New Delhi: The National Association of Software & Services (Nasscom) today announced a plan aimed at incubating, funding and supporting 10,000 technology start-ups in India over the next ten years.
Mr Som Mittal, President Nasscom, said, “10,000 Start-ups aims to catalyse the technology start-up ecosystem by 5X and create a significant national impact on employment, GDP, innovation and entrepreneurship indices. This is one of the largest initiatives that Nasscom is undertaking and will be vital to realise the industry vision of $300 billion by 2020.”
Among the attendees at the launch were Rajan Anandan, MD Google India, Saurabh Srivastava, Founder of Indian Angel Network, Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman Microsoft India and Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman Google Inc.
Schmidt had a few tips for entrepreneurs.
“Focus on recruiting. The first set of people you hire are those that set the culture. Having the right technical people matters a lot,” Schmidt said, adding, “The world is a much bigger place than you think of it. Most people underestimate what they are working on. As a start-up you can change the world.”
He also said finding the right partner to start a business is very difficult, but very essential for the growth of a company. “If you can find yourself a partner who is so embedded with you in business and you live and die with them in arguments – understanding you are alive. That is amazing,” Schmidt said.
The program plans to incubate and fund 10,000 technology start-ups facilitating a tenfold growth in them to $15 billion firms and will focus on multifold activities aimed at fostering entrepreneurship, building entrepreneurial capabilities at scale and providing robust early stage support through incubation, mentorship and angel funding.
Start-ups can benefit by receiving early stage funding between Rs 5 lakhs and Rs 2 crore, with three to four months of incubation and acceleration help, a start-up kit which will consist of technology and business tools worth $25,000. Most of all, the start-ups will benefit by striking connections to technology mentors, leaders and venture capitalists.
Nasscom has said it will focus on three key areas to achieve its goal:
1) Evangelise and create awareness about technology entrepreneurship as a preferred career option. India has an organised workforce of 30 million of which 3 million are IT professionals.
2) Engage with aspiring entrepreneurs through digital/social channels and start-up support groups to create entrepreneurial capability. The programme will see over 7,000 start-up events like hackathons, investor roadshows and best practices workshops being held across 30 cities. Tech talks and discussions will help entrepreneurs identify global technology trends and needs.
3) Incubate and facilitate funding of 10,000 start-ups through partnerships, extend support to incubators/funding partners in the form of industry connects and co-working infrastructure and a start-up kit consisting of hosting credits and other technology and business tools valued over $25,000.
“With over 150 million internet users and growing, the internet in India presents enormous opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship. At Google we are very excited about the possibilities that India represents and are committed to extend all the support to make this initiative a roaring success,” Rajan Anandan, VP and Managing Director, Google India said. “We will work very closely with Nasscom and all the players in the ecosystem to boost the technology innovation rate in India,” he added.
Some of Nasscom’s partners in the program are the Indian Angel Network, Google, Microsoft and Verisign.