Bhubaneswar: During the Grand Finale of Startup India-Odisha Yatra held today at Jayadev Bhawan, Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik distributed free incubation offers to 75 young innovators. He expressed his happiness on the fact that the yatra van received an overwhelming response and stated that the yatra van could address 10,000 youth across 50 academic institutions located in 16 districts. Out of the total 3,600 ideas received, 125 were shortlisted for 3-day Accelerator Programme. Experts shortlisted 75 of them for incubation offers, who will be given free incubation at IIT, Bhubaneswar, STPI, I-Create at Ahmadabad and BIMTEC, New Delhi, Centurion University, KIIT TBI, NIIST, Berhampur and Sri Sri University, Cuttack. He appreciated the joint initiative of Startup India and Startup Odisha to scout grass root innovators. These selected incubators will undergo 3 months’ incubation programme and the best of them will get a grant of Rs.50,000/- to pursue their ideas. Hon’ble Chief Minister also released the yatra booklet on this occasion. Hon’ble Chief Minister announced that the number of startups registered with Startup Odisha Initiative has crossed the 200 mark. 23 of them are getting financial assistance from the Startup Odisha. He also released the profile booklet of these startups on this occasion. He hoped that with recent amendments in the Startup Odisha Policy will further encourage the startups and the state will be able to achieve the Mission-1000 startups by 2020. On this occasion Shri Prafulla Samal, Hon’ble Minister, MSME, W&CD & SSEPD stated that MSME Department and Startup Secretariat at IED are making best efforts to build one of the best eco-system in the state. He added that many of the ideas received during the yatra are brilliant and can make lasting impact on the society.While speaking on the occasion, Shri A.P. Padhi, Chief Secretary stated that Odisha Startup Policy is one of the best in the country. We are offering capital as well as matching grant to the incubators to enable them to build suitable ecosystem. Recently, a grant of Rs.2.5 crore has been given to IIT, Bhubaneswar to set up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) on Artificial Intelligence & Virtual Reality. The Centre, which has received contribution from a private philanthropist and STPI, is a unique example of partnership between State Govt., Govt. of India and a private philanthropist. He added that Odisha is offering the highest benefits and maximum support to the recognised startups and budding entrepreneurs, which is reflected in the fast growing number of startups in the state, which has crossed now 200 mark. Shri Atul Chaturvedi, Additional Secretary, DIPP stated that Odisha represent a very good example of Center – State partnership which has also brought Startup India Yatra to Odisha. While, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion is responsible for driving Startup India initiatives at the central level, it is the states which must build the ecosystem at the ground level. In Odisha, over the last year, I have seen that incubators are being built as well as scaled up, seed grants have been given out to over two dozen Startups, market exposure opportunities have been extended at National events as well. The Startups here have grown at the pace of 20 Startups every month, making it one of the fastest growing eco-system in the country. I believe this has been possible due to the robust and transparent nature of the Startup Odisha policy. It may just be a beginning of Startup ecosystem here, but it’s a very encouraging start. Shri L.N. Gupta, ACS, MSME stated that ideas received during the yatra are very interesting and if successfully incubated, these can make a huge impact on quality of our life. Some of them are Asthama Relief Shirt, Hybrid Crop Harvester, AR/VR based tourism guide, Eco-friendly pens and pencils, IoT based soil nutrient meter, Brain controlled wheel chair, Smart wearable device for cattle etc. He added that, all Odisha based incubators namely IIT, Bhubaneswar, STPI, Centurion University, KIIT TBI, NIIST, Berhampur, Sri Sri University, Cuttack happily agreed to offer free incubation to them. He also shared that two external incubators namely I-Create at Ahmadabad and BIMTEC, New Delhi are also offering incubation offers to 08 selected youth. The free incubation offer includes mentorship support, equipped work space, access to labs and free internet and electricity. 15 innovators, who will successfully complete incubation at these institutions will get a seed grant of Rs.50,000/- for further development on their ideas. Dr. Mrutyunjay Sutar, CEO, KIIT TBI, which partnered the Startup Yatra, extended vote of thanks.