A NETWORK of 16 incubation centres will be set up in Maharashtra to promote entrepreneurship and innovation among students. Two of these will be set up in Mumbai, according to the state Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Department.
While one of the centres will come up at the University of Mumbai, the other will come up at the Research Innovation Incubation Design Laboratory Foundation. “Setting up a state-wide network of incubators is a strategy of government of Maharashtra to promote innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in the state,” said the department in a statement.
The announcement was made Wednesday when the Maharashtra leg of the month-long Startup India Yatra was kicked off by Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.
“The government realises that startups are not just confined to big cities. Smaller towns and villages are also emerging as vibrant startup centres. The Maharashtra Startup Yatra is a journey to discover and nurture talent,” said Rao. Apart from Mumbai, incubation centres are expected to come up at the Amravati University Development of Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship; Center for Agro-Bio-Innovation and Incubation, SRTM University in Nanded; CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute in Nagpur; Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad; Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University in Lonere.
These institutes will receive a grant of Rs 5 crore each to set up an incubation centre. Government had invited applications from institutes across the state and depending on the quality of proposals received, the institutes were shortlisted. “Applications were judged on the basis of business plan, leadership team, sector expertise, market linkages and infrastructure. The evaluation was done by a panel of experts from the startup ecosystem,” said the department in a statement.
The scheme is being spearheaded by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Startup India and state Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Department and the Maharashtra State Innovation Society (MSInS)
While 16 institutes were shortlisted in the first phase of implementation of the programme, the MSInS has started accepting applications for the second phase. Budding entrepreneurs will have a chance to participate in boot camps during the startup Yatra and pitch their ideas at a seminar at Nagpur and the shortlisted startup ideas will receive pre-incubation offers.