India to incubate startup district

The country hopes to develop its first startup district with several incubation centres and labs, with some keen on choosing Mangalore as the location for the initiative.

India is set to develop its first startup district, made up of incubation centres and approximately 20 labs aimed at schools, to boost entrepreneurship and innovation in the country, the Economic Times reported today.

The government will provide funding and make sure roads, electricity and digital networks are in place to cope with the cluster, though a location has not yet been chosen.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and the NITI Aayog, a policy think-tank established by prime minister Narendra Modi, will launch a call next month to select the institution that will be in charge of the district.

Nirmala Sitharaman, commerce and industry minister and a member of parliament for the state of Karnataka, has voiced his keenness for the cluster to be built in Mangalore, a port city in the state. Karnataka already launched a wide range of initiatives over the course of 2016.

The cluster would focus on sectors of particular relevance to challenges in India, including medicine and pharmaceutical, IT, manufacturing and infrastructure, and agriculture.

The incubation centres and labs may be connected to Indian Institute of Technology Madras to enable a dialogue around best practices.

Rajat Tandon, president of Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, said: “Venture capital funding for startups is drying up and quality needs to be built… Any such support from government will be great for budding entrepreneurs.”

See more from this Government Report: India

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