Government Mentor Program

The Government Mentor Program (GMP) is an initiative started by the Government of Telangana, India, envisioned to build familiarity with the Government by bringing officials from relevant departments to mentor startups. The organisers believe that startups work on innovative solutions that have the potential to reform existing processes and services that  bodies provide. The goal of GMP is to assist entrepreneurs eyeing the Government  as a client to establish connections and seek mentorship from relevant Government officials.

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Innovation Overview

The Government Mentor Program (GMP) is currently inviting start-ups from all over India to venture out their services for the state of Telangana. This ambitious initiative, which was curated to bridge the gap between Government and start-ups in the country, aims to create an innovation-driven economy and foster a culture of innovation across Telangana.

Start-ups which work for a social motive or with a fundamental aim to solve the problems of society often struggle to find the necessary mentorship to potentially help them in streamlining their solutions. Additionally, start-ups that start off with a different motive, tend to be blind to their potential in solving problems that are usually dealt with by the government. Reasonably, the Government alone cannot achieve solutions to all its problems, making it even more important to involve the growing private sector.

Start-ups work on unique and innovative solutions that have the potential to entirely re-write the existing processes or services that Government provides. However, the approachability to the decision-makers within the Government system may not be as easy as it might sound and the goal of GMP is to bridge this gap.

Objectives of the programme:
1. To help innovative startups by providing mentoring from Government Officials;
2. To provide an opportunity for government to assess the capability of startups;
3. To build rapport between startups and government;

Currently, the programme has been rolled out for the Municipal Administration and Urban Development departments and is further set to support other departments, such as Agriculture, Education and Transport. The purpose of this is to have a substantial amount of startups connected with the government and to have wide-scale, implementable solutions. It also allows startups to receive work orders from the government and for them to start to consider government as a client.

The programme is implemented through the following process:
1. Startups fill an online registration form and select the respective focus area.
2. Shortlisting of startups evaluated is done by an incubator & the Government official.
3. Shortlisted startups will make a pitch to an esteemed panel of Government officials, Incubators, Experts from industries and academia.
4. Finalist candidates will go through the intensive 3 months mentorship program.

1. Unique Value Proposition.
2. Team.
3. Sustainability and Scalability.
4. Social Impact.

Eligibility for startups to apply:
1. Should be incorporated as a private limited company (as defined in the Companies Act, 2013) or registered as a partnership firm (under Section 59 of the Partnership Act, 1932) or as a limited liability partnership (under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008) in India.
2. Should have been incorporated/registered within the last seven years (in the case of startups in the biotechnology and/or social sector, the period shall be up to ten years).
3. Shouldn’t have exceeded a turnover of Rs. 25 Cr (approximately EUR 2.9 million) in any of the financial years since its incorporation/registration.
Furthermore, startups must have a “minimum viable product” and be ready to demonstrate “proof of concept” (Idea-stage ventures shall not be considered at this point).
4. The product generated should be assisting the Government in some shape and form.

Mentors are often referred to as the secret to success behind most startups, and who better than people in the public sector, such as the government to share what sort of solution would work for society? This was the thought behind the genesis of the Government Mentor Program.

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