Tamil Nadu has crossed 8,000 Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) registered start-ups, a significant increase from 2,300 start-ups in 2021, says Sivarajah Ramanathan, Mission Director at Start-up Tamil Nadu.

The start-up registration was across many sectors, including apparel and agri-tech.

“It is heartening to see the proactive role played by start-up Tamil Nadu in encouraging start-ups to register with and benefit from Start-up India initiatives - especially in Tier II and Tier III cities in the state - bearing fruit,” said Arun Natarajan, Founder of Venture Intelligence, a research firm that tracks startups and PE-VC funding.

While the number of start-ups who qualify (based on Start-up India’s criteria) from the state was already high, awareness about the benefits of registration was low. Ramanathan was meeting with collectors of Madurai and even smaller cities and towns to help promote that. Which is a good start, said Natarajan.

TN’s achievements

Recently, Tamil Nadu was awarded the ‘Best Performer,’ the top category in the States’ Start-up Ranking 2022. . It was the 4th edition of the Start-up India Ranking carried out by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.

In the first two editions, the State was categorised in the bottom-most category of ‘Emerging Ecosystem.’ Tamil Nadu was recognised as ‘Leader’ in the 2021 ranking, which was the third edition. Within three years of the present government taking charge, the State leaped two steps to reach the Best Performer category, a release said.

Also read: Tamil Nadu chalks out a 10-year roadmap on biodiversity

The State government has given a special focus on start-up with the revamped Tamil Nadu Start-up and Innovation Policy 2023 launched in September 2023 with a vision for the State to become one of the top 20 global start-up destinations by 2032. The policy has over 50 action points to help the State become a leading start-up ecosystem.

The policy period of the first Tamil Nadu Start-up and Innovation Policy was 2018-23. The revamped policy will accelerate and scale start-ups and increase their share in the State’s GDP and social capital. It defines and strengthens the seven determinants of the start-up ecosystem — start-up literacy; innovation landscape; start-up support centres; access to market; investment ecosystem; stakeholder engagement and equitable growth.