iStart Rajasthan is the flagship program by the Department of Information Technology & Communication, Government of Rajasthan to foster innovation, create jobs and facilitate investment in the State. iStart is an integrated comprehensive platform, which is a one-of-its-kind, single window resource for startups, investors, incubators, accelerators and mentors. The focus of this initiative is on idea stage, early stage and startups with MVP (Minimal Viable Product). This initiative helps the startups minimize the bureaucracy associated with the initiation of startup operations. Startups who want to work in Rajasthan can visit the iStart portal (istart.rajasthan.gov.in) and all the requirements with respect to the startup ecosystem like registering, approval or applying for funds can be accomplished via this platform. This platform also facilitates the startup to connect with 100+ investors which are already on boarded on the platform. All startups are evaluated via QRrate program, which is recognized all over India by leading investors and VCs. QRate program is a rating mechanism which helps a startups evaluate themselves and provides avenues for self-improvement.
In order to have the right mix in its startup portfolio, and as a part of the iStart initiative, the Government of Rajasthan has announced Bhamashah Startup Promotion Fund of INR 500 crore, which will include components for women-led and green solutions startups and has earmarked INR 100 crore and INR 50 crore for both respectively. The funds for green startups will be payable from the funds available with Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board. The funding has been capped at 25 lakhs per startup. The amount is based on the Qrate rankings which is based on the Qrate Assessment Framework. Startups are ranked as Bronze and Silver (capped at 15 Lakhs), Gold and Platinum (capped at 20 Lakhs) and Signature (capped at 25 Lakhs). Fund will be provided in terms of loan and equity to startups registered in Rajasthan.
Startups will be innovative knowledge based and emerging technology based. The initiative uses a 3 pronged strategy to help startups: deep mentor engagements, rapid iteration cycles and preparation ahead of fund raising. Startup selection is sector agnostic and uses the assess-improve-access model, which includes startups initially undergoing an assessment using Qrate Assessment Framework, then they receive mentorship and training to help them evolve, and finally help them gain access to new markets, investors, customers.