National: The National Incubator Capacity Development Program, a joint initiative by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and Invest India, has unveiled the names of the top 25 incubators chosen to undergo an intensive 3-month mentorship, advisory, and capacity-building program. In collaboration with Villgro, this endeavor is a cornerstone of the Start-up India campaign, dedicated to nurturing social startups and entrepreneurs, and catalyzing the rapid expansion of India’s thriving startup ecosystem.
Cultivating Incubators for a Thriving Ecosystem
Over the span of 12 weeks, the program embraces a cohort-based hybrid approach aimed at honing the skills and capabilities of these selected incubators. It encompasses a comprehensive curriculum featuring self-learning modules, virtual and physical boot camps, exposure visits, and customized sessions tailored for incubator leaders. Moreover, these sessions will be led by a distinguished group of incubator business advisors, including luminaries like Chand Das, Rama Kannan, Arun Venkatesan, among others.
Empowering Incubators with Technology
Participants in the program will also gain access to VITALS (Villgro Information Tracking and Learning System), a technology-based information system designed to meticulously track enterprise incubation progress.
A Vision for a Thriving Ecosystem
Srinivas Ramanujam, CEO of Villgro, expressed his thoughts on the program, stating, “Incubators play a pivotal role in nurturing social enterprises and transforming India’s vibrant startup ecosystem. Over the last 23 years, we have observed this first-hand and have been perfecting our incubation model. We aim to strengthen the capacity of the incubators by sharing our expertise and wide networks through intensive mentorship and advisory support. We hope to catalyze their growth and create a thriving ecosystem for social innovation.”
A Nationwide Endeavor with a Focus on Tier-2 and Tier-3 Cities
Prashanth Prakash, Member of the National Startup Advisory Council and Partner at Accel, emphasized, “The National Incubator Capacity Building Program is launched to help build quality incubators across the country with an emphasis towards Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities and encourage cross-learning from larger cities and lighthouse incubators to address the needs of startups building for Bharat. We are pleased to announce the commencement of the training sessions with industry veterans and experts. Their invaluable insights and expertise will be instrumental in shaping the dynamic cohort of 25 incubators, empowering them with the necessary support and mentorship to create an enabling ecosystem for entrepreneurs to flourish.”
Filling the Incubator Knowledge Gap
With over 92,000 DPIIT-recognized startups across India and approximately 1,100+ incubators, the need to establish and bolster new incubators has become imperative. However, there remains a limited level of training, sensitization, and knowledge building for new incubator managers and their teams, particularly in emerging cities. The National Incubator Capacity Development Program aims to bridge this gap by providing hands-on training and growth strategies for incubators to ensure their long-term sustainability.
A Rigorous Selection Process
The Startup India Platform initiated a call for applications, inviting incubators from all corners of India to participate. A jury panel, comprising experts from various industries, conducted a meticulous evaluation of 83 applications. From this pool, 25 exceptional incubators were selected to participate in the Incubating Incubator program.
The Selected Incubators
The 25 chosen incubators participating in the program are:
- Pilani Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Society
- AIC ADT Baramati Foundation
- AIC – SKU Confederation
- AIC BV Foundation
- AIC Raise Foundation
- BSC BioNEST Bio-Incubator, RCB Faridabad
- Agri-Business Incubation Foundation, IIT Kharagpur
- IIMV Foundation for Incubation Entrepreneurial Learning and Development
- AIC-JKLU (Atal Incubation Center-JK Lakshmipat University)
- Crescent Innovation and Incubation Council
- MOTION CoE
- AIC-RNTU Foundation
- EdVenture Incubation Foundation
- AIC BAMU Foundation
- IIT Bhubaneswar Research And Entrepreneurship Park
- AIC Banasthali Vidyapith Foundation
- AICNIFTTEA Incubation Centre
- PDEU Innovation and Incubation Centre
- ANGRAU R Agri-Business Incubator
- FOUNDATION FOR CfHE
- K L Technology Incubators Foundation
- Centre for Incubation and Business Acceleration
- BioNEST-BHU InnoResTech Foundation
- IIM Kashipur Foundation for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Development
- STEP (Shakti-The Empathy Project)
A Catalyst for India’s Startup Ecosystem
The National Incubator Capacity Development Program marks a significant milestone in the evolution of India’s startup ecosystem. It empowers and equips these incubators, fostering an environment conducive to innovation, job creation, and social impact. This initiative has the potential to shape the future of social entrepreneurship in India and contribute significantly to the country’s economic growth and development.