Meity Secretary S Krishnan launches the initiative
In the bid to support and accelerate the success of tech startups across India, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) Secretary Shri S Krishnan launched the LEAP AHEAD initiative, a joint collaboration of Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Delhi-NCR, here at the LEAP AHEAD summit.
This initiative will be a game-changer for tech Startups that are in the scaling stage, growth stage, product diversification or planning expansion into new geographical locations. They can benefit through funding support of up to ₹ 1 Crore and a comprehensive three-month mentorship program that combines virtual and in-person sessions for a well-rounded learning experience. Furthermore, the initiative will provide start-ups with access to an extensive network and personalized guidance through one-on-one mentorship sessions with seasoned investors and industry experts.
Secretary MeitY, Shri S Krishnan said, “This LEAP AHEAD initiative is very timely in terms of emphasizing the opportunities that lie for entrepreneurship in India. Today, India is no longer known as a BPO destination, it has evolved into a global capability centre and R&D centre. India stands as a leader in digital public infrastructure and this can now be used in multiple ways by entrepreneurs to build successful enterprises. Youth in smaller cities have the hunger to do and achieve more. That’s the fire in the belly we need to build on. We would like to also see more women and people from tier 2/3 cities coming as entrepreneurs.”
Shri Arvind Kumar, DG, STPI said, “With this initiative, technology startups will gain entry into the market, experience rapid growth and diversify into new horizons. This program is focused mainly on two things – mentorship and co-investment. Besides Delhi, LEAP AHEAD Startup Summit is also planned to be held in Bhubaneswar, Vijayawada and Chandigarh.”
Shri Sushil Pal, Joint Secretary, MeitY, said, “I would like to congratulate STPI for coming up with LEAP AHEAD initiative, which is a part of NGIS. Our startups have been a great success story for our country and have seen exponential growth in the last couple of years.”
Dr Saurabh Shrivastava, Chairman Emeritus, TiE Delhi-NCR, said, “Through the collaboration with STPI, TiE Delhi-NCR is not only providing funding but also providing mentoring and market access. These are people who build successful companies and know the mistakes they have made. We will help these companies to scale and grow.”
Alok Mittal, President, TiE Delhi-NCR, said, “TiE’s mission has always been to foster ecosystems, and this program aligns perfectly with our goals. We’ll mentor 75 companies over three months, aiming to secure funding for about 15. We’ll also take these showcases to over 30 cities, expanding the impact.”
This initiative will enable the startups to establish a product market fit, identify customer segments, grow hacking strategies, business compliance, leadership recruitment and fundraising. With a strong focus on nurturing startups and fostering entrepreneurial brilliance, this event represented the first step in an exciting journey that will extend the LEAP AHEAD Accelerator Program to cities like Vijayawada, Chandigarh, and Bhubaneswar.
The launch was followed by three pivotal panel discussions on Path to a Product Oriented Nation, Accelerating Innovation and Funding Insights: Navigating the Investment Landscape. Esteemed panellists from the industry shared insights with young entrepreneurs in the audience. The event also served as a platform for invaluable networking, connecting entrepreneurs with peers, potential investors, and influential thought leaders within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
A knowledge report on “From Startup to Scale Up: The Role of Digital India and Opportunities Ahead” was unveiled during the event. The report is a comprehensive resource that showcases success stories of startups that have harnessed the potential of Digital India to create innovative solutions that address societal challenges, while also driving economic growth and job creation. The event also saw seven MoUs exchanged between STPINext and ecosystem enablers, felicitation of Build for Bharat IoT Challenge winners and 20 startups cumulatively received ₹6.1 crore today from NEXTGen Technology Fund1, the fund established under NGIS scheme with STPINEXT as anchor investor and other investors.
Shri Ashok Singh, Executive Vice President, Investor Relations, Mumbai Angels; Shri Prem Bharthasarathy, Managing Partner, Pontaq Ventures India LLP; Shri Devesh Tyagi, Senior Director, STPI; Shri Subodh Sachan, Director, Innovation and Startups, STPI and Ms Manjusha Chourasia, Scientist ‘E’, MeitY were also present on the occasion.
STPI is an organization under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology engaged in promoting software exports, nurturing tech startup ecosystem and working for the dispersal of the IT/ITES Industry. STPI has been actively involved in strengthening the startup ecosystem in India through its Next Generation Incubation Scheme (NGIS) and 22 domain-specific Centers of Entrepreneurship innovation by providing requisite support and resources to the startups. For more details, visit www.stpi.in
About TiE Delhi-NCR
TiE Delhi-NCR has continuously taken the lead in creating an increasingly positive ecosystem for entrepreneurs and investors. TiE Delhi-NCR conducts a wide range of programs to help entrepreneurs. These include TiEcon, Startup Expo, TiE Institute, TiE Young Entrepreneurs along with Special Interest Groups (SIGs) across sectors. For more details, visit www.delhi.tie.org.