The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has allocated ₹611 crore—about two-thirds of the ₹945 crore approved under the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme for a four-year period (2021-25) and has plans of seeking more funds, a senior DPIIT official has said.

The funds have been disbursed to about 160 incubators which, in turn, are distributing it to over 1,000 start-ups selected across the country.

We will be asking for more funds. In two years we have seen a jump. The popularity of the scheme is increasing. In six to ten months we can finalise (future funding requirement),” said Manmeet Nanda, Joint Secretary, DPIIT, at a press briefing on Tuesday.

Some of the top sectors that are benefiting from the scheme include education technology, food processing, agritech, electronic vehicles, and health & wellness.

  • Also read: KSUM invites applications for ‘Kerala Innovation Grant’ for start-ups

The Startup India Seed Fund Scheme was announced on January 16, 2021, and seeks to support more than 3,600 entrepreneurs through 300 incubators.

Incubators provide physical infrastructure, support for testing and validating ideas, mentorship, and other facilities to selected startups.

“It is a sector agnostic scheme,” Nanda noted, adding that funds are provided in the form of grants of up to ₹20 lakh and debt-linked instruments of up to ₹50 lakh.

The fund has a focus on tier 2/3 cities, with 99 out of 160 selected incubators located in such cities.

The DPIIT is also planning a third-party independent review of the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme to evaluate how it has benefitted startups and incubators, Nanda said. “We will get a feedback on how we can improve our work,” she said.

India has the world’s third largest start-up ecosystem with a total of 97,970 registered start-ups, as per the DPIIT.

  • Also read: SBI opens exclusive branch for start-ups

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