New StartupTN Regional Hubs in Salem, Hosur and Cuddalore, says MSME Minister

Chennai, April 7, 2023: Increase in Tamil Nadu SC/ST Startup Fund to Rs. 50 Crore, establishing new Regional Startups Hubs in Salem, Hosur and Cuddalore, a plug and play Startup Manufacturing Centre in Chennai, Global Coordination Centre in Dubai and a Bilingual Call Centre were among the slew of announcements for Startups in 2023-24 by the Hon’ble Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Thiru. T.M. Anbarasan in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday (06.04.2023).

StartupTN Mission Director and Chief Executive Officer Thiru. Sivarajah Ramanathan expressed confidence that these announcements by the Hon’ble Minister for MSME in addition to the announcements by the Hon’ble Minister for Finance Dr. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan and Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Thiru M.R.K. Panneerselvam in Budget 2023-24 will add strength to the efforts taken by the Government of Tamil Nadu to create a robust Startup Ecosystem in the State. The Tamil Nadu SC/ST Startup Fund is being increased to Rs. 50 Crore this
financial year from Rs. 30 Crore last year.

With the aim of ensuring social justice at all levels, the Government of Tamil Nadu, in the financial year 2022-23, launched the Rs. 30 Crore Tamil Nadu SC/ST Startup Fund. Implemented through StartupTN, the special fund was launched to provide financial assistance in the form of equity investment or collateral-free loans to innovative Startups founded and run by entrepreneurs from the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe communities. Considering the overwhelming success of the scheme, the fund is being increased to Rs. 50 Crore in the financial year 2023-24.

“StartupTN Regional Hubs” will be established in Salem, Hosur and Cuddalore with the aim of taking Startup activities across the State. Launch of Regional Startup Hubs at Madurai, Tirunelveli and Erode districts
as announced in the budget 2022-23 has created a positive impact in spreading awareness of the Startup culture and increased Startup activities in the respective regions. Establishment of the Thanjavur Regional Startup Hub was announced in the Agriculture Budget this year to promote Agro Technological Startups. StartupTN Regional Hubs will also be established in Salem, Hosur and Cuddalore.

The uniqueness of Tamil Nadu is taking Startups and Innovation to Tier II and Tier III cities and towns across the State, unlike most developed and developing ecosystems in the country, and globally, where the concentration is in their metros.

“Through our existing hubs we organised nearly 200 events in 2022-23 and reached over 29,000 persons including Startups, students, aspirants, officials and other prospective Startup ecosystem stakeholders,” Mr. Sivarajah Ramanathan said. “By adding four more hubs this year, the total number of Hubs will climb to eight and strengthen the Startup ecosystem further in the corners of the State,” he added.

“Startup Manufacturing Centre” will be established at the SIDCO Industrial Estate in Guindy, Chennai, as a plug and play facility on rental basis for eligible Startups for a period of three years.

A “Startup Manufacturing Centre” will be established in the upcoming multi story industrial park at the SIDCO Industrial Estate in Guindy, Chennai, to encourage Startups by enabling them to commence production without having to heavily invest on land. Eligible Startups will be provided with manufacturing space on rental basis
for a period of three years.

One of the major misconceptions about Startups is generalisation that they need a few seats for a small team to work. But many new age enterprises in EV, IOT, Robotics and a host of other sectors require ample space for production
facilities. Investing in land and constructing physical structures for a manufacturing facility to commence operations is an uphill task for Startups. The Startup Manufacturing Centre is the first step to bridge the gap, Mr. Sivarajah Ramanathan said.

“Global Coordination Centre” will be established in Dubai to coordinate and provide resources required for Startups in Tamil Nadu With the aim of raising investment and increasing market access opportunities for Tamil Nadu-based Startups, Global Coordination Centres will be established in various countries with the support of the Tamil diaspora. In the first phase, the centre will be set up in Dubai this year.

“We took extensive steps to directly reach out to the Tamil diaspora entrepreneur, investor and trade bodies in Dubai and in a few other countries directly and online last year for investment, market access and R&D partnerships. They are eager to give back to their homeland and their role will be instrumental in strengthening the Tamil Nadu Startup ecosystem,” Mr. Sivarajah Ramanathan added.

A “Bilingual Call Centre” will be set up to get information pertaining to Startups and entrepreneurship with ease.
A bilingual call centre is being set up with a team conversant in both Tamil and English to answer any queries related to Startup and Entrepreneurship over the phone. Startup founders can get the information they need by calling ‘155343’. This initiative will help Startup aspirants, early-stage Startups, investors and mentors to get the required information and complete their activities with ease.

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