The programme, a part of the government’s Startup India initiative, will provide hands-on training to help startup incubators grow sustainably
The National Incubator Capacity Building Program will develop customised business models for incubators and organise workshops on managing the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme
Incubator business advisors like Paul Basil, Chand Das, Mohammad Azhar, Rama Kannan, and Arun Venkatesan will mentor and guide up to 20 incubators
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has launched the first edition of the ‘National Incubator Capacity Building Program’, a hands-on training programme to help startup incubators grow sustainably, under the government’s ‘Startup India’ initiative.
The training programme will provide three months of mentorship and advisory support to the incubators, along with knowledge resources and tools for entrepreneurs to grow. The programme will develop customised business models for incubators and organise masterclasses and workshops on managing the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS).
The National Incubator Capacity Building Program has been launched in line with the suggestions received from the National Startup Advisory Council (NSAC), constituted by the DPIIT and chaired by Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal.
The Centre constituted the NSAC to advise on measures required to build a robust ecosystem for nurturing startups in India. On Saturday (March 11), Goyal chaired the sixth meeting of the NSAC in New Delhi.
“There is a dire need for efficient incubators that can support the vibrant startup community and scale innovative solutions. We are delighted to launch this program, which will help us identify our first cohort of visionary incubators and enable them to create impact at scale,” Prashant Prakash, a member of NSAC, said in a statement.
As per a Tracxn report, as on December 2022, India was home to 651 accelerators and incubators including xto10x, Villgro, Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), and Upekkha, with several new players also entering the space.
Incubator business advisors like Paul Basil, Chand Das, Mohammad Azhar, Rama Kannan, and Arun Venkatesan will mentor and guide up to 20 incubators under the new programme. The incubators will go through a 12-16 week long three-phased cohort-based hybrid capacity development programme, consisting of self-learning modules and in-person sessions.
The programme will be implemented by Villgro, a social enterprise incubator which won the National Incubator Award 2020 by the DPIIT.
Villgro would help develop the capacity of incubators by guiding the cohorts with knowledge of the domain, incubation plans, and customised roadmaps, said Azhar, lead of government and public sector initiatives at Villgro.
The National Incubator Capacity Building Program will commence in May 2023 and the first cohort of incubators will graduate from the program in August. Incubators can apply for the program on the Startup India platform by March 25, 2023.
Govt’s Push For Startups
The programme is part of the government’s increasing focus on promoting startups for technological innovations, creating jobs, and faster economic growth. The government aims to make India a $1 Tn digital economy by 2025.
The Centre launched its flagship Startup India initiative in 2016 to catalyse the startup culture in the country and build an ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship.
The government has also launched the SISFS and the Fund of Funds For Startups (FFS) scheme, along with credit guarantee scheme, as part of the Startup India initiative to streamline capital requirements of startups at various stages of their business cycle.
The country is currently home to over 93,000 DPIIT-recognised startups and 108 unicorns.
The SISFS incubated 656 startups in the last two years, with 304 startups incubated in FY22 alone.