The Entrepreneur Development Centre (EDC), one of the UT administration’s most ambitious but much delayed initiatives, finally looks set to get its most important ingredient: entrepreneurs.
The fire safety no-objection certificate (NOC) has come for the four-floor building located in IT Park, and the information technology department has issued letters for allotment to young entrepreneurs, said IT secretary Prerna Puri. “The centre will play a vital role in the growth of young IT companies,” she hoped.
Of the 19 bays that cover 20,189 sq feet, 11 are fully furnished, equipped with plug-and-play facilities, and are reserved for young entrepreneurs, while eight unfurnished bays are earmarked for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). However, the bays meant for young entrepreneurs attracted 10 entrepreneurs while there were no takers for the SME bays when bids were finally opened on January 9.
The project has been four years in the making, with plenty of delays along the way. Before the January process, the administration had unsuccessfully begun the allotment exercise twice.
This time, the reserve licence fee for young entrepreneurs was fixed at Rs 25 per sq feet per month and Rs 50 per sq per month for SMEs.
The centre has cost Rs 18 crore, inaugurated by the then UT administrator Gen SF Rodrigues (retd) in November 2009, and the expenditure was shared 50:50 by the UT administration and the union government under a scheme for assistance in developing export infrastructure and allied activities.
Know the EDC
*What’s on offer: Inaugurated on November 13, 2009, for IT, IT-enabled service organisations, excluding call centres, working in sales/marketing. 11 bays (10,112 sq feet) for young entrepreneurs, eight (10,077 sq feet) for SMEs.
*Who qualifies: For young entrepreneurs, organisation not more than a year old with investment up to Rs 5 lakh. For SMEs, organisation 1-4 years old, investment Rs 10 lakh-Rs 5 crore. Reserve licence fee for YEs Rs 25 per sq ft, Rs 50 per sq ft per month for SMEs.
*Stops and start: In 2009, UT authorities in association with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) organised ‘Business Plan Competition’, but winners did not get space after objections were raised on the very process. In 2011, applications invited again but process called off. In Feb 2013, building failed fire risk assessment; in March, IT dept forced to take legal opinion after estate office said the dept can’t allocate space on its own. Minor structural changes made, the fire safety nod is in now; estate office argument set aside by UT legal wing.