From the startup world – July 25

Narendra Modi's pet project is facing lot of problems

A compilation of important news from the startup world:

  1. Government improving ease of doing business for startups: Sitharaman
    The Central Go is committed toward providing an environment for startups to thrive in as India is at the forefront of an entrepreneurial revolution, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. Speaking at the ‘Startup India States’ Conference’, the ministe said she has lined up a series of meetings in the next few days with different stakeholders, including startup founders and investors to discuss and resolve the sector’s issues. Highlighting government’s efforts to improve ease of doing business, she said a startup would now require only a certificate of recognition from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for IPR-related benefits , according to a report in The Hindu. A panel of facilitators has also been constituted to provide assistance in the process, wherein, DIPP would bear the facilitation cost.
  1. Startups are the next big economic force in India  
    Asserting that startups are the next big economic force in India, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the number of tech startups will jump almost three times to 12,000 by 2020 from close to 4,400 now driven by a young and diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem. Addressing the Startup India State conference, Sitharaman also urged states to come up with startup hubs just as Gujarat and Telangana has set up iCreate and T-Hub respectively. “Startups are the next big economic force in India. Through the Start-up India initiative, we want to ensure that the momentum is accelerated. We are determined to make it a startup revolution and to ensure that every aspiring entrepreneur is able to achieve his/her potential,” the minister was reported as saying by
  1. ‘Complete ecosystem needed to foster startups’
    Despite being the start-up hub of the country, neither has Bengaluru nor any other state been able to achieve a complete entrepreneurial ecosystem especially in the field of science. Compared to the world, India continues to float on an unsteady base of scientific entrepreneurship driven towards social change. Whether it is due to a lack of willingness among entrepreneurs in colliding with scientists or an inadequate support base from the government, India has perhaps had difficulty in translating scientific ideas into entrepreneurial ventures, a report in The Times of India said. As part of the 53rd Popular Lecture Series, the IISc Alumni Association invited Prof Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann professor, Harvard University to highlight the shortcomings of the entrepreneurial environment in a developing country like India. “Primarily, the country needs a conducive investor mindset which draws away from the profit-making mentality and enables some amount of risk capital for a particular venture to grow,” remarked the professor. He added that the reason science and entrepreneurship is doing well in the United States is because of “the available infrastructure and the focus on intangible assets that supports and funds scientific ventures.”
  1. Startups in India: Govt to invest Rs 200 cr on scaling up existing incubators
    Startups in India: Government will identify 10 incubators out of existing 200 such centres and invest Rs 200 crore on scaling up their capacity, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has said. “There are 200 existing incubation centres. We will scale up 10 best incubation by 10x. We have received 120 applications for the same. We will select 10 and to each incubator we will produce Rs 20 crore,” Kant said at Startup India state’s conference, according to a report in The Financial Express. He said the government will invest Rs 20 lakh to support existing tinkering labs. “We are going to set up 100 new incubation centres this year. We have received 3,000 applications for it,” Kant said. He said the government is soon going to start a contest to find out solution for problems in India.
  1. Govt to brainstorm on fast-tracking innovations, startups
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will brainstorm with chief ministers to generate greater synergy between Centre and states to fast-track two of his most ambitious ventures — Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Start-Up India — during the meeting of Niti Aayog’s governing council, scheduled for July 30. According to highly-placed sources, the governing council, which will be meeting more than a year after its last meeting on July 18, 2015, will hold detailed deliberations on how better to channelise the two schemes aimed at encouraging innovative ideas by students and providing financial support to budding start-ups across the country, said a report in The Asian Age. Mr Modi, who is the chairman of the government’s think tank, is keen to ensure that states come on board and in the true spirit of cooperative federalism, help in promoting the two schemes at their levels also, sources said.
  1. NDTV presents its first ever Unicorn start-up awards 2016
    The world of start-ups is bursting at the seams and India is becoming the start-up capital of the world. NDTV’s series Unicorn — Chasing the start-up dream has been leading the charge in discovering the next big idea from India’s belly which can be the next billion-dollar valued start-up. Carrying forward this anticipation NDTV presents the first ever Unicorn Start-up Awards to honour those who have astonished the market with simple ideas and some great execution. The awards will witness some of the biggest mentors and venture capitalists from the start up space in attendance, including Deep Kalra, Founder and CEO, MakeMyTrip, and Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder, Shopclues & Droom. The awards will recognise the most credible dream-chasers who are going to change the way India does business with a stellar jury panel including R Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM, Suchi Mukherjee, Founder and CEO, Limeroad, and Raman Roy, a seasoned investor, to name a few.
  1. Investors continue to back startups in the online fashion segment
    Jabong’s distress is quite symptomatic of what the nascent ecommerce sector has been experiencing. Excessive discounting, heavy promotional and marketing spend and burgeoning staff expenses have taken a toll on startups that sacrificed profit in the scramble to frantically scale up the business by burning investor money. Result: the sea of red ink only gets larger, says The Economic Times. Take, for instance, Myntra. The fashion etailer posted a loss of `740 crore in 2014-15, over four times the figure of the previous year. Such wounded bottom lines, however, are hardly proving a deterrent for new players to throw their hat into the fashion etailing ring. According to Tracxn, a Bengaluru-based data analytics firm focused on startups, some 60 online fashion startups started operations this year. Overall funding in the fashion tech segment between last October and July stood at $162.24 million, making it the third most funded segment in ecommerce since January last year (after horizontal ecommerce verticals and groceries).
  1. Masayoshi Son: The ‘Bill Gates of Japan’ who masterminded Britain’s biggest tech deal
    Just two weeks separated Masayoshi Son’s private jet flying to the Turkish resort of Marmaris to court Stuart Chambers, ARM Holdings’ chairman. and his company SoftBank announcing Europe’s biggest-ever technology deal, but the Japanese billionaire has never been known for his patience. At 16, when Masa – as he is now affectionately known – moved from Kitakyushu in south-west Japan to study in San Francisco against his mother’s wishes, he managed to skip three years of high school by taking the college entry exam in three weeks, says an article in The young student convinced his teachers to bend the rules and let him use a Japanese-English dictionary, and give him extra time for the three-day test, he stayed past 11pm finishing it each night, much to the annoyance of the examiner. But by 20, he had graduated and sold his plans for a pocket language translator to Sharp for $1m.
  1. Comparing Trump and Clinton on Tech Policy
    With VP picks lined up, it’s a good time to assess the Presidential candidates’ policy positions. On tech and innovation in particular, there are stark differences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, with one candidate offering something close to a wish list for Silicon Valley, and the other supporting trade, labor, and security policies that few there would endorse. Hillary Clinton’s lengthy position paper on tech and innovation offers one big headline—she wants the Federal government to help increase access to capital for startups, particularly those outside of current major capital zones and those run by women and minority entrepreneurs. Moves in that direction would include doubling funding for the State Small Business Credit Initiative, initially launched with $1.5 billion in 2010. Republican Nominee Donald Trump’s platform and statements are, broadly, less tech-friendly than Clinton’s, with stances on trade, immigration, and speech that could stifle innovation. But tucked into those broad strokes are a few details that the tech sector could get behind.

10. Israeli tech set to shine at Rio Olympics
Israel will make its 16th appearance at the Olympic Games this August with its largest delegation of athletes ever. But Israel’s representation in Rio de Janeiro extends beyond the sporting contests to the tech arena where startups will show their prowess in security technologies, live video transmission technology, public transportation navigation, AR systems, satellite technologies and sports tech. Israeli company International Security and Defense Systems (ISDS), BriefCam and the EROS-B satellite will likely snag the most attention as they take on security. ISDS, which has been providing integrated solutions for complex security projects since 1982, is the “Official Supplier” of security solutions for the Games.





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