Rural incubation centres to promote startups in Bihar

PATNA: Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday stressed the need for rural incubation centres in state to promote entrepreneurship. He said the state government is setting up incubation centres in educational institutes in order to promote entrepreneurship among youth.

Nitish was speaking at the fourth Bihar entrepreneurship summit organized by Bihar Entrepreneurs Association (BEA) in association with state industries department, IIT-Patna, IIM-Kolkata, HDFC Innovations and FICCI. The organizers claimed that nearly 1,000 startup firms from across the country participated in the summit. Besides, 20 selected startups showcased their products and services in the expo.

“Promotion of startups is an integral part of the state government’s seven resolves in pursuance of which we have came up with Bihar StartUp Policy, 2016. The policy was amended this year and approved by the state cabinet on March 17. We have set aside a corpus of Rs500 crore as startup venture capital, which would be given to promising startups,” the CM said.

Sources said 98 applications have been shortlisted by the state industries department for giving them Rs10 lakh as seed money under the Bihar Startup Policy, 2016.

“Bihar will soon become the first state where the state government will provide seed money to budding entrepreneurs,” said BEA secretary-general Abhishek Singh.

The state cabinet on February 15 decided to allocate funds to the tune of Rs50 crore out of Rs500 crore earmarked as venture capital for startups. The policy envisages 22% of the Rs500 crore venture fund for scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) applicants.

“Entrepreneurs and business honchos from across the country present in Tuesday’s summit lauded the Bihar startup policy. The CM was also delighted to see budding entrepreneurs with unique startup ideas in various fields, including virtual reality, health, clean energy, agriculture and education, among others,” said Abhishek.

Other dignitaries present at the inaugural event included industries minister Jai Kumar Singh, chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and industries department principal secretary S Siddhartha, among others. Padma Shri professor Anil Gupta, commonly known as rural innovation guru, also addressed the participants.

Apart from the official inauguration, a pitch- in session for budding startups was also conducted by IIM-Kolkata. “Fifteen finalists out of the 600 participants from across the country made small presentations in front of the panellists during the session. The winners will get funds to the tune of Rs1 lakh collected from national and international agencies,” said Abhishek.

The second and concluding day of the summit would see three business sessions — ‘Startup Bihar’, ‘Invest in Bihar’ and ‘Non- Conventional sectors in entrepreneurship’.

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