Maharashtra State Innovative Start-Up Policy 2018


  • Provide a platform and nurture the entrepreneurial aspirations amongst the citizens of Maharashtra  
  • Empower start-ups to contribute significantly to Maharashtra’s economic growth andØ create employment opportunities for all sections of society  
  • Develop robust infrastructure and ease the regulatory framework to spur theØ development of the start-up ecosystem
  • Over a period of five years i.e. 2018 to 2023


the digital mantra and the ‘e’ word buzzing across the globe, GoM will develop an online portal and a mobile app for easy access to all the relevant information related to the start-up ecosystem including the list of investors, mentors and various other facilities. This policy will help Maharashtra L-E-A-P-F-R-O-G into a premier start-up destination.

1. Lighten Regulatory Compliance

the benefits being provided by GoM, Start-ups ought to fulfil the eligibility criteria and should be registered with the GoM. Support will be provided to Start-ups across stages i.e. early/ idea/seed stage, growth stage and mature stage. One possibility is to create an organisation which may allow different start-ups to commence operations as an independent vertical and then to spin off after maturity

1.1. Self-Certification

The procedure for conducting inspections will be made simpler and will be on the lines of Start-up India: Action Plan. Start-ups shall be permitted to file self-certification in prescribed format for select government compliances. No inspections shall be conducted for a period of seven years. Start-ups will also be able to do the Self-Certification through the mobile app/porta

1.2. Relaxing of Laws

Local laws shall be looked into with the view of relaxing some norms to allow easy compliances and gradually the State will progress towards relaxing the full-fledged norms. The Maharashtra Shops and Establishment Act shall be relaxed to allow start-ups with assetlight models to incorporate at a residential address.

1.3. Compensation for Stamp Duty & Registration Fees

For recognized incubators or start-ups that wish to rent space/property, 100% of stamp duty and registration fee may be compensated for first three years and 50% for the second tranche of three years

1.4. Assistance in Patent Filing Often start-ups are initiated by young people having very limited or no prior knowledge about various formalities including the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). To sustain in this competitive world it is essential that they protect their IPRs. With limited manpower and resources, Start-ups are unable to protect their IPRs. GoM will ensure that these start-ups sustain by providing assistance in filing of Patents, Trademarks and Designs. Both technical and financial assistance will be provided to the Start-ups to withstand in this competitive world. Start-ups shall be provided with an 80% rebate in patent filing costs up to INR 2 lakhs for Indian patents and up to INR 10 lakhs for international patents.

2. E-connect the Ecosystem

The Start-up ecosystem is comprised of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, industries, educational institutes, service providers, funding organizations and research organizations. There is a dire need to connect these stakeholders together to ensure there is sufficient flow of information and knowledge sharing. Young aspirants not only need financial assistance but also require technical expertise and learnings from experienced entrepreneurs to succeed in their current venture

3. Augment Infrastructure

The GoM will assist in providing world-class infrastructure facilities to emerge as one of the premier states in attracting Start-ups to Maharashtra. This section details out various initiatives that will be taken by the State to augment infrastructure for Start-ups, Incubators, Accelerators, Centres of Excellence, and Start-up Parks in Maharashtra.

3.1. Setting up Innovation

Clusters The GoM would leverage the strength bestowed upon various cities across the State and simultaneously build on it. Each State of Maharashtra has its own forte like Mumbai is the financial hub as well as a leader in AVGC segment. Pune has its strength in Auto & Electronics industry as well as Hardware products, Aurangabad has attracted leading manufacturing industries. Thus, based on existing and potential regional economic advantages, urban local bodies and the local industries will work together to nurture sector-specific start-ups and establish major urban/rural areas as innovation clusters.

3.2. World Class Incubators through Collaborations

 The GoM shall support development of incubators on a Private, Public or Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode in collaboration with higher educational institutions, R&D institutions, and the corporate sector. The GoM will collaborate with both national and international accelerators and incubators to develop world-class facilities and enable cocreation/ collaboration programs to learn from such ecosystems. This is critical for holistic growth of emerging start-ups. The incubators will be required to be incorporated as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), either a Section 8 company or a private limited company registered under the Companies Act, 2013. The SPVs will not be allowed to incorporate as trusts or societies.

3.2.1. Academic

Universities/Colleges/Polytechnics/ITIs with a demonstrated history of innovation on campus will be identified and business incubators will be established within their premises. These incubators will have an independent board to oversee its functioning and existing incubators at premier academic institutions will mentor the upcoming facilities

3.2.2. Research

Three cluster-specific Centres of Excellence (CoEs) will be established in premier research institutions in the state. State would build partnerships at the global level to ensure that these CoEs not only provide world-class infrastructure facilities but also world-class services and guidance to the start-ups at various stages of growth. Each CoE will be connected to an academic/private incubator

3.2.3. Private

The State will provide support to leading corporates, industries and industry associations to establish incubation facilities specializing in their domain. Private firms will be encouraged to establish sector agnostic co-working spaces. Whenever any government department or a government agency allocates any land for any industry or provide extra FSI over and above of base FSI on the land owned by any industry, it should be mandated that the industry shall promote and mentor the start-ups and also undertake minimum 10% product or service procurement from these start-ups

3.2.4. Rural & Social

The State will play a facilitative role between entrepreneurs and innovators especially in the social enterprise space. This is crucial because innovators invest on improving the kind of product/service that should reach market but entrepreneurs take these innovations as products to the market. To ensure that the rural and social sector start-ups focus on their business ideas, the State will provide scholarships to select promising social and rural startups by providing rental rebates of up to 50% at incubators/co-working spaces.

 4. Funding Start-Ups

To ensure seamless and uninterrupted growth of start-ups, adequate funding support will be provided to the start-ups across stages i.e. early/seed stage, growth stage and mature stage to ensure holistic growth of the entire ecosystem. Start-ups that would qualify for the eligibility conditions in Maharashtra and who are registered at the portal will be entitled to receive grants and financial assistance. The State envisages to develop a self-sustaining financial model for the start-ups in Maharashtra.

4.1. Fund-of-Funds

A fund-of-funds will be established with an initial corpus of ₹100 Crore and a total corpus of ₹500 Crore over a period of four years. Investments will be made in SEBI-registered funds including early stage i.e. angel and seed funds. A professional investment management team will be recruited for

4.2. Infrastructure Fund

The State will institute an Infrastructure Fund to provide assistance to academic incubators, CoEs, and tinkering labs to cover capital and operational expenditures in the establishment and/or expansion of facilities. Special infrastructure like cloud, internet etc. may be made available through various service providers.this purpose. Certain risks of primary funds may be hedged using this fund of funds to cover the cost of funds for concerned start-ups.

4.3. Crowdfunding

 Social entrepreneurs comes with a very different set of problems and hence, the cost for bringing their product/service into market/doorstep is very high as compared with commercial enterprises. The social enterprises in India require a huge amount of long-term capital and have long gestation period. The State will provide vital financial support to the Social sector start-ups4 . They may receive grants matching the contributions raised on verified online crowdfunding platforms, up to INR 5 lakhs. The number of individual donors must exceed 100.

4.4. Corporate Social Responsibility

The State will encourage private and public corporations to utilize CSR funds towards supporting academic incubators/accelerators/CoEs/Start-up parks.

4.5. Alternative Investment Mechanism

 An alternative investment mechanism would be established in Maharashtra which would allow start-ups to float their shares in more flexible ways that may enable investments in various modes, scales and lock-in periods. This would increase the base of possible investors in start-ups to whole of society at lower scales and would attract investors from across the world at higher scales

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