- The launch event witnessed the disbursement of ₹6.1 crores to 20 startups.
The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) has partnered with the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Delhi-NCR to support technology startups across India by providing funding support of up to one crore rupees, a three-month mentorship, and access to a valuable network.
At the launch event of the LEAP AHEAD initiative, inaugurated by MeitY Secretary S. Krishnan, 20 startups collectively received ₹6.1 crore from NEXTGen Technology Fund1 and other investors. Seven MoUs were signed between STPINext, a subsidiary of STPI and ecosystem enablers.
The LEAP AHEAD initiative targets tech startups in the scaling stage, growth stage, product diversification, or planning expansion into new geographical locations. The initiative offers startups access to an extensive network and personalised guidance through in-person or virtual mentorship sessions with seasoned investors and industry experts over three months.
Krishnan highlighted the opportunities for entrepreneurship in India and the country’s evolving role as a global capability and R&D centre. “India stands as a leader in digital public infrastructure, and entrepreneurs can now use this in multiple ways 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 also like to see more women and people from tier two and tier three cities coming as entrepreneurs,” he added.
STPI Director-General Arvind Kumar emphasised the focus on mentorship and co-investment, with plans to hold the LEAP AHEAD Startup Summit in multiple cities. TiE Delhi-NCR, Chairman Emeritus Dr Saurabh Shrivastava mentioned the provision of funding, mentoring, and market access to startups.
The initiative supports startups in establishing a product market fit, identifying customer segments, growth hacking strategies, business compliance, leadership recruitment, and fundraising. The launch event included panel discussions on various topics related to startups and networking opportunities and the unveiling of a knowledge report on the role of Digital India in promoting entrepreneurship.
The NextGen Technology Fund I, managed by Pontaq Ventures India LLP, focuses on investing in revenue-generating Indian MSME businesses in various sectors, primarily agriculture, health, smart cities, education, and financial services, with an emphasis on emerging technologies in hardware and hardware-powered software. The fund corpus amounts to ₹750 crores with a capital commitment from SRI Fund of ₹130 crores.