A COHESIVE & VIBRANT STARTUP ECOSYSTEM IN GOA

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Panaji:- July 8, 2020 ::: Post Covid19, Goa was the first Indian State which provided direct financial assistance and support to Certified Startups in terms of grants and incentives. These funds have been disbursed through various schemes which are notified under the Goa Startup Policy 2017. There are 14 different schemes for Startups such as Seed Capital Scheme, Salary Reimbursement Scheme, Reimbursement Scheme for charges/lease/expenses paid by Startups for Co-Working, Leased/Privately owned office spaces, etc.

Goa Startup Policy was launched by the late Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar. The policy was formulated with an objective of fostering innovation and entrepreneurship amongst the Goan population. The purpose was to support Entrepreneurs and Startups, which will take Goa on the path of new economic development and generate local employment opportunities. Carrying the same ethos, under the leadership of  Chief Minister of Goa Dr. Pramod Sawant, the Government during this pandemic time, have given a cumulative assistance amounting to Rs. Rs 41,68,631.00 to 13 Startups.

Around 50+ out of the 88 registered Startups have received financial and non-financial assistance from the State Government. According to Department of Information Technology, the startups which had applied for various incentives through the Goa State Startup portal were scrutinized and put forth for approval of the High Powered Committee. Only in the case of Seed Capital Funds, the applicants were invited to pitch before a Panel of Experts which included startup ecosystem enablers from the industry, academia, incubators and investors; the Startups approved and selected by this Panel of Experts were also placed before the High- Powered Committee. The High-Powered Committee comprised of the Chief Minister, Minister for Information Technology, Chief Secretary, Secretary (IT), Secretary (Industries) and 4 nominated personnel from the industry. Only after approval from the High Powered Committee are any incentives disbursed to the applicants.

The Minister for Information Technology, Smt. Jennifer Monserrate updated that the Government of Goa has disbursed financial incentives to the tune of Rs 92,98,717.00 till date under the Goa Startup Policy 2017 to 21 Goa Startups. Out of this Rs 77,92,135 total has been disbursed to cumulative 19 Start-ups in the last 9 months. These funds have been disbursed as per the various financial incentives & schemes notified under the Startup Policy – 2017.

During these turbulent times, the State Government realized the need to encourage startups and has acted decisively as well. In another attempt to promote the Startups in the State, the State Government has recently adopted the General Financial Rules – 2017 (GFR – 2017). Adoption of GFR – 2017 would be a boon to the Startups as it eases public procurement norms for Startups (ex. relaxation for registered Startups on clauses of turnover, prior experience and Ernest Money Deposit (EMD)). Startup can even offer their products/services on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) Portal launched by Government of India. GeM is game changing the way Government and Government undertakings are sourcing products, services and solutions and it is envisaged that the Startups will hugely benefit from the same.

The Government of Goa hopes that extending such assistance will foster the Goa Startups’ to emerge “Better and Stronger” after this Covid 19 pandemic.

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