Rajasthan to Establish iStart Innovation School Hub in Bikaner to Boost Startups

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has given his approval for the establishment of the iStart Innovation School Hub in Bikaner. This ambitious project, with an estimated cost of INR 52.26 Crores, is poised to become a thriving ecosystem for startups, youth, and students, while also generating substantial employment opportunities in the region.

The iStart Innovation School Hub project falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Information Technology and Communication, Rajasthan (DoIT&C). CM Gehlot had announced the initiative during the presentation of the 2023-24 budget.

iStart is the flagship incubation program of the Rajasthan government, which has been instrumental in nurturing entrepreneurship and innovation in the state. Since its inception in 2017, iStart has provided support to more than 3,900 startups spanning diverse sectors, including agritech, SaaS, healthtech, and ecommerce. Moreover, it has extended financial backing to over 400 startups.

One of the remarkable achievements of iStart is its contribution to the startup ecosystem in terms of funding and job creation. Startups associated with iStart have collectively raised over INR 670 Crores in venture capital funding. They have also played a pivotal role in generating more than 29,000 jobs within the state.

The Rajasthan government has been proactive in fostering entrepreneurship and job creation in recent years. In March 2023, the state passed the Rajasthan Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (Facilitation of Establishment and Operations) (Amendment) Bill, which simplifies the process for small businesses to set up and operate in Rajasthan. The bill extends the exemption for approvals and inspections for MSMEs to five years from the previous three years.

Furthermore, iStart Rajasthan, in collaboration with the Thapar Entrepreneurs Academy (TEA), recently launched the iStart Launchpad and a Learning Management System (LMS). These initiatives are designed to provide invaluable support and resources to budding entrepreneurs.

Rajasthan's commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and nurturing startups is reflected in its recognition as one of the 'Aspiring Leaders' in the Indian startup ecosystem, according to the Centre's 'States' Startup Ranking 2021'. The state's proactive initiatives are expected to further elevate its status and bolster the startup ecosystem.

The iStart Innovation School Hub in Bikaner is poised to play a pivotal role in this endeavor. Modeled after prominent institutions like the Rajiv Gandhi Fintech Digital Institute, the Bhamashah Data Centre, and the e-Governance Centre Building in Jaipur, the hub is set to provide a conducive environment for startups to thrive and contribute significantly to employment generation in the state.

Rajasthan's initiative to establish the iStart Innovation School Hub in Bikaner underscores its commitment to fostering entrepreneurship, promoting startups, and propelling economic growth. This move aligns with the state's broader strategy to position itself as a thriving hub for innovation and job creation.



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