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Financing Norms for Innovation Driven Startups Must be Simplified: President of India

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NEW DELHI: Addressing a roundtable on start-up, incubation and financing innovations on the last day of the Festival of Innovations at Rashtrapati Bhavan here, the President said that about 10 lakh technology students pass out in India every year and “unless we invest in 10-20,000 ideas annually, we are unlikely to see a major breakthrough”.

He said the present level of financing of innovation-based start-ups is only about a couple of thousands every year.

The President stressed the need for going beyond traditional paradigms and creating a system of entrepreneurship and innovation in which youth were job creators rather than job seekers.

He said the real concern for policy planners was that much of the finance came at too late a stage in the life cycle of enterprise, leading to a large number of ideas getting aborted before turning into products or services.

“We, therefore, have to ask ourselves the question whether our policy and institutional arrangements for financing of innovation-based start-ups need change. The answer would be an unequivocal ‘yes’,” he said.

The President said financing of innovations and early-stage ventures should become far less complex. “This must necessarily also be accompanied by attitudinal change — we must learn to celebrate and learn from failures in the same way as we celebrate success.”

Noting that the Atal Innovation Mission had created tinkering labs in more than 500 schools, the President said that the emerging ecosystem must be backed with similar support at the community, district and regional levels.

“Every Navodaya Vidyalaya should have incubation centre, which enable and encourage children to take risks at an early age, and each district a community innovation lab. Policy initiatives need to be put in place for improving both innovation exposure and initiatives in government schools,” he said.

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