This is where India’s largest Silicon Valley is starting up

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  • Rajasthan’s capital, Jaipur, is now home to the biggest tech hub in India.
  • The Bhamashah Techno Hub, big enough to accommodate up to 700 entities with facilities provided free of charge, was inaugurated on Thursday.
  • Startups in the incubation space can apply for government grants and funding for seed capital that will be interest-free.
The culture and ecosystems for start-ups are being curated all over the world, not just in India, as the value of innovation is increasing. In India, normally it’s cities like Bangalore and Pune that are looked at for tech startups. But, stretching across 100,000 square feet, the largest incubator in the country was inaugurated in Jaipur on Thursday.

This city in Rajasthan is normally acclaimed for its tourism industry and the Jaipur Literature Fest but, with the Bhamashah Techno Hub being able to accommodate 700 newcomers in the startup space, all of that might change soon.

More than buildings

The tech hub isn’t just buildings where startups can put up shop, but an incubation centre that will foster startups from beginning to end. The facility is geared with internet connectivity, co-working spaces, banking, IPR, advisory support and other facilities - free of charge. In comparison, the tech hub already set up in Hyderabad charges different fees for the various facilities they have to offer.

The Rajasthan government, at the time of writing this article, is the only state in the country to offer all the services and facilities free of cost. Other programs, if not priced, require an equity stake in the startups instead.

One of its unique features are the Tinkering Labs that aim at nurturing curiosity. Entrepreneurs and inventors can hone their skills in adaptive learning, computational thinking and physical computing using a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach.

There’s even government funding for students who’re coming out of college and don’t have the capital to develop their ideas further. The government has ₹500 crore set aside just for the funding of startups.

One way they do that is in partnership with Bhamashah Technofund, the seed capital is provided to young entrepreneurs without any collateral or detailed evaluation. And, the funds obtained through Bhamashah Technofund are then matched by the government up to ₹2.5 million.

There’s also a grant of half a million that goes out to students, to that they can at least beta test their ideas. If students are looking for funds to expand, then those requests are looked into by an external jury.

The government has plans to expand the project even further, to include cities like Udaipur, Kota and Jodhpur according to Akhil Arora, the Principal Secretary at the IT and Communication Department of Rajasthan. Almost 70 startups are already work-in-progress across these three cities.
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