CM to launch world-class inclusive incubators- O Hub, in April

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New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Mr Satyabrata Sahu, Principal Secretary, MSME Department, Govt of Odisha today said that the Central and the state government are working in tandem to help the start-up ecosystem grow in Odisha.

Addressing the Policy Roundtable on Investment Opportunities in Start-ups in Odisha, organised jointly by Govt of Odisha and FICCI, Mr Sahu said that Odisha came up with the Odisha Start-up Policy in 2016 and that the state govt has been encouraging start-ups ever since the policy was formulated. “We are encouraging private and government-run institutions to become incubators. The state govt has taken numerous steps to further the start-up ecosystem in the state. Work is going on in full swing for the world-class inclusive incubators within Bhubaneswar- O Hub, which will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in April. O-Hub will be host to start-ups and will be centrally located in Bhubaneswar,” he said.

Mr Sahu emphasized that a separate Rs 100 crore fund of funds has been notified and it is expected to leverage another INR 100 crore from private investors.

The state government is very keen to promote start-ups in the state. Separate hangars have been set aside solely for the start-ups participating in the MSME National Trade Fair that will commence in March on Biju Patnaik Jayanti. Most of the start-ups participating are women-led, Mr Sahu noted.

Speaking about Odisha as a preferred destination for investment, Dr Nitin B Jawale, MD, Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd (IPICOL) said that Odisha offers sector specific opportunities for start-ups in electronics manufacturing, seafood processing, food processing, aluminium downstream and chemicals, petrochemicals, and plastics.

“Odisha has been the number one state in India in terms of attracting investments from April- September 2019 as per CMIE. Odisha has dedicated authorities to facilitate skill development for industries. The state also offers cost-effective and is a hassle-free destination for industrial investments,” Mr Jawale said.

Mr Sanjeeb Mishra, OSD, Industries Dept, OIEPO, New Delhi said that academic institutions play a big role in encouraging and nurturing start-ups. While moderating the discussions, he also sought feedback and suggestions of the participants on the draft start-up policy.

Mr Prasanta Biswal, Evangelist, Startup Odisha in his detailed presentation pointed out that the Odisha government aims to develop Odisha as one of the top three start-up hubs in the country. The state govt had set up a target of 1000 start-ups by the end of 2020 while ensuring that 33 per cent of those are women-led start-ups.

The financial incentives offered to start-ups includes a monthly allowance of INR 20,000. The government also aims to provide product development and marketing assistance to the tune of INR 15 lakhs, he added.

For incubators, Mr Biswal said that the state comment offers a one-time capital grant of a maximum of one crore for setting up incubation facilities. The govt also offer a matching grant up to five crores for scaling up incubation facilities and performance capital grant of INR 5 lakhs for successful incubate.

Non-financial incentives for start-ups include EMD exemptions and concession in performance security exception of prior experience and turnover count right area preference in public procurement self-certification under six labour laws online and off-line grievance redressal mechanism, he said.

The Start-up Odisha landscape has 906 recognized start-ups, among which are more than 300+ women-led start-ups; 17 recognized incubators; and 15 nodal agencies. So far 190 grants have been awarded to start-ups and incubators, he informed.

Ms Padmaja Ruparel, Co-Chair FICCI Start Up Committee, Co-Founder Indian Angel Network said that the Govt of Odisha has been playing a proactive role in fostering the start-up ecosystem in the state. “I thank the government for successfully breeding start-up companies. Odisha stands on top of innovation and entrepreneurship hub in the country. It is the third largest and the fastest growing start-up hub in India,” she said.

Further, elaborating on the flourishing start-up ecosystem in the country, Ms Ruparel said that there are, approximately, 41,000 start-ups that have generated more than five lakh jobs. “Start-ups are the best job creating machine. We currently have 37 Unicorns and several ‘soonicorns’ and ‘decacorns’ and we hope to have 100 unicorns by 2025,” she said.

It is not about the valuation but the value that start-ups have brought that is important. Post the pandemic, there has been a shift where traditionally established industries are now partnering with start-ups. The Start-up ecosystem is here to stay and will take India to newer heights,” Ms Ruparel further added.

Dr Mrutyunjay Suar, CEO, KIIT TBI; Mr Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures; Mr Debasish Patnaik, President, TiE Bhubaneswar and Bhubaneswar Angels; Mr Vikram Duggal, Managing Partner, Ekcle Ventures; Mr Raghav Kanoria, Founder, Neoleap Business Ventures and Mr Amiya Samantaray, Founder, Phoenix Robotics also shared their perspective in this well attended virtual Roundtable.

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