HYDERABAD: In a bid to promote entrepreneurship, the Government of Andhra Pradesh (AP), released the country’s first-of-its-kind Innovation and Start-up Policy 2014-2020 that aims at incubating 5,000 startups and 100 incubators with over 1 million sft office space by June 2019.
The idea is to create an ecosystem to produce an entrepreneur in every family and at least one homegrown billion-dollar technology startup.
The policy, which complements the AP IT policy, aims at mobilising Rs 1,000 crore venture capital and offers shared infrastructure, accelerators/incubators, human capital and funding for startups.
As part of the policy, the government will create an initial innovation fund of Rs 100 crore for entrepreneurs and businesses. It does not invest directly into startup companies but will participate in SEBI-approved venture capital funds, up to 15 per cent as a limited partner. The VC Fund, however, will invest in startups directly and will be professionally managed like a PE/Venture Fund.
A world-class shared infrastructure for technology product startups at zero cost and technology service startups at nominal cost, fiscal and non-fiscal incentives on par with IT industry effective single window clearances, a high-end pilot incubator from MIT, Boston, entrepreneurship bootcamps, pilot incubators at college-level for entrepreneurship training, an international startup programme to send the most brilliant startups, college and school students to leading startup destinations are some of the policy highlights.
To encourage techno-preneurs, the government will encourage universities to introduce the concept of student entrepreneur in residence, popularly known as gap year. Outstanding students who wish to pursue entrepreneurship can take a break of one year, after the first year, to pursue entrepreneurship full-ime. This may be extended to two years at the most and these two years would not be counted for the time for the maximum time for graduation.
“Even though this can be done now, our society is still not ready and thus having this as a scheme from the University would allow the parents to be comfortable and confident that this is a government-approved scheme,” the policy underscored.
Besides, universities will also be advised to upgrade course curriculum, introduce courses in entrepreneurship development to be taught by industry experts and scheme for faculty upgradation.
Interestingly, all AP universities may give 5 per cent grace marks and 20 per cent attendance every semester for student startup teams, which have at least one woman as a co-founder.
Student’s startups from first year of college may even be permitted to convert their project as final year project. These proposals may be implemented by universities with immediate effect.
To jump-start the startup ecosystem, the government will encourage existing technology business incubators (TBIs) to set up their TBIs in the State. It will also develop physical incubation infrastructure through PPP besides a New Incubation Infrastructure Development Fund for creation of social infrastructure to aid the startup ecosystem.
District-level competitions for business ideas will be held for students from 8-10th standards with a maximum grant of Rs 25,000 per idea. A maximum of 50 ideas each year would be facilitated.