In just a few years, Indian startup ecosystem has undergone an unprecedented transformation from 340 startups in 2016 to a staggering 1,15,000 in 2023. Over the past few years (2015-2022), the number of incubators has increased 7 times and the number of incubators by 9. investors and a 15-fold increase in total startup funding, reveals the National Startup Report 2022.
At the heart of this remarkable journey is the Startup initiative in India, a catalyst that not only fueled growth but became synonymous with India’s entrepreneurial spirit. Today, the country enters the 8th year of the Startup India Initiative. This day is celebrated as National Startup Day.
To mark this occasion, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal extends his best wishes to the country’s talented entrepreneurs, while also expressing his gratitude to Prime Minister Modi.
Celebrating 8️⃣ incredible years of Indian startup! 🇮🇳
A result from the PM @Narendra Modi Thanks to ji’s visionary leadership, this initiative is taking our country’s startup ecosystem to greater heights.
On the #NationalStartupDayI send my best wishes to our talented entrepreneurs who… pic.twitter.com/OuIvrc3GP5
– Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) January 16, 2024
On this occasion to celebrate innovation and ideas, we take a closer look at the Startup India Initiative, India’s vibrant startup ecosystem, What is National Startup Day and its significance?
India Startup Initiative
Launched on January 16, 2016, Startup India is a flagship initiative of the Government of India, intended to catalyze startup culture and build a strong and inclusive ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India. This dynamic initiative has helped shape the startup ecosystem, providing fertile ground for ideas and businesses to flourish. Anchored by key pillars such as the Seed Fund Scheme, the Fund of Funds Schemethe Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups, the MAARG Mentoring Platform, the National Startup Awards and the State Ranking Framework, it has created a strong support system that nurtures the aspirations of visionary entrepreneurs.
Beyond simple statistics, Startup India has rolled out targeted programs that address specific needs within the ecosystem. Initiatives such as ASCEND, designed to accelerate the caliber of startups and entrepreneurial momentum in the Northeast region, Women for Startups, which empowers women entrepreneurs, and Startup Angels, which encourages budding angel investors, reflect an approach nuanced that meets various aspirations.
Indian startup ecosystem
The country’s talented workforce, spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, and digital transformation have made it the third largest startup ecosystem in the world and is growing steadily. It ranks second in quality of innovation and ninth in terms of funding for startups and scaleups. The number of recognized startups has grown by 120% (CAGR) in the last 7 years and stands at over one lakh startups as of October 2023. Startup coverage has increased six times in the last seven years with a presence in nearly 670+ districts across the country. Nearly 50% of recognized startups are based in tier 2 and 3 cities. As of December 2023, India is home to a total of 112 unicorns with a total value of ~INR 30 Cr. Out of the total number of unicorns, 45 unicorns with a total value of ~INR 8.5 L Cr were born in 2021 and 22 unicorns with a total value of ~INR 2.5 L Cr were born in 2022.
Growth Drivers of Indian Startup Ecosystem
Companies are realizing the disruptive potential of start-ups and are therefore partnering/investing in them. Examples of business support:
- Facebook, in partnership with Startup India, provided cash grants of $50,000 each to the selected top 5 startups.
- Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women program provides women entrepreneurs around the world with business and management training, mentoring, networking and access to capital.
- The Microsoft Ventures accelerator program in India recently welcomed 16 startups.
The Indian government understands the value of working with disruptive innovators across the value chain and using their innovations to improve public service delivery. Examples of such programs are:
- The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying has launched a grand challenge in association with Startup India to award the best startups in 5 categories, INR 10 lakhs.
- The Small Industries Development Bank of India has launched a scheme to provide assistance to existing small and medium enterprises in need of capital for growth.
- More than 26 states nationwide have startup policies.
The impact of this support is clearly reflected in the staggering figures. In 2022 alone, Indian companies managed to secure a remarkable investment of $42 billion, which is an extraordinary jump from the $16 billion raised the previous year. This meteoric rise not only highlights the resilience and potential of the Indian startup community, but also positions India as a formidable player on the global entrepreneurial stage.
What is National Startup Day?
National Startup Day, an initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was officially declared on January 16, 2022, marking the founding day of Startup India. This strategic move underlines the pivotal role that startups play in shaping the trajectory of the new India, as Modi highlighted during the inauguration. These innovative companies have helped propel India from 81st to 40th position in the Global Innovation Index, a testament to their transformative impact.
The main goal of National Startup Day is to celebrate and champion the spirit of entrepreneurship, fostering a resilient and thriving startup ecosystem. The vision goes beyond mere economic progress, aiming to make India a nation where people become job creators rather than just job seekers. This monumental initiative is part of broader efforts to cultivate an environment where innovation flourishes, propelling India to new heights on the global stage.
On the occasion of this important day, the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), which is under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, has designated an entire week as India Startup Innovation Weekwhich will take place from January 10 to 16. This extended celebration highlights the commitment to nurturing and promoting entrepreneurship, recognizing the profound impact of startups on India’s socio-economic landscape.
India is proud to have secured its position as the third largest ecosystem, a testament to the phenomenal growth experienced by Indian startups in recent years. At the forefront of this push is the unwavering support provided by the government through initiatives such as the Startup India programme, fostering a conducive climate for entrepreneurial aspirations.
National Startup Day 2024
Although no official theme has been announced for this year’s festivities, the previous year focused on the compelling theme “Today’s Founders, Tomorrow’s Leaders.” The upcoming week-long celebrations promise to serve as a collaboration hub for innovators, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts.
The inaugural address of this vibrant week was delivered by Rajesh Kumar Singh, Secretary, DPIIT, on January 11, 2024. With the theme ‘Startups Unleash Infinite Potential’, Singh’s address marked the start of the celebratory activities, coinciding with the tenth Vibrant. Gujarat Global Summit in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
Simultaneously, a range of events are being organized across the country to commemorate the groundbreaking innovations of Indian entrepreneurs. These include dedicated startup workshops, mentoring sessions, stakeholder roundtables and engaging roundtable discussions, among other enriching activities. Additionally, from January 10-17, a series of eight live virtual Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions are scheduled, featuring key players in the startup ecosystem, including incubators, accelerators, investors, mentors, unicorns, corporations, startups, universities and government officials, collectively contributing to the growth of the ecosystem.
Five specialized mentoring sessions, focused on “How to Start a Business,” will cover critical topics such as understanding business structures, incorporating entities and developing comprehensive business plans.
The culmination of this celebration will be the India National Startup Day Summit and Awards 2024, which will take place on February 23, 2024 in Bangalore. These awards are a laudable initiative, recognizing and rewarding exceptional startups and ecosystem catalysts that are pioneering innovative products or solutions, building scalable businesses with significant job generation or business creation potential. of wealth and highlight a measurable social impact.
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