With the objective of tapping Punjab's growth potential by developing a vibrant environment for entrepreneurship, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday launched 'Innovation Mission Punjab' (IMPunjab), a public-private partnership to bring in the best global investors.
In his remarks at the virtual event, the Chief Minister said the mission will unleash Punjab's growth potential and create a thriving economy by generating jobs and inviting investment.
The mission will mobilise a global pool of ambassadors and partners for investment, mentorship and market access, said Amarinder Singh, adding the mission will also leverage the strength of the Punjabi diaspora, allowing them to partake in this renewed growth story of Punjab besides running focused programmes to encourage entrepreneurship amongst women.
On the occasion, a grand 'ideathon' was also announced in partnership with incubators, inviting budding entrepreneurs, young professionals, and students across the state.
Showcasing Punjab as an entrepreneurial state with a strong footprint of entrepreneurs across the world and India, the Chief Minister said the state has a burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem with 450 startups and 20 plus incubators.
Besides, the Innovation Mission Punjab will act as a catalyst to strengthen by rallying all the stakeholders viz. academia, incubators, investors, startups, government, progressive farmers, sports people, media, industry and corporates, said Amarinder Singh.
The Chief Minister further said the mission is a unique public-private partnership, championed by the private sector with strong government backing.
As partners the Department of Agriculture, Industries and Commerce, Mandi Board and Startup Punjab are providing over Rs 30 crore in cash and kind, including operating expenses for the first three years, 10 year rent-free lease for 12,000 sq ft at Kalkat Bhavan, and support to startups and incubators in the state.
Meanwhile, eminent economist Montek Singh Ahluwalia, while describing innovation as the important factor in the start ups, said the innovation mission would get going in true sense once the things get back to normal and a post-Covid scenario emerges.
He said digital connectivity and artificial intelligence are key areas of the start-up sector.
Elaborating on the larger objectives of the mission, founder Genpact and Asha Impact Pramod Bhasin said: "The start-up wave is in the air and Mohali, Chandigarh, and Ludhiana have the potential to emerge as the start-up hubs and far-reaching steps to put Punjab on the global startup map would be undertaken by building impetus for entrepreneurship communities and collaborating with investors, industry and academia."