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Let 10,000 Start-Ups Bloom

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Time is ripe for tech entrepreneurship evangelism in India and March is the season for start-up boosters. With the launch of the logo, 10,000 Start-ups on 20 March, Nasscom introduced a programme for incubating, funding and supporting 10,000 technology start-ups in India over the next ten years. Added bonus? A 5-fold increase in start-up employment.

The programme, supported by Indian Angel Network and supported by Google, Microsoft and Verisign, saw Eric Schmidt, Chairman, Google Inc. giving tips to aspiring/successful CEOs.

Som Mittal, President Nasscom, said, “10,000 Start-ups aims to catalyse the technology start-up ecosystem by 5X and create a significant national impact on employment, GDP, innovation and entrepreneurship indices. This is one of the largest initiatives that Nasscom is undertaking and will be vital to realise the industry vision of $300 billion by 2020”.

The programme will focus on activities to foster entrepreneurship, building entrepreneurial capabilities at scale and providing robust early stage support through incubation, mentorship and angel funding.

They will provide a funding of Rs 5 lakh and Rs 2 crore in the early stages of a start-up with three to four months of incubation and acceleration. There will be a start-up kit consisting of hosting credits and other technology and business tools valued over $25,000.

Rajan Anandan, VP and MD, Google India said: "With over 150 million internet users and growing, the internet in India presents enormous opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship. At Google we are very excited about the possibilities that India represents and are committed to extend all the support to make this initiative a roaring success. We will work very closely with Nasscom and all the players in the ecosystem to boost the technology innovation rate in India."

The three core areas the programme will focus on include:

Evangelising and creating awareness about technology entrepreneurship as a preferred career option. India has an organised workforce of 30 million of which 3 million are IT professionals.

Engaging deeply with aspiring entrepreneurs through digital / social channels and start-up support groups to create entrepreneurial capability at scale. The 10,000 Start-ups programme will facilitate over 7,000 start-up events such as hackathons, investor roadshows and best practices workshops across 30 cities. Tech talks and white space discussions will help young entrepreneurs identify global technology trends and needs.

Incubating and facilitating funding of 10,000 start-ups through partnerships with some of the leading incubators / accelerators and angel networks in India. 10,000 Start-ups will also extend support to incubators / funding partners in the form of industry connects and co-working infrastructure and a start-up kit consisting of hosting credits and other technology and business tools valued over $25,000.

Nasscom has a long history of initiatives to promote Indian start-up ecosystem through programme such as BizSpark, BizSpark Plus and the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure. "We will continue to work with the startup ecosystem of India, both on our own, and in partnership with industry bodies like Nasscom. We believe that disruptive technologies and opportunities in the Indian market supported by this collaborative initiative will propel technology entrepreneurship in India to the next level," said Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India.

Incidenatally, Techcircle DEMO India 2013, the India edition of the technology products launch platform DEMO, also started on 20 March 2013 in Bangalore with 29 plus companies showcasing their consumer and enterprise products.