The program, which will be spread for 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 customised 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 Chand Das, Rama Kannan, Arun Venkatesan, etc.
Apart from this, 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 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 catalyse 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. 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,” said Prashanth Prakash, Member of the National Startup Advisory Council and Partner at Accel.
Given the presence of over 92,000 DPIIT-recognised startups nationwide, coupled with a limited number of approximately, 1100+ incubators the imperative to establish and bolster new incubators has become paramount.
However, there remains a limited level of training, sensitisation and knowledge building for new incubator managers and their teams, especially in emerging cities and beyond India’s metros. The National Incubator Capacity Development Program seeks to bridge this gap by providing training and growth hacks for incubators to ensure their sustainability.
How these incubators were selected
The Startup India Platform hosted a call for applications, inviting incubators from all over India to participate. The jury panel, comprising experts from various industries, evaluated 83 applications. Out of these, 25 exceptional incubators were selected to be part of the program.
The evaluation process began with an incubator pitch that encompassed startups from diverse sectors, including women entrepreneurship, mobility, agriculture, rural incubation and sustainability among many others. The 25 incubators participating in the 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 milestone in the development of India’s 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.