The information technology ministry has written to all central ministries and state governments in an effort to identify problem areas where start-ups can play a role. Sources said a Rs 5-crore fund had been created in the IT ministry, which would seek solutions from start-ups to the problems identified by the other ministries and the state governments. “The selected start-ups will be hand-held by the ministry,” an official said. Through Startup India, the government provides sops to start-ups like self-certification, a fast track for and rebates in filing patents, and exemptions on income tax for three years. The government has also created a Rs 10,000 crore fund for investing in start-ups. The IT ministry has earlier hand-held start-ups like ByDesign, a Bengaluru-based company that developed a conditional access system for broadcasting.
The ministry had announced the Rs 29.99-crore project in 2013 and it was awarded to ByDesign the next year. The ministry’s support for the project was Rs 19.79 crore.The government in May tweaked the definition of start-ups to allow more companies to benefit. A business not older than seven years now qualifies for benefits under the Startup India Action Plan. Earlier, companies up to five years from their dates of incorporation were eligible for concessions in the plan announced last year. The government has also specified that an entity will be considered a startup if it works on innovation, development or improvement of products or processes or services, or if it has a scalable business model with a high potential for employment generation or wealth creation.