To encourage innovation and promote self employment, the Uttar Pradesh government is making a deeper pitch for startups and new business ideas.
In this context, the state has provided Rs 1,000 crore to the UP Startup Fund for providing the seed capital to new ventures.
Interestingly, UP ranks among the leading states for startups and unicorns with 8 of 108 unicorns in India headquartered in the state. These include Paytm, Paytm Mall, India Mart, Moglix, Pine Labs, Innovaccer, InfoEdge, and Physics Wallah.
The state is home to 60+ incubators to facilitate startups and provide angel funding support.
Efforts are being made to promote startups in advanced areas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), drones, med-tech, blockchain, 5G, 6G, quantum computing, additive manufacturing, space tech et al.
Besides, UP is taking steps to promote ‘soonicorns’ and ‘minicorns’ as well. ‘Unicorn’ refers to a privately held startup with a valuation of over a $billion, whereas ‘soonicorn’ or ‘soon to be unicorn’ is a startup with strong growth potential to join the unicorn club.
Currently, two soonicorn startups are working in the state namely Class Plus and InShorts. The state is also promoting ‘minicorns’ which are startups with valuations exceeding a $million.
Meanwhile, the state had set a target of 10,000 startups by 2025, which UP claims to have achieved by the middle of 2023 itself.
According to a KPMG report, UP has the fourth-largest startup ecosystem in the country, providing more than 100,000 job opportunities.
In UP, 49 percent of the startups pertain to the tier 2 and tier 3 cities across 75 districts.