LIC, EPFO may fund startups

The platform is being readied by Sidbi, which already manages a fund for startups, with LIC and EPFO evincing interest during a meeting of the National Startup Advisory Council chaired by commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal.

Strategy to bring investors

As the government readies a strategy to bring investors and startups on a common platform, LIC and Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) are among those willing to fund startups.

The platform is being readied by Sidbi, which already manages a fund for startups, with LIC and EPFO evincing interest during a meeting of the National Startup Advisory Council chaired by commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal.

Promotion of industry

Anil Aggarwal, additional secretary in the department for the promotion of industry and internal trade, told TOI that a key area of focus was providing early-stage funding. “India has just around 6,000 angel investors, while the US has close to three lakh. We are looking at the regulatory and other issues to make the system more robust,” the officer said.

Program for mentorship

He said the government was also taking up a program for mentorship, an idea that was suggested by SoftBank’s Manoj Kohli. The idea is to set up a technology platform through which there can be match-making and the field can be expanded. The moves came amid a fresh endorsement of the thrust being given to startups in government policies.

“The government is committed to cut red tape, improve ease of doing business, provide financial assistance through startup seed fund, supporting incubators, enhancing skills and this holistic approach has intended to resolve the issues relating to capital mobilization, support innovation with tinkering labs, and meet the capacity and capability requirements of startups,” Goyal said at the meeting.

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