10,000 Start-ups programme a boon for entrepreneurs

Till about two years ago, only about 100 technology were funded a year, despite the fact that the information technology (IT) services sector had a workforce of three million. But after Nasscom launched the 10,000 Start-ups programme, that number had doubled to 200 start-ups through last year, Rajan Anandan, Google's India chief, told Business Standard in a recent interview.

The buzz around start-ups in India is unmistakable. Various corporate houses, white-collar executives and governments are contributing towards building an exciting entrepreneurship environment in the country, and Nasscom's year-old initiative is a significant stakeholder in this. The programme, in which both Google and Microsoft are partners, has completed a year and has entered its third phase. This comes on the heels of the IT industry body receiving flak for being too "IT" driven, and not taking up the cause of products and start-ups enough.

This programme, however, has proved to be a sort of course correction for Nasscom.

In the first two phases, the initiative received about 7,000 applications, of which about 4,000 were received in the first phase. Now, Nasscom has decided to run the project in four batches a year. Rajat Tandon, senior director of Nasscom, says the first month will be spent collecting applications, the second in due diligence and the third in pitch sessions with partners.