deep tech startup india phase-ii: Deep tech in focus as Startup India enters phase-II on January 16

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The government will launch the second phase of Startup India programme on January 16 with a focus on deep technology startups, said officials. These startups will work in areas including semiconductor chips and related research and design areas, quantum and high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, they said.

“The first phase was all about consumer internet and consumption or service-based startups. In the next wave, in India and globally, startup innovation and value are going to come from deep tech. They will be fewer but much more valuable,” said one of the officials, who did not wish to be identified.

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The Startup India initiative, launched eight years ago, was aimed at supporting young entrepreneurs by helping them ensure compliance with rules and regulations, fast-tracking the patent application and granting process, and exempting income and capital gains tax for eligible entrepreneurs and startups respectively.

Since the second phase of the initiative will focus more on deep-tech startups, which will need more time and funds to “get their business going and achieve profitability”, the policy support needed will be greater than what has been given till now, said another official.

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“We have learned from the finer changes that had to be made to date in the initial Startup India plan. The second phase could see more support for startups in terms of stable policy and taxation, better valuation norms or research and collaboration initiatives with industry and academia,” the official said.

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The government is also likely to help eligible startups receive research and development support from global institutions, according to officials.

“So naturally, the corpus for Funds of Funds for Startups will be much higher and will have a longer gestation period as well,” the official said.

Between 2016 and 2021, more than 41,000 startups were recognised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade across 54 sectors and 224 sub-sectors. The Centre amended 39 policies to enhance the ease of doing business, raise capital and cut down on compliance norms.

“We will also encourage these deep tech startups to move into tier-2 and tier-3 towns since the need for them to stay in metro cities or tier-1 towns is not essential to their working,” said one of the officials cited earlier.

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