J&K’s Startup Policy 2018 envisions 500 new startups

J&K’s Startup Policy 2018 envisions 500 new startups

With an aim to facilitate the growth of 500 new startups inthe state in the next decade, Jammu and Kashmir Government in September 2018launched its first startup policy.

The much awaited and needed 'J&K Startup Policy 2018'aims to nurture and inspire the young and entrepreneurial brains of Jammu andKashmir to pursue innovation and entrepreneurship by creating a vibrant andconducive startup ecosystem in the state.

 The main objectivesof 'J&K Startup Policy 2018' are:

1.         Facilitateand nurture the growth of at least 500 new startups in Jammu and Kashmir innext 10 years.

2.         Establishat least 10 new state-of-the-art incubators across all three regions of thestate including private sector.

3.         Facilitateaccess to early stage investments for aspiring and existing startups.

4.         Facilitatesetting up of Innovation Labs in selected Higher Secondary Schools andColleges.

5.         Facilitatesetting up of at least 3 fabrication labs, one each in Jammu, Kashmir andLadakh regions.

6.         Create astrong institutional framework for effective implementation, monitoring andevaluation of this policy.

The policy mainly focuses on innovative projects – any ideacapable of introducing new or disruptive technology in the development ofexisting and new products, processes or services, capable of addressing any ofthe present challenges before the society at large in an effective manner.

There shall be a special focus on startups. The policy shallwork for platforms like startup hub, incubator, angel investors, innovationlabs, Entrepreneurship Development Cells, Fabrication Lab etc.

The Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute(JKEDI) has been declared the nodal agency for implementation of the Policy andDirector, JKEDI has been designated as the state nodal officer.

Focus Sectors

Under this policy some focus sectors have been identified.The policy shall give special attention to the startups         with disruptive value additions inthese illustrative focus sectors,

1.         FoodProcessing and Allied activities

2.         Agricultureincluding Horticulture and Floriculture

3.         Textiles,Apparel & Fashion Technology

4.         RenewableEnergy

5.         Handicrafts& Handlooms and their design element

6.         ElectronicsSystem Design and Manufacturing

7.         InformationTechnology enabled Services.

Recognition of a startup, incubator and angel investor: Forrecognition of a Startup, incubator and angel investor by the nodal agency theyshall have to apply as per below given procedure:

Application procedure for recognition of startups:

1.         An entitywilling to get recognised as a startup shall make an online application overmobile app or portal set up by the Nodal Agency.

2.         Theapplication shall be accompanied by:

a.        A copy ofCertificate of Incorporation or Registration, as the case may be;

b.        A write-upabout the nature of business highlighting how it is working towards innovation,development or improvement of products or processes or services, or itsscalability in terms of employment generation or wealth creation; and

c.         Otherdetails as specified in the online application format.

3.         The NodalAgency may, after calling for such documents or information and making suchenquires, as it may deem fit, do as under:

a.        Recognisethe eligible entity as Startup; or

b.        Reject theapplication by providing reasons.

Benefits and Incentives

An entity recognized as a Startup as per the definition inthis policyshall be eligible to avail the following benefits/incentives, whichcan be periodically reviewed and enhanced by the Government:

i)          OfficeSpace

The Government of Jammu and Kashmir shall provide co-workingspace with uninterruptible high-speed internet to the selected recognisedStartups at a subsidized price through JKEDI at its campuses in Pampore andBari-Brahmana and at all the 22 district centres.

ii)         MonthlyAllowance

Monthly Allowance of Rs. 10,000 (for a period of one year)shall be paid to the Startups subject to the approval of Startup Task Force andif it fulfils any of the following conditions:

1.         Has totalequity financing of at least Rs. 5 lakhs from a Venture Capital Firm or arecognised Angel investor; or

2.         Hassanction letter of funding/grant from Government of India or any State Government;or

3.         The startupis physically incubated in a recognised incubator of the state for a period of3 months;

In case of a startups falling under following categories themonthly allowance shall be Rs12,000:

i.          If thestartup is from any of the focus sectors;

ii.          If it isfounded by SC/ST/Women/ Specially Abled (with more than 40% disability);

iii.         If atleast 25% of the shareholding is held by SC/ST/women/physically challenged;

iv.        If theSC/ST/Women / Specially Abled (with more than 40% disability) are the singlelargest shareholder in the startup.

iii)        Assistancefor Product Research & Development/Marketing/Publicity

A one-time assistance upto Rs 10 lakhs may be given to arecognised startup for Product Research & Development or introduction of aninnovative product or service in the market which shall be subject to theapproval of Startup Task Force and fulfilment of any of the followingconditions:

1.         Startup hasgot total equity financing of at least Rs 10 lakh from a Venture Capital Firmsor recognised Angel investor; or

2.         SanctionLetter of funding / grant to the entity by Government of India or any StateGovernment of at least Rs 5 lakhs; or

3.         The Startupis physically incubated in a recognised incubator of the State for a period of3 months at least; or

4.         The startuphas either published or has been granted a domestic or international patent.

5.         The startuphas already been granted a monthly allowance under the startup framework.

In case of the startups falling under following categoriesthe assistance for R&D/marketing/publicity shall be upto Rs 12 lakh:

i.          If thestartup is from any of the focus sectors;

ii.          If it isfounded by SC/ST/Women / Specially Abled (with more than 40% disability);

iii.         If atleast 25% of the shareholding is held by SC/ST/women/physically challenged;

iv.        If theSC/ST/Women / Specially Abled (with more than 40% disability) are the singlelargest shareholder in the Startup.

iv)       EnergyAssistance

To ensure uninterruptible power supply to startups, 100percent subsidy on purchase & installation of Diesel Generator Set orSolar/Wind Generator or Hybrid Solar Wind System shall be available torecognised startups, subject to the terms and conditions of Jammu & KashmirState Industrial Policy – 2016 and Procedural Guidelines to the IndustrialPolicy 2016-26. Energy charges from Power Development Department would be thesame as it is for the industrial units.

V)       International Patent Filing Cost Reimbursement

Subject to the approval of Startup Task Force, cost incurredby recognized Startups for filing foreign patents on a single subject matterand patent prosecution shall be reimbursed upto 50% of the actual cost or uptoRs. 5 lakhs whichever is less. The reimbursement of the eligible cost onforeign-patent shall be done in 2 stages, i.e. 50% after the patent ispublished and the balance 50% after the patent is granted.

Vi)  Tax benefits andexemptions

Tax Benefits and Exemptions as defined in the IndustrialPolicy 2016 shall also be applicable to the recognized Startups in the State.Any amendments/ changes made from time to time made to Industrial policy shallalso be applicable to the recognized startups.

Vii)  PublicProcurement

All State Government Departments/Agencies/Public SectorUndertakings shall be authorized to relax norms in public procurements, subjectto fulfilment of quality and technical specifications. All recognised Startupsshall be given exemption from the prior experience criteria and prior turnovercriteria in all public procurement. The Startups shall be required to pay 50%of the amount of Earnest Money Deposit or Bid Security prescribed by thetendering authority or Rs 5000 whichever is lower. Tender documents shall alsobe supplied to the Startups @50% of the price or at Rs 500 whichever is lower.This is as per provision available in the Industrial Policy 2016 at Para 3.24which got extended to Startups in light of SAC decision No. 20/3/2018 issuedvide Government Order NO. 180-IND of 2018 dated 16-07-2018. The notification(s)in this regard may be revised from time to time to be in sync with thenotification(s) issued by the Central Government.

Viii)     Selfcertification of compliance under Labour Laws

The State Government would endeavour to initiate process ofSelf Certification for Startups and Micro & Small Enterprises underdifferent Labour Laws applicable in the State.

ix) Exposure visits and workshops for startups

A corpus fund shall be created to conduct training workshopsand to organize exposure visits for the State startups and incubates of therecognized incubators to national and international startupecosystems/innovation hubs. Incentives in the form of conveyance, travelallowance/daily allowance, subsidized stall space shall be offered.

Selected startups shall be send to leading startupdestinations in the country and abroad for getting exposure as well as anopportunity to meet and converse with leading Startups, thinkers andinnovators. Provision shall be made to ensure 1/3rd representation of womenentrepreneurs in all exposure visits. Existing programmes of the StateGovernment such as Entrepreneurship Awareness Programme (EAP) shall also beaccessed for some of these purposes.

X)       Infrastructure Support

As part of State Government initiative to make Jammu andKashmir a Startup State, the Government would strive towards developingworld-class infrastructure. The list of Incubators, EDCs, Fab Labs, IPRFacilitation Office shall be made available on the Jammu and Kashmir Startupportal which shall be updated on regular basis.

Xi) Financing

In order to facilitate access to investment opportunities,the Government shall encourage the Banks and financial institutions to enhanceand extend their existing schemes of lending to the Startups on convenientterms (e.g. collateral-free lending, soft loans etc.).

Xii)   Grand Challengefor Idea to Proof of Concept (PoC) Fund

The nodal agency in collaboration with other Ministries ofthe State/Central Government shall organise sector specific Grand Challenge atleast two times a year. The challenge shall be a unique opportunity forindividual innovators or early stage startups to come up with commerciallyviable solution for specific challenges which shall contribute to well-being ofthe State.

Funding shall be in the form of Grant-in-aid to be releasedin tranches based on the life cycle of the business plan and cost of running pilot.

The Nodal Agency in conjunction with the concerned partnerDepartment shall contribute for the required grant in aid.

Jammu and Kashmir Angel Network (JKAN):

To create and promote alternate funding options for theState startups, the Government will encourage Industrialists and Entrepreneursto establish a Jammu and Kashmir Angel Network.

Academic Interventions

I) Innovation Labs

Schools and Colleges shall be encouraged to setup innovationlabs. Budgetary provision would be kept to facilitate setting up of innovationlabs in selected schools and colleges. For setting up an innovation lab, eachselected School/College shall be provided funding upto Rs 5 lakhs and setupsupport by Jammu and Kashmir Nodal Agency.

ii)      SyllabusUpdate

Schools, Colleges and Universities shall be advised toupdate their respective curriculums to include a compulsory course on"Entrepreneurship Development" as an optional subject, to inspire students withthe aspiration, capacity and inclination towards entrepreneurship. Variousnationally and internationally accredited Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)focused on entrepreneurship can be included in the academic curriculum.

iii) Establishment of EDC (Entrepreneurship DevelopmentCell) Network

Colleges/Universities that set-up EDCs to encourage studentsto take up entrepreneurship at the college level shall be networked. Thenetwork shall facilitate cross pollination of ideas across institutions anddisciplines.

iv)  Training oftrainers

Innovation and entrepreneurship teachers can propel theyouth towards breakthrough discoveries. Strong emphasis shall be put ontraining the local faculty by Industry Veterans, Corporate and other leadersfrom startup ecosystem.

v)  Project Work

Student entrepreneurs working on startup ideas in any oftheir graduation year shall be permitted to convert their startup project astheir final year project towards their degree completion.

vi) Attendance Relaxation

Students in Schools/Colleges/Universities involved insetting up of startups through recognized incubators shall be given upto 20percent a relaxation in attendance.

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