Industry Updates

DPIIT, Along with Villgro, Announce Selected Incubators for the National Incubator Capacity Development Program

Published: August 31, 2023

Villgro will commence their 3-month-long National Incubator Capacity Development Program with 25 incubators.

Leading experts and industry stalwarts will provide intensive mentorship and advisory support to the incubators.

The program adopts a cohort-based hybrid approach which includes expert-led virtual and physical sessions, exposure to national and international best practices, and donor networking

The program aims to build sustainable incubators and create an enabling ecosystem for entrepreneurs to thrive.

The National Incubator Capacity Development Program, by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has announced the selection of the Top-25 incubators that will go through an intensive 3-month mentorship, advisory, and capacity-building program. The initiative, in association with Villgro, is part of the Start-up India campaign. It is dedicated to nurturing social startups and entrepreneurs and propelling the rapid expansion of Indias thriving startup ecosystem.

National Incubator Capacity Building Program

The program, over a period of 12 weeks, adopts a cohort-based hybrid approach to enhance the skills and abilities of the incubators. It includes a comprehensive set of self-learning modules, virtual and physical boot camps, exposure visits, and customized learning for incubator heads and sessions dedicated to efficiently managing the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS). These sessions will be provided by a distinguished group of incubator business advisors, including PR Ganapathy, Chand Das, Rama Kannan, Sandeep Jain, etc.

Additionally, participants will gain access to VITALS (Villgro Information Tracking and Learning System), a technology-based information system designed to track enterprise incubation progress.

Speaking about the program, Srinivas Ramanujam, CEO of Villgro, said, “Incubators play a pivotal role in nurturing social enterprises and transforming Indias vibrant startup ecosystem. Over the last 22 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.”

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. The training program with industry veterans and experts will provide valuable insights and expertise that 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,” said Prashanth Prakash, Member of the National Startup Advisory Council and Partner at Accel.

Given the presence of over 99,000+ DPIIT-recognized startups nationwide, coupled with hundreds of incubators across the country, the imperative to establish and bolster new incubators has become paramount. However, there remains a limited level of training, sensitization, and knowledge building for new incubator managers and their teams, especially in emerging cities and beyond Indias metros. The National Incubator Capacity Development Program seeks to bridge this gap by providing hands-on training and growth hacks for incubators to ensure their sustainability.

The Startup India Platform hosted a call for applications, inviting incubators from all over India to participate, that attracted 83 applications. After initial screening, the jury panel, comprising experts from various industries, conducted a rigorous evaluation of Top-35 applications. Out of these, 25 exceptional incubators were selected to be part of the program. The final incubator cohort support startups from diverse sectors, including Women Entrepreneurship, Education, Mobility, Agriculture, Rural Innnovations, and Climate Action among many others. The 25 incubators participating in the Incubating Incubator 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).

The National Incubator Capacity Development Program represents a significant milestone in the development of Indias startup ecosystem. NICDP will empower and equip a pathway to the incubators sustainability. By empowering incubators with the necessary knowledge and resources, the program also aims to foster an environment conducive to innovation, job creation, and social impact.

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