Startups and the entire technology ecosystem are the engines of growth for any country.

Recognizing this aspect, the Government has launched Startup India initiative on 16th January 2016 with an aim to build a stronger ecosystem for nurturing India’s startup culture that would further drive our economic growth, support entrepreneurship, and enable large-scale employment opportunities.

Sustained Government efforts in this direction have resulted in increasing the number of recognized Startups from 471 in 2016 to 72,993 in 2022 (as on 30th June 2022).

Further, DPIIT has recognized startups which are spread across 56 diversified sectors.

More than 4,500 Startups have been recognized in sectors relating to emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence, analytics, etc.

Furthermore, Department of Science and Technology (DST) had launched an umbrella programme called National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) in year 2016 for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups.

Under NIDHI, different programs range from providing fellowships to the students opting for entrepreneurship through Entrepreneurs-In-Residence (EIR) Program, Promoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring Innovators and Startups (PRAYAS) program by providing financial support for converting ideas into prototypes, availability of early stage Seed support to incubated ventures, providing mentoring and investment readiness support through Accelerators, and creating Centres of Excellence (CoE) in incubation.

To promote innovations in biotechnology sector, the Department of Biotechnology, through Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), supports and nurtures startups in the Biotechnology sector.

The major schemes are BioNEST Scheme (Bio incubators Nurturing Entrepreneurship for Scaling Technologies) and Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) schemes.

Additionally, in order to promote innovation and agripreneurship by providing financial support and nurturing the incubation ecosystem Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana- Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied Sector Rejuvenation (RKVY-RAFTAAR) scheme has launched “Innovation and Agri-entrepreneur development” programme, as a component.

Startups under the programme are taking up projects in various fields of agriculture and allied sectors like Agro-processing, Food Technology & Value Addition, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Block Chain Technology (BCT), precision farming and Digital agriculture, and Block Chain technology among others.

The Innovations for Defence Excellence(iDEX) was launched by the Department of Defense Production, Ministry of Defense, with the aim to achieve self-reliance and foster innovation and technology development in Defense and Aerospace by engaging Industries, R&D institutes and academia and provide them grants to carry out R&D.

The startups receive upto Rs 1.50 Crore as grant for development of innovative prototypes.

They also receive enormous support from iDEX’s partner Incubators at IITs, IIMs and other private incubators spread all over the country.

Under the Atal Innovation Mission, the Government has set up Atal Incubation Centres (AIC) to incubate startups in various sectors.

It has also launched Atal New India Challenge (ANIC) program to directly aid startups with technology-based innovations that solve sectoral challenges of national importance and societal relevance.

The Government has also operationalized 26 Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in diverse areas of national interest for driving self- sufficiency and creating capabilities to capture new and emerging technology areas.

These domain specific CoEs are being established pan India with the participation of the Central Government, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), State Government(s), industry partnership and venture capital firms.

These CoEs act as important enablers to promote innovation in emerging technologies.

Further, Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE) Scheme, launched by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, has a multi-pronged approach in diverse areas of electronics, information and communications technology and management.

It aims to assist institutions of higher learning to strengthen their technology incubation centers and enable young entrepreneurs to initiate technology startup companies for commercial exploitation of technologies developed by them.