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Maharashtra to launch another VC fund to encourage startups

Maharashtra is mulling to start another venture capital fund to encourage startups as part of its upcoming policy on the IT and ITeS sector, a senior official said on Friday.

The state is also creating three nodes for startups in various pockets of the state, including the creation of dedicated space where startups can move in with ease, and an incubation hub along the lines of Hyderabad’s T-hub, Baldev Singh, Additional Chief Secretary for Industries, said during an event.

Singh said the state already runs a venture capital fund with SIDBI, where it has invested in over 20 startups and is studying another 100 more companies for funding.

“You will see very soon we are coming up with a new IT-ITeS policy and emerging technologies, where we are setting up a VC fund for the startups and fintechs. And you will always be welcome who will have the ideas worth exploring and worth implementing,” he said.

Maharashtra is planning to come up with three nodes to help the startup ecosystem as part of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project.

There will be an ‘M-Hub’ at Mahape in Navi Mumbai on the lines of the ‘T-hub’ in Hyderabad, which will help incubate startups, he said, adding the state already has an incubation facility at the site.

Besides, Singh said dedicated space will be offered at an industrial township near Aurangabad and one near the Dighi port for startups.

In both these spaces, the physical infrastructure will be created by the state government, and the entities can just move in on a plug-and-play model, where they will pay a share of revenues without any upfront investments.

Maharashtra — which already has a single-window clearance mechanism for industries called ‘Maitri’ — is now thinking of creating a ‘national integrated portal’ for businesses, which is available for an entrepreneur from any part of the country to startup in the state, Singh said.

Singh was speaking at an event to announce the culmination of the fourth edition of the ‘Maharashtra startup week’ in Mumbai organised by the Maharashtra State Innovation Society (MSInS).

Speaking at the same event, Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Nawab Malik said 1,700 applications were received by the state, of which 100 pitched their ideas. Two dozen of the selected startups will be getting orders of Rs 15 lakh each from the government as encouragement.

Malik said the Tatas and Birlas are a product of the 18th century, and if “we need to have defining companies of the 21st century, the government will have to procure from startups and encourage them”.

He added the government will also come out with a policy on procurements from startups.

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