Nirmala Sitharaman, the Commerce and Industry Minister yesterday launched the Startup India Virtual Hub to encourage Indian entrepreneur. It is an online platform for all stakeholders to discover, connect and engage with each other.

Commenting on the development, Sitharaman said, “Startup India Virtual Hub is an effort to create a marketplace where all the stakeholders can interact, exchange knowledge, and enable each other to grow. It will streamline the lifecycle of existing and potential startups, helping them access the right resources at the right time.”

The Virtual Hub is a dynamic and interactive platform that will facilitate learning and development, networking, mentorship, funding, etc. for startups. It will host startups, investors, funds, mentors, academia, incubators, accelerators, corporates, Government bodies and more. The basic principle behind developing this platform is to aggregate different offerings of the ecosystem and enable discovery by the right audience.

“The Hub attempts to solve the problem of information asymmetry and lack of access to knowledge, tools, and experts, especially in the nascent ecosystems across Tier II and III towns,” said the Commerce and Industry Minister.

The Hub will act as a nodal platform and will enable users to connect with ecosystem stakeholders, access free learning resources, tools and templates on legal, HR, accounting and regulatory issues and discussion forums. The Hub has also aggregated over 50 relevant Government schemes/programs.

In the next phase, the platform will also aggregate schemes available across various state governments. To provide a better user experience, the platform has been enabled to build smart intelligence along with Chat Bots to automatically collate, update information and respond to queries.

Startup India Hub has also partnered with various organizations to onboard entrepreneurs and investors, as well as build knowledge modules. To ensure accessibility across various platforms, dedicated apps are also available on both Android and iOS.

Not only this, during the launch, Minister also announced a new initiative, wherein a Startup exchange program amongst the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) nations would be organized which will enable startups from South Asian region to exchange new ideas and promoting interaction among them.

Speaking about the initiative, Minister said that she will be working towards having a SAARC country meet for startups and this event can act as a platform for exchanging ideas, which can be mutually beneficial and can be worked out. Further, she asked startups to share ideas about the people who can be invited for the meet.

In next couple of months, if ministry received the feedback then by December the meeting can be organised where Startups from SAARC country can come to India and share ideas.

Apart from this, the ministry is also planning to work in certain districts to identify schools and help them qualify to get tinkering labs under the Atal Innovation Mission.

“Ministry is working on modalities to facilitate the exchange of ideas between startups of India and Germany,” concludes the commerce and Industry Minister.

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