Pune Science Weekly: MeitY and Venture Centre to propel IT startups through Samridh Accelerator programme

In an attempt to support digital technology-based startups, Pune-based Venture Centre, an incubation hub under the aegis of CSIR – National Chemical Laboratory, recently launched the Samridh Accelerator programme. The six-month programme will be conducted in partnership with the implementation agency—the Startup Hub of the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY).

Information Technology-based startups can enroll for the Samridh Accelerator programme to scale up their activities and improve ways to attract investments.

The Startup India mission was launched in 2015 and to date, nearly 75,000 startups have been registered and are working in the fields of science, medical equipment and diagnostics, and defence sectors.

But since the coronavirus pandemic, a number of these startups have taken a hit, as government support has either shrunk or dwindled significantly. As a result, sustainability of the existing startups has been a matter of grave concern, officials involved noted.

“Scalability is important in achieving economic growth. The Samridh scheme will be a great opportunity for market-ready startups to scale up through international market expansion, portfolio diversification and improving customer connect,” said Jitendra Vijay, CEO, MeitY Startup Hub.

The Samridh Accelerator programme will facilitate an investor network including 1Crowd, Indian Angel Network, Inflexor Ventures, Pentathlon Ventures, Enzia, BioAngels, and Social Alpha to interact with the market-ready startups who aim to scale up their activities.

The pilot phase is planned over two years during which the programme’s target is to support 300 startups. Existing startups over three years and upcoming accelerators will be granted fund support up to Rs 40 lakh each.

While MeitY plans to continue Samridh beyond two years, it is planning to further the scheme’s scope to women entrepreneurs, startups beyond tier-I cities, and the underprivileged sections of society. Selected startups will also bag an opportunity to pitch before investors and seek investments ranging from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 400 lakh.

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