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If all goes well, we might soon get to see a Shark Tank alike show on the Indian television screens. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has reportedly given a go-ahead to a government-run show on the lines of the aforementioned famous American show, where entrepreneurs seeking investments for their businesses pitch their ideas to a panel of potential investors.

Through the show, the government aims to promote startup culture in the country, which currently has a large ecosystem of 4,500 startups – the third largest in the world. The programme is expected to be broadcasted on autonomous Government of India founded public service broadcaster Doordarshan, entertainment channel, radio and digital mediums.

According to the proposal, there would be one round of “screening” and two rounds of “evaluation” for the startups to appear on the show. Reportedly, though the DIPP is currently facing some troubles when it comes to arranging the capital, but its secretary Ramesh Abhishek has already given his in-principle approval recently.

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In order to draw exceptional results, the DIPP is reportedly also planning to get a TV production house on the board which will be overseeing the production, implementation and execution of the show. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) is expected to become the coordinating agency to manage the daily operations of the show. In fact, the industrial body has already informed the government that the show would be requiring a budget of Rs 64 crore. While Rs 34 crore of the amount will be contributed by states and sponsors, the responsibility of the rest 30 crore will fall on DIPP.

The applications for the show would be sourced through online and offline outreach means so as to reach as many young entrepreneurs of the country as possible. After this, a filtering process would take place and the final participants would be chosen for the show. According to DIPP, the main aim behind the whole outreach programme is to encourage startups and entrepreneurs from each and every state to come forward.

During the first evaluation round, the selected startups will have to participate in offline events, where they would be required to pitch their their business plan to a panel of investors and mentors. At this stage, 440 startups would be selected, out of which 35 would be bestowed upon the title of “regional winners.”

These regional winners will then move on to the next round of evaluation, also called as the “grand finale”. According to DIPP, these 35 selected ones will have to go through an extensive workshop of seven days, after which they will compete with each other in front of an esteemed investors. The next step would involve these selected startups presenting their ideas to a panel of investors, who will analyse and assess them on their business potential and make funding offers if they’re interested in a business in lieu of an equity stake in the startup. This particular round will be shown on television.

In order to oversee the governance of the programme, a steering committee would be formed that would have representatives from the HRD Ministry, Department of Biotechnology, NITI Aayog, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as well as Axis Bank and Yes Bank.

Further, for a smooth implementation of the whole programme, a task force will be constituted with a partner leading in each region, who will be given the responsibility of execution of the entire show. Their duties will include running daily operations and managing all deliverables, timelines, agencies and interfacing regularly with all sponsors and partners in each of the regions.

In order to sustain the momentum of entrepreneurial spirit in the country, the stakeholders of the show have already decided to hold follow up events/seasons of the show. At a meeting held on November 9th last year regarding the show, it was also decided that the top 60 finalists from the programme will be given a reward of Rs 10 lakhs each to help them in the startup journey.

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