To provide financing support to startups, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has launched a Rs 100 Crore programme called National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI). The programme is based on a multi-stage action plan, which is aimed at running a cluster of new schemes. All the schemes taken under this programme will benefit maximum number of technology based young startups. NIDHI main aim is providing help to startups across the country in terms of both funding and incubation support.
The key schemes taken under the programme include:
- NIDHI Prayas
- NIDHI Feed Support System
- NIDHI Centres for Excellence
Under NIDHI Prayas scheme, DST will set up 10 Prayas centres all along its incubators. These centres will work to address the gap between idea and creating a sample product for funding. To provide funding for early stage startups “NIDHI Feed Support” system will work. Whereas, to take excellent startup ideas at global level “NIDHI Centres of Excellence” is there. Harkesh Mittal, head of the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board at the Department of Science and Technology said: “DST will soon revise the total funding limit to startups at supported incubators from up to Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore. The revised investment limit is soon to be implemented.”
So far DST has supported 100 technology focused incubators across the country and aims to help about 15-20 another incubators pan India. It offers a seed incentive to every startup that is part of its incubators. In turn, incubator invests the same in the form of debt or equity in the companies.
The main stakeholders of NIDHI scheme include different Govt. and non Govt. departments, ministries of the central government, state governments, institutions, angel investors, VCs and many others who wants to a part of the growing Indian Startup ecosystem.