Employees work at computers inside a startup company’s head office in Mumbai (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Startup Street: Christmas Comes Early For Startups, Courtesy SEBI 

Dear startups, this week there’s good news from the government as new efforts are unveiled to boost your prospects. Read on...

SEBI Makes It Easier For Startups To Score

SEBI headquarters in Mumbai (Photographer: Santosh Verma/Bloomberg)
SEBI headquarters in Mumbai (Photographer: Santosh Verma/Bloomberg)

In great news for startups, India’s securities regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has relaxed funding rules for ‘angel’ investments.

A single startup can now have as many as 200 angel investors, four times the earlier limit of 49.

The minimum investment cap has been brought down to Rs 25 lakh from the earlier Rs 50 lakh. What’s more, startups also get more time to tap into angel investments. SEBI has now allowed startups to receive angel investments till they are five years old. The earlier age limit was three years.

Angel investors have been given more ‘exit’ flexibility. The lock-in requirement for venture capital undertakings has been reduced from three years to one year. Add to that the modification that now allows Indian angel funds to invest up to 25 percent of their ‘investable corpus’ in overseas venture capital undertakings.

Most of these changes had been recommended by a panel set up by SEBI, under the chairmanship of Infosys co-founder, Narayana Murthy, and are expected boost the startup sector and the government’s ‘Startup India, Standup India’ drive.

India Needs Better B-Schools, Says President Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee lights the lamp at the 15th anniversary of the Indian Business School, Mohali (Source: Twitter/@RashtrapatiBhvn) 
President Pranab Mukherjee lights the lamp at the 15th anniversary of the Indian Business School, Mohali (Source: Twitter/@RashtrapatiBhvn) 

Education and growth are feathers of the same bird. For India’s startup space to grow and prosper, it is important for the contributors to receive education and training and a chance to develop their skills.

That is exactly what President Pranab Mukherjee suggested in his speech at the 15th anniversary of the Indian Business School (ISB) on November 20.

India has potential to have 10,000 startup firms in next few years but many business schools lack quality and standards, Mukherjee said according to the Press Trust of India.

Soon after the address, the President also shared his comments on social media.

7 Startups Accelerate to Silicon Valley

A man on an electric scooter passes by Google Inc.’s headquarters (Photographer: Kimberly White/Bloomberg News.)
A man on an electric scooter passes by Google Inc.’s headquarters (Photographer: Kimberly White/Bloomberg News.)

Seven Indian startups will join the third class of the Google Launchpad Accelerator programme in January 2017, in San Francisco.

Flyrobe, RentoMojo, Hashlearn, Curofy, Happy Adda Studios, Playment and Kapture CRM, are the lucky seven, according to a PTI news report.

The startups will receive training and free equity worth $50,000 from Google. Moreover, the technology giant will also take them to its headquarters, in the “heart of Silicon Valley”, for the training, according to the programme’s website. Other perks include marketing opportunities and a chance to work with Google for six months.

The Indian tech startups will be joined by others from Latin American and Asian countries.

Over the last one year, 13 Indian startups have participated in the programme and many have already gained from the programme and have successfully raised funding. 
Paul Ravindranath G, manager, Launchpad Accelerator Program

A Startup ‘Gurukul’ On Facebook

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Startup India initiative reached out to the masses through a Facebook live on Wednesday to answer whatever questions or queries people had.

The open-to-all forum was joined by Reetu Jain, director concern of startups in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Rajat Tandon, senior director, Nasscom who also looks after the 10,000 startups initiative, R Raghunandan with the International Society Of Business Administrators and Padmaja Ruparel co-founder and president of the Indian Angel Network.

During the 40 minute long Facebook live broadcast, they addressed questions ranging from 'what does innovation truly mean' to patent filing and prospects of startups in different sectors.

Key takeaways from that conversation

  • There is a lot of scope in the dairy sector as India is primarily an agrarian economy. In fact, the segment has a lot of scope for innovation, said Ruparel.
  • Nasscom will soon be holding an event to promote healthcare startups, similar to the way the government has been supporting fintech startups, said Tandon. This event is aimed at providing clarity and opportunity to startups in the segment.
  • When it comes to innovation, the team and its skills hold the most value and can make or break the startup, said Jain.

Responding to the questions posed, Jain also said that the government has made it easier for startups to be recognised and registered through real-time recognition on the DIPP page.