups. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will be initially responsible for the implementation of the Start-up India Seed Fund Scheme.
At the ‘Prarambh – Startup India International Summit’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 16, 2021, announced the launch of this ‘Startup India Seed Fund’ to support startups and help budding entrepreneurs pursue innovative ideas.
The GoI has also released the guidelines and eligibility criteria for incubators assisted by the central government or state governments. Those who want to participate in the scheme must include at least two years of operability. This will start from the date of applying for the scheme. Also, a capacity to seat at least 25 individuals and at least five startups must be undergoing incubation at the time of application of the scheme.
The Experts Advisory Committee (EAC) will monitor the execution of the scheme which will be set-up by the DPIIT. After the evaluation process is over, EAC can provide grants of up to Rs 5 crore to the incubators in milestone-based three or more installments. EAC will also take all necessary measures for the efficient utilisation of funds towards the fulfillment of objectives of the scheme.
The Indian government also explained that the preference would be given preferably to those startups that are working in areas such as agriculture, education, food processing, healthcare, social impact, waste management, water management, financial inclusion, biotechnology, energy, mobility, defence, space, railways, oil and gas, and textiles, etc.