Minister for Information Technology Rohan Khaunte on Saturday said the government wants to set up in Goa the office of the National Association of Software and Services Companies, a trade association of Indian IT sector.
“We have an ambitious plan for opening NASSCOM office in Goa. The plan is aimed at making Goa the startup capital of the country…,” Khaunte said while speaking on the second day of the Goa Startup and Innovation Day at Maquinez Palace, Panaji.
He said the NASSCOM will help in giving strategic direction to the IT sector so as to tap Goa’s potential and build a favourable environment for exploring newer frontiers.
Earlier in the day, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu unveiled the Goa startup policy 2017 and the schemes related to the policy.
He launched the startup portal of state government in the presence of Khaunte, Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma and prominent industrialists.
The ‘Goa Angels Network’ was also launched.
Speaking on the occasion, Prabhu said that Goa has all the potential to become the startup capital of India, and that startups will be the new engine of growth for Goa.
“In the year 2017, 36 per cent growth was registered in setting up of startups. That is a tremendous success… ‘Invest India’ is a venture of the Union ministry of commerce and industries, which is working on investment opportunities in Goa,” he said.
Global venture capitalists will come down to Goa in July to discuss startup investment opportunities, the Union minister said.
Khaunte said that startups will not only be driven by the policy and incentives but other important events that will give exposure to the interested parties.
“We have several initiatives in place to empower and incentivise entrepreneurship in Goa,” the IT Minister said adding that the startup policy will bridge the gap that exists among entrepreneurs, the government, incubators, investors, accelerators, corporate partners and academia.
He said that young people coming up with promising and viable products will be incentivised with
a one-time grant of Rs 10 lakh, and that an entrepreneur can also avail a one-time loan of Rs 10 lakh from the state.
Under the reimbursement policy, the governments will reimburse about 25 per cent of the salaries paid to the local workforce in the startups. The startups will have to have minimum of 60 per cent of local employed in their establishments.
“The ambitious plan of the government is to create roughly about 2 lakh square feet of incubation space for the IT sector,” Khaunte said adding that the approach of the government is to provide conducive ecosystem by creating right infrastructure, financial support, market access and ‘ease of doing’ business.
Initially, Panaji, Porvorim and Fatorda will be taken up on the pilot basis for connecting every household with broadband, it was informed.
“Moreover EDC is coming up with a facility with a 76-seater incubation centre which will complement the startup policy…,” he said and added that the government will soon come out with electronic policy and electronic vehicle policy.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in his message to the Goa Startup and Innovation event urged the youth to take advantage of the startup policy and the schemes associated with it.
“Promotion of startup culture is not purely economic imperative but more so a social imperative. I am excited about the journey that lies ahead of us and invite the startup community across the nation, and particularly urge the youth in Goa to step forward and make the best use of policies and schemes,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, member of IT advisory council Shrinivas Dempo said that this thrust on IT startups will be supported completely by the industry.
“I thank the Mumbai Angels chapter for supporting the initiative and also the Goa Angels Network. Goa Angels Network will be the support system of the entire ecosystem,” he said.