MeitY Startup Hub (MSH), an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and Meta on Tuesday announced the launch of an accelerator programme to support and accelerate XR technology startups across India.
The XR startup program will focus on skilling and building technological capabilities for the metaverse, and will help shape the ecosystem for these emerging technologies, including Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in the country.
Addressing the occasion, the Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that it is an important day in terms of achieving Prime Minister’s vision of making the next 10 years as India’s Techade – full of opportunities for young Indians.
The minister added that this is an important milestone in the area of Metaverse which is an important part of the emerging future of the internet. “I hope it provides the necessary impetus towards fueling the growth of investments in future technologies in line with the government vision for making India a trillion-dollar economy by 2025.”
Chandrasekhar further said that it is evident that India is no longer going to be a consumer of technology but become a leader in producing emerging technologies.
Emphasising on the potential of Indian Startups from tier 2/3 cities, the minister added that young Indian startups will play a significant role in emerging tech areas like Web 3.0, blockchain, AI, Metaverse etc. and shape the future of technology and the internet for India and the world.
“India will play a pivotal role in defining future technologies. Decisions and investments made here in India now shape global discussions on how technology can deliver more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people. It is critical that we help to create an ecosystem that will enable India’s tech startups and innovators to build the foundations of the metaverse,” said Joel Kaplan, Vice President, Global Policy, Meta.
Kaplan observed the significant strides India has made under the Digital India Programme and maintained that Meta is committed to partner with the Indian Government in supporting next Generation Startups in Tier 2/3 cities. “India is one of the most vibrant market due to its tech talent, entrepreneurial spirit, fast growing startup ecosystem. Technologists from Tier 2/3 cities in India will shape the future of Metaverse.”
The Accelerator Program will support 40 early-stage start-ups working in XR technologies with a grant of ₹20 lakhs each. Further, the Grand Challenge will encourage early-stage innovators in sectors like Education, Learning and Skills, Healthcare, Gaming and Entertainment, Agritech & Climate Action and Tourism & Sustainability.
The innovators will be provided support to upscale from the R&D phase to developing workable products and services. At first 80 innovators will be shortlisted to attend a bootcamp, out of which, a total of 16 innovators will be provided grants of ₹20 lakhs each and further support to help them develop Minimum Viable Product (MVP)/ prototypes. Live Mint