The Department of Science and Technology has launched a `100-crore programme to support startups. The programme, called National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI), is aimed at helping startups across the country in terms of both funding and incubation support.
A number of schemes will be taken up under NIDHI, including NIDHI Prayas, which is focused on addressing the gap between idea and prototype funding.
Under this scheme, the department plans to set up 10 Prayas centres across incubation centres supported by it. The other schemes include NIDHI Seed Support System for funding early-stage startups and NIDHI Centres of Excellence, which will help startups go global.
Harkesh Mittal, head of the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board at the Department of Science and Technology said: “DST will soon revise the total funding limit to startups at supported incubators from up to `50 lakh to `1 crore. The revised investment limit is soon to be implemented.”
The department provides the seed amount per startup in the form of a grant to the incubator. The incubator in turn invests the same in the form of debt or equity in the companies.
DST, which has so far supported 100 technology-focused incubators across the country, plans to support another 15-20 incubators this year.
It usually supports incubators with grants up to `15 crore to set up an incubator, with the amount varying according to city and type of startups the incubator is catering to, among other factors.
Source : The Economic Times (Delhi)