States Start-Up Ranking 2021: Gujarat, Karnataka, Meghalaya Declared Best Performers; Here's How Other States Fared

Nivedita Mukherjee

Jul 05, 2022, 11:38 AM | Updated 11:36 AM IST

Start-up ecosystem. (Representative image)
Start-up ecosystem. (Representative image)
  • ‘States Start-up Ranking 2021’ is an exercise aimed at ranking of states and UTs on the support in developing their start-up ecosystem and learning from each other’s best practices.
  • The Centre’s policy to leverage cooperative and competitive federalism to achieve all-round growth appears to be paying rich dividends with a slew of states including Gujarat, Karnataka and Meghalaya emerging as best performers in the third edition of the ‘States Start-up Ranking 2021’. This is an exercise aimed at ranking of states and Union Territories (UT) on the support in developing their start-up ecosystem and learning from each other’s best practices.

    This edition, following two successive rounds since 2018, with highest participation of 31 states/UTs till date and released by Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Monday, gives Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana the top performing rank among states. Jammu & Kashmir has got the top slot among UTs with other ranked states falling in categories of leaders, aspiring leaders and emerging start-up ecosystems.

    Goyal is keen that states align with neighbouring ones so as to learn from each other and more start-ups come on board the Government E-Marketplace (GeM), saying that now even the services had been brought under GeM. While a combination of policies have been supporting the momentum on the Start-up India initiative since its launch in 2016, the third edition of the ranking comes amidst the government’s increasing focus on empowering states to be the key driver in the national plan for a bigger start-up system.

    “The biggest role has to be played by states. We can play a facilitative role,” says Anurag Jain, Secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) which has been conducting the ranking exercise.

    Over the years, Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM), Digital India, Gatishakti and Ease of Doing Business have been building up the momentum on the start-up mission and the scale-up is evident in the 2021 ranking, which showcases the support being extended by over 30 states and UTs through start-up policies to the ecosystem, a far cry from only four states which had such policies prior to 2016.

    The enabling environment has encouraged significant effort and initiatives by states to develop and nurture an innovative start-up culture, paving the way for the positions accorded to them. Best performer Gujarat has two funds established to provide support to startups and has 160+ start-ups supported with financial assistance.

    In the same category, Karnataka is credited with disruptive policies introduced in sectors such as engineering R&D, electric transport, electronic system design and manufacturing. The state has close to 100 startups with rural impact which have been supported.

    From the North East, Meghalaya as the best performer has dedicated nodal agency (PRIME Meghalaya) with a model start-up portal, more than 10 women led start-ups which are supported, 45 plus start-ups which are incubated and has conducted two acceleration programmes attended by 10 plus start-ups.

    In the top performing category, Kerala is credited with practices like a dedicated nodal agency with a model start-up portal, clear definition of women-led start-ups with more than 20 such start-ups supported and more than 10 departments promoting start-ups.

    Telangana has established a model state start-up portal with translation into three languages, clear definition of women led start-ups and a women focused incubator, more than 10 departments promoting start-ups and 15 plus programmes conducted to connect start-ups with investors.

    Maharashtra’s robust start-up registration mechanism enables 12,000 plus start-ups, it has 500 plus programmes to support student entrepreneur, 20 plus established network of incubators, 150 plus start-ups incubated and has conducted two acceleration programmes attended by more than 85 start-ups.

    Odisha which also made it to the top performing category, has more than 120 start-ups connected with 150 registered mentors, collaboration with MSME Department, STPI, MeitY, and Department of Electronics and IT (DE&IT).

    The Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir is a top performer with a start-up registration mechanism enabling 200 plus start-ups and 15 plus programmes to promote the entrepreneurial spirit.

    Tamil Nadu ranked as a leader boasts of robust start-up registration mechanism enabling 2,700 plus startups and five disruptive policies introduced in sectors such as electric vehicle, artificial intelligence and blockchain while Uttarakhand has been recognised for its robust start-up registration mechanism enabling 330 plus start-ups, disruptive policy introduced in the EV sector and 30 plus programmes to promote entrepreneurial spirit.

    The state of Uttar Pradesh set up an assigned nodal agency (UP Electronics Corporation) with a model start-up porta and more than 200 women led start-ups have been supported.

    Another leader state Punjab has 30 plus start-ups availing public procurement benefits, Assam has 120 plus start-ups which are incubated and the state has conducted two acceleration programmes attended by 35 plus start-up and has trained 100 per cent of state supported incubators.

    In Arunachal Pradesh, 30 plus start-ups have been incubated and one incubator is providing support to start-ups. The state of Goa has seen two funds to provide funding support to start-ups – the Matching Grant Scheme and Seed Capital Scheme.

    As an aspiring leader state, Delhi has more than 100 start-ups connected with 30 registered mentors, Madhya Pradesh flaunts a 30 plus established network of incubators and 100 plus start-ups which have been incubated and Rajasthan has 250 plus start-ups who are already connected with 10 registered mentors as well as an established cohesive partnerships with educational institutions, corporate partners, and investors for supporting start-ups.

    In the same slot, Chandigarh has conducted programmes to provide showcase opportunities to start-ups, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu has awarded more than five work orders to start-ups.

    Ranked as a leader, Himachal Pradesh established a fund to provide support to start-ups and conducted 35 plus programmes to sensitise potential investors.

    While Nagaland faced the lockdown challenge by inviting start-ups to bring together solutions to tackle the Covid-19 crisis, Puducherry established partnerships with the national level incubators like Atal Incubation Centre to provide support to the start-ups in Puducherry.

    The consideration period for the third edition of the ranking was 1 October 2019 to 31 July 2021 and the documentary evidence submitted was evaluated over a six-month duration with the evaluation committee comprising representatives from 19 government departments and 29 non-government stakeholders for fair and transparent evaluation.

    Nivedita Mukherjee is a senior journalist covering economy, business, and trade.

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