Jennifer Monserrate is the Minister for Revenue, Information Technology, and Labour & Employment Government of Goa. The minister in conversation with INCUBEES expressed her opinion on the startup sector in Goa.
INCUBEES: What is the potential of the startup sector in Goa?
Jennifer: The startup sector in Goa bestows a new direction to the Youth of Goa. Large populations of educated youth of the state go outside in search of better opportunities. The startup path can make youth stay in Goa and startup rather than take up jobs outside Goa. These startups can also create job opportunities for them within Goa, closer to their family and home. Startups & ecosystem enablers can be prolific in the start of new industries in Goa, leading to an alternate economic development model for Goa.
INCUBEES: What efforts is the Goa Government taking to foster a start-up ecosystem in Goa?
Jennifer: Goa was among the first four states in India to implement a Startup Policy. The StartUp Policy – 2017 was launched with an aim to galvanize the startup ecosystem in the state and give it the support it needs to grow and become not only one of India’s most vibrant hubs. To date, the State has registered 100+ start-ups, and over Rs. 100 Lakhs Incentives have been disbursed to Goa Startups.
The initial draft of the StartUp Policy 2020 has been prepared in consultation with various stakeholders, i.e., Startups, Investors, State Department(s)& Governments of other States, Startup India, DPIIT, etc. It will incorporate the learnings of the present Startup Policy 2017. The 5 policy pillars of the Goa Startup Policy 2020 will be:
- Institutional Support& Framework
- Access to Finance
- Access to Talent
- Education & Skill Development:
- Thought Leadership”
Reflecting the same, the scope of the new Startup Policy will be diverse and inclusive. Special focus on Women Entrepreneurs & Social Enterprises with a focus on sustainable solutions.
IINCUBEES: Do you see Goa becoming a startup hub?
Jennifer: Global Startup Hubs have developed due to the convergence of Talent, Technology & Tolerant culture. If you look at all IT-Startup Hubs, they became such hubs due to the availability of local talent, Return of the Diaspora back to the region, and a confluence of talented migrants coming from outside. This confluence of returning Diaspora brought global expertise/experience and technology to the region, and immigration friendly/tolerant culture built/harnessed the local talent further aided by top education and ecosystem enablers. The State Government intends to do the same in Goa, i.e., Build a cohesive and vibrant Startup ecosystem in Goa with the 4 pillars of Policy, Program, Platform, and Partnership on the base of 3 Ts: Talent, Technology, and Tolerance.
INCUBEES: Why must startups across the globe and India come to Goa?
Jennifer: Goa is an ideal state for Startups. The market of Bharat 1, 2, 3 for which Startups are innovating and solving problems is available within a few kilometers. From urban to rural, from agriculture to industry, from ocean to forest, from locals to outsiders, Goa has the ecosystem on which Startups build their ventures. Apart from that, Goa has a base in Agriculture, fisheries, Gaming, Mining, Tourism, Shipping, Manufacturing, Pharma, IT, etc. These all sectors are all ripe for innovation, and Goa has a bit of all this. Plus another advantage of Goa is the Tourists, Vacationers who have visited Goa. The State of Goa has built bonds and long relationships with Tourists from diverse fields, professionals, and expertise. This is also the advantage of Goa over other states.
INCUBEES: How is Goa promoting innovation and incubation?
Jennifer: Goa Startup Policy 2017 had specific schemes directed for Incubators and to support startups based in Incubators. We are carrying forward these schemes and adding more to encourage Incubators: Private, Educational Institutions. Apart from Incubation, we are proposing to bring in an Entrepreneurship in Residence