By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, December 14, 2019: In a bid to boost startups in the state, the Odisha government on Friday announced to float a Rs 100 crore to provide seed funding via fund-of-funds (FoFs) to Odisha-based startups for the next three years.

Chief secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy said a high level committee has decided to set up this fund to strengthen the startup ecosystem in the state and scale up capital to Odisha-based startups. Once approved by the state government, the fund is expected to be floated to the startups in the next financial year.

This is expected to attract the matching amount of investment from various angel investors, private venture capital firms for Odisha-based startups.

Earlier, a committee headed Tripathy analyzed various models of startups fund in the country and then decided to go ahead with FoFs. The committee consists of Hemant Sharma, commissioner and secretary of Industries and MSME Department; Ashok Kumar Meena, principal secretary of finance; Saurabh Garg, principal secretary of agriculture; and Dr. Mrutyunjay Suar, CEO of KIIT TBI.

Odisha in last three years has some 534 startups since the launch of Odisha Startup Policy in 2016. The Odisha government had announced that it aims to emerge as one of the top three startup hubs in the country by 2020 and facilitate the growth of over 1000 startups in the next five years.

The state at present offers a monthly allowance grant of Rs 20,000 and offers Rs 15 lakh for product development and marketing to nascent startups. Besides, the state houses over 12 incubators to support startups in the state. Odisha also is shortly planning to set up Startup Hub here, officials said.

It is worth mentioning here that last year that the Odisha government had partnered with Google to boost the startup ecosystem in the state. Through this, the government had selected 250 startups that were said to partner with Google for support and guidance. In June 2018, the Odisha government, in order to promote the startup ecosystem in the state had said that it would recognise 20 startups every month.

Interestingly, just a year back, in December last year, the department of industrial policy & promotion (DIPP) had awarded Odisha the title of a ‘top performer states’ for its startup-friendly policy and startup ecosystem.

To boost up startups in the copuntry, the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in 2016 had sanctioned Rs 10,000 crore for startups through SEBI registered alternative investment funds (AIF) for the Startup India scheme. Through FoFs, the state government will be floating the fund to help growth-focused startups in the state, sources indicated.

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