Modi in Silicon Valley: Launches ‘Bharat Fund’ to boost startups


Bharat Fund

SAN JOSE (CALIFORNIA): Emerging as a leading hub for startups in the world, India aimed at giving a further boost to startups at the India-United States (US) startup, Konnect. Giving a thrust to startups in India, Mr Modi launched ‘Bharat Fund’ which will provide seed funding to Indian entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs will go after projects that can promote better health, usher in new socially-helpful technologies and look at new and renewable sources of energy.

Mr Modi, who is on a whirlwind tour of the US finished his visit to the Silicon Valley on September 27 where he said that the idea of startups is close to his heart. “When I shifted to Delhi last year, I thought of my government as a startup,” Mr Modi said at the world’s innovation and tech hub.

“The course of human history and progress has been shaped by imagination, inspiration, invention and innovation,” he added.

Apart from launching Bharat Fund, Mr Modi witnessed the signing of seven MOUs between Indian and American entities that would strengthen Konnect. “A girl child in a remote Indian village dreams of her own projects when she sees startups of today,” Mr Modi said. On India’s Independence Day Mr Modi had announced the ‘Startup India, Standup India’ initiative to bolster the startup culture in India. Indians have contributed to innovation in the US through their startups and have been key contributors in making Silicon Valley the innovation centre and tech hub of the world.

Speaking about the importance of startups Mr Modi said, “Startups have always been engines of progress. The mega corporations of today were startups of yesterday.” Indian cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai which are tech hubs have witnessed a mushrooming of startups with strong support from the respective state governments. India is set to get its largest incubation centre ‘T-Hub’ in Hyderabad which is initially expected to accommodate 800 startups and expand to around 5,000 in the next phase with a built-up space of 300,000 sq ft.

India-US startup Konnect will assist early growth stage and clean tech companies with market expansion through partnerships and funding opportunities in California and India. Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) signed an MoU with Tata Trust, founding partner for Bharat Fund. It will provide seed funding to Indian entrepreneurs. CIIE also signed an MoU with Google to support technology that will impact entrepreneurs.

An Indo-US Life Science Sister Innovation Hub will be developed with the signing of an MoU between the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms and the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences to enhance science based entrepreneurship and research.