Meghalaya got its first PRIME (Promotion of Innovative and Market-Driven Enterprises) start-up hub here on Tuesday where 100 entrepreneurs will receive incubation support and mentoring for one year.
The day also witnessed the Meghalaya Entrepreneurship and Start-up Summit 2020, which was inaugurated by chief minister Conrad K. Sangma in the presence of Niti Aayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant.
The PRIME start-up hub in Shillong is located at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex.
The 100 entrepreneurs were chosen from Chief Minister’s Entrepreneurship-Champion Challenge that was launched in August last year to identify and encourage potential entrepreneurs from across the state. Inaugurating the summit, Conrad said the programmes of the government are to ensure that the overall entrepreneurship ecosystem of the state is improved for all young, bright entrepreneurs who do not have the wherewithal but possess great ideas and innovations. “The government has started many programmes to push entrepreneurship in the state by recognising and motivating them and by creating strategies to ensure the different levels of entrepreneurs like innovators, nano entrepreneurs and livelihood entrepreneurs are identified and guided as they move forward.”
Besides agriculture and tourism, he said the northeastern states have music which is one of the sectors where entrepreneurs can work on. “Meghalaya and (other states in) the Northeast have a great talent in music and music incubator centres can create value out of music. Fashion is another area,” he said.
The chief minister announced that from the next financial year, there will be a monthly award for musicians and sportspersons.
In his address, Kant said India is going through the biggest socio-economic transition with a high population of youth. He, therefore, said it was a rare opportunity for disruptions (of status quo), innovations and drive start-ups and have young people find solutions to the many challenges the country is facing.
“Some innovations across the world are not relevant to India and we need to find solutions to our own problems and our challenges are to provide the right technology to farmers, reuse water, and convert waste into energy providing huge opportunities across sectors and therefore we are seeing a unique ecosystem developing in India,” he said.
Kant said Niti Aayog would like to partner with the Meghalaya government in setting up tinkering labs in schools across the state, to make Meghalaya as the centre of organic farming and a centre for value-added tourism.
He also said Niti Aayog would support Meghalaya with 10 more incubation centres and organise a summit where entrepreneurs of the state will interact with some of the best start-ups of India.