As the startup scenario flourishes in Goa, Forum for Innovation Incubation Research and Entrepreneurship (FiiRE) assists new entrepreneurs to apply for various government programmes
The Indian startup ecosystem has expanded rapidly over time. India now has the third-largest startup environment because of favourable demographics, rising investor confidence, and several government initiatives.
Due to these favourable demographics and government initiatives, India boasts the third-largest startup environment in the world.
Early-stage businesses are also growing because of initiatives like establishing technology business incubators like FiiRE (Forum for Innovation Incubation Research and Entrepreneurship), located in Goa.
The number of early-stage businesses in India has surged due to such strategic efforts. The number is likely to proliferate as entrepreneurial fever continues and the young generation, uses technological innovations a lot more across various fields.
Goa was also, one of the first four Indian states to develop a startup policy.
In addition to fostering innovation and technology, Goa also boasts of an exceptional work-life balance and a progressive administration dedicated to assisting businesses and making them successful.
Goa’s startups benefit from a unique location that allows for a beautiful blend of work and pleasure, close to rural and urban attractions. Goa is unrivalled in terms of culture, weather, infrastructure, and quality of life, scoring highly on work-life balance. Additionally, the people’s innate English language proficiency, relaxed pace of life, and the state’s large talent pool – all serve as incentives for business owners to establish themselves on Goa’s sunny coasts.
Goa offers good access to all major cities, a nice balance of urban and rural areas, and a good spot for individuals to establish their lives.
By 2025, Goa government aspires to have the state rank among the top 25 startup hotspots in Asia and as India’s ‘most popular’ startup locations. Through its Startup Policy, Goa seeks to support 100 early-stage enterprises’ success, over the following five years.
The state government is developing a thriving and long-lasting startup ecosystem by combining favourable rules, constructing necessary infrastructure, various financial and other incentives, and advancing human capital.
Goa has a great choice of co-working spaces that make for affordable and accessible shared workspaces for startups to work, collaborate and grow, such as FiiREWork, which has its co-working spaces in Fatorda, Margao, as well as in Panaji.
A startup ecosystem’s lifeline, accelerators and incubators are among the most significant institutions. Accelerators and incubators help startups accelerate their learning process but also help them avoid common mistakes made by new businesses and connect with the right people who can help them further. Goa features several incubation support players that span private, state, and academic initiatives, including FiiRE’s incubation centres at Don Bosco Engineering College in Margao and the Don Bosco High Secondary School in Panaji.
Goa’s entrepreneurial spirit is at an all-time high and is set to soar much higher as it generates value, jobs, and new opportunities. The state appears to be intentional and promising with implementing the brand-new Startup Policy.
As Goa combines its resources to build the ideal startup ecosystem, a new era of startups is beginning. Goa is the clear choice for businesses looking to enjoy some time in the spotlight in more ways than one.
For the second edition of the Grand Challenge, FiiRE Goa partnered with Campus Fund, Arthayan, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to encourage India’s student population to be job creators rather than job seekers.
The Challenge’s goal was to change India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem in a way that would support and encourage student-led enterprises. The top three applicants would have the opportunity to present their startup to the Investment Committee of Campus Fund for a 50 lakh investment. Student founders, graduates within the previous three years, and enterprising college dropouts with goals were eligible to apply.
Incubatees are continuously supported through the various stages of their business growth at FiiRE, which is housed in a 2500 sq mt space and furnished with a co-working space, labs for prototype testing, a cafeteria, conference rooms, and meeting rooms.
To uncover and support TourismTech startups that offer solutions to enhance visitor experiences and produce ideas that will progress the industry, FiiRE developed the Goa Tourism Accelerator Program.
For startup entrepreneurs who are developing strategies to future-proof travel, tourism, and hospitality industries, Goa Tourism Accelerator programme is a 16-week programme. The go-to-advertise process utilised to market their solution is improved with the help of this programme.
Additionally, new business owners can apply for government programmes that FiiRE administers after doing their due diligence and determining eligibility:
1. NIDHI-PRAYAS is a programme that offers to fund prototype ideas. Due to the lack of assistance for early-stage prototypes, many entrepreneurs and innovators lose interest in their technological projects.
The NIDHI: Promoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring Technology Entrepreneurs (NIDHI-PRAYAS) programme, a pre-incubation project, helps young inventors create a proof-of-concept for their concepts. With this assistance, business owners may test their ideas without fear of failure, moving forward to the point where they have a finalised product and are prepared to speak with incubators about commercialisation.
It also enables the conversion of an original idea into a functional prototype and generates new solutions that address local and global concerns. Encourage the creation of an innovative ecosystem, provide young people the opportunity to work on their new technology, knowledge, or innovation-based enterprises, and build a diversified network of innovators, academics, mentors, and investors.
2. The NIDHI-EIR Program provides opportunities such as advice on the business concept, strategy, or venture from seasoned, innovative, and highly successful entrepreneurs as well as insight into specific industries or markets, the best practices for starting a business and broadening the professional network, and co-working spaces for developing the idea into a marketable product.
To provide deserving and aspiring startup entrepreneurs with a prestigious platform where they can pursue their business ventures without taking on any additional risks associated with technology-based businesses.
The NIDHI-EIR Support Program’s goals are to encourage graduating students to pursue entrepreneurship by providing financial assistance through fellowships; build up and strengthening the incubator’s pipeline of entrepreneurs.
3. Startup India Seed Fund Program: In addition, FiiRE administers the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) intends to support entrepreneurs in market entry, product testing, prototype creation, proof of concept, and commercialisation.
By doing so, these businesses would be able to develop to the point where they might look for funding from venture capitalists or angel investors or submit an application for a loan from commercial banks or other financial institutions.
4. Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP): The Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises will administer the PMEGP, a central sector programme (MoMSME). Its goals include creating new self-employment ventures, projects, and micro businesses, bringing together traditional artisans who are widely distributed and unemployed youngsters from rural and urban areas, and providing them access to self-employment options, locally.
5. The Chief Minister’s Rojgar Yojana (CMRY)
Together with the Economic Development Corporation of Goa (EDC), the State Government launched CMRY to help young people without work. This project calls for the employment of all common people, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and other members of the lower socio-economic strata through government loans.
This program’s primary goal is to empower and educate unemployed young people. Introducing self-employment activities supported by institutional loans, financial support from the government, and income generation.
6. PM Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme (PMFME)
The PMFME Scheme, a one-stop shop for the food business, is currently gaining popularity nationwide.
It is a single, centrally funded initiative that seeks to address the challenges faced by micro-businesses, while primarily utilising the cooperative and group potential to aid in the growth and formalisation of businesses.
To make the most money available from the sale is the crucial goal. One of the essential components of this strategy is the capacity to grow the current micro-entrepreneurial community.
One of the significant facilitators in this process is FiiRE. FiiRE is an important TourismTech accelerator in the nation with a mission to assist emerging tourism technology entrepreneurs in taking off.
To help tech entrepreneurs design and scale innovations in the tourism industry across various market categories, including sustainability, mobility, and operational efficiency.
FiiRE, as a TourismTech Accelerator and incubator, promotes early-stage entrepreneurs by helping them develop and test their ideas. They also provide funding, knowledge, and access to the market so that they may try their inventions. FiiRE assists entrepreneurs in growing their businesses by providing them access to mentors, needs, and capital, emphasising accelerating innovative advances across many industries.
FiiRE can provide a strong foundation of industry knowledge because of its strong partnerships with organisations like BBRi (Big Blue Road (India) Pvt. Ltd.), a prominent provider of advisory services for the tourism, analytics, and technology industries.
Like the FiiRE-BBRi alliance FiiRE has also forged a few more powerful collaborations to strengthen its proposition and really empower TourismTech startups to scale and grow.
FiiRE’s focus has always been on simplifying startup innovation, whether it is through investor meetings, pitch clinics, workshops with industry experts and mentors in specialised business fields, or competitions and challenges meant to encourage entrepreneurs to show off their best abilities. Their approach towards first-time entrepreneurs starting their journey significantly provides the right conditions for growth and success.