Traditionally been known for mining and global tourism, Goa is now turning out to be a hotbed for innovators and startups, too! The tiny state, blessed with sun-kissed beaches, ample greenery and the quintessential colonial charm, is attracting tourists and startups alike. Today, Goa is home to some of the most promising startups and hosts a robust startup ecosystem. Let’s find out the five key reasons that contributed towards transforming Goa into a haven for entrepreneurs and innovators:
1. The State’s Startup Policy: Goa was one of the first states in India to launch a startup policy. The latest edition of the state’s startup policy aims to feature Goa as one of the top 25 startup destinations in Asia. The State Government’s commitment towards fostering innovation and entrepreneurship is unfaltering, which is manifested in its various schemes and programs that enable easy access to seed funding, mentorship support and business promotion services.
2. Goa State Innovation Council: Set up by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Goa, under the aegis of National Innovation Council, Goa State Innovation Council (GSInC) holds the key to nurturing the startup and innovation culture in Goa, especially in the areas of health, agriculture, education, energy, transport and housing. GSInC has shown a lot of commitment towards spreading awareness about entrepreneurship and innovation at the grassroots level. One of the key initiatives of GSInC is the Virtual Innovation Register (VIR), which allows innovators to remotely submit their ideas online and seek support on idea validation, scaling up and other handholding support.
3. Incubation & Co-working Infrastructure: For a small state, Goa offers several ideation labs, incubation centres and co-working spaces spread across its length and breadth. Co-working spaces, full-fledged incubation centres and several ideation and tinkering labs in schools and colleges make up for a solid innovation and startup infrastructure in Goa.
4. Contests & Events: Goa has been hosting some of the most coveted startup and innovation competitions, events and awards functions, bringing leading startups, mentors, thought leaders, industry experts and aspiring entrepreneurs on a single platform. Goa’s Young Innovator Award, The Next Big Idea, IdeaLab and the Chief Minister’s Startup Challenge are some of the contests that the Goan startup community participates wholeheartedly.
5. Academia & Innovation: Goa is home to some of the leading technology institutes in the country including BITS (Pilani)-Goa campus, NIT and IIT Goa. These institutes are powerhouses of technical learning and innovative thinking. In accordance with the Digital India and Startup India initiatives, most of these colleges host on-campus incubation centres, providing bright minds with the platform to tinker with technologies and innovate pathbreaking products and solutions.
FiiRE (Forum for Innovation Incubation Research and Entrepreneurship) is a full-scale incubation centre offering structured incubation support, co-working space, mentorship assistance, startup connect and technology labs to aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators. FiiRE is located at the Don Bosco Engineering College campus in Fatorda, Margao, Goa.