Telangana, one of the youngest states in India, has been the first state to roll out an Innovation Policy to encourage entrepreneurs and start-ups. The key focus areas of the policy include IoT, healthtech, sustainability, fintech and is based around 5 broad pillars:
Developing physical infrastructure & program management capabilities
The state government shall anchor all its entrepreneurship related efforts to T-Hub, which is a private partnership between the Telangana government, 3 institutes (IIIT-H, ISB & NALSAR) and key private sector leaders.
- The aim is to develop 1 million sq ft of work space dedicated to start-ups by 2022. The state government will partner with 20 global accelerators/incubators to build facilities in PPP mode.
- Build plug-and-play work spaces across different sectors and locations of the state. A 3,00,000 sq ft facility that will house 900 start-ups shall be completed by 2022 in the capital.
- The government will work with private real estate companies to build affordable housing/dorms for entrepreneurs. A separate fund for infrastructure for incubation facilities will be built under the PPP mode.
- A start-up council with CIO and relevant ministers and government officers will be created to review the progress and make modifications on an annual basis.
Focus on creating sustainable funding models
- Early-stage investing vehicle T-Fund (Telangana Innovation Fund) will be launched in concert with leading global investors with an initial target of Rs 2,000 crore.
- In addition, there will be a T-SEED fund (initial size of Rs 250 crore) to fund start-ups in the seed stage and a ‘Phoenix fund’ to identify and attract entrepreneurs who have attempted at least one venture previously.
Develop human capital for learning, experimentation, innovation
- The policy aims at encouraging universities to introduce the concept of ‘Student Entrepreneur’ in residence. Outstanding students who wish to pursue entrepreneurship can take a break of 1-3 years, after the first year, to pursue entrepreneurship full time.
- Start-ups in the e-governance space shall be provided access to government data to roll out pilots.
The government shall anchor all its entrepreneurship related efforts to T-Hub, which is a private partnership between state government, 3 institutes (IIIT-H, ISB & NALSAR) and key leaders.
Proactive engagement with industry to promote and identify innovation
The policy will facilitate interactions and engagement with technology leaders and high impact companies. A Chief Innovation Officer, reporting into an Advisory council, shall be appointed for the same. An Innovation cell within the IT ministry will also be constituted which shall have 2 Innovation Officers for large corporates and start-ups and SMEs.
Encourage start-ups in rural and social enterprise space
The government shall set up (either on its own or in partnership with a private enterprise) a ‘Rural and Social Enterprise’ incubator/accelerator for the growth of start-ups in this sector. There will be outposts of T-Hub built in Tier II cities of Telangana that will act as focal points for enterprises focusing on these regions. A specific ‘Impact Fund’ that will focus on rural and social enterprises will also be created. The list of incentives have been detailed here.
What’s in it for me?
The state government keeps inviting applications to apply for batches under the policy. After selection, the start-ups are provided a slew of incentives, performance grant, patent expenditure reimbursement, SGST (state goods and services tax) reimbursement among others.
Eligible startups can apply for the second batch of incentives here.