University Incubators: Paving the Way for Startups & Innovation

If you are a budding entrepreneur or thinking of starting a business or startup, then you will well aware of the word ‘Incubator’ as it is a buzzword in startup ecosystem to reach up to the highest step in the ladder to earn the desired stardom. Among the millions of floating concepts in the market, the incubator, venture capitalists, investors, accelerator are the widely heard terms which seems to be overlapping but every concept has their own significance in a business scenario. Startup incubators are specialized hubs that can help early-stage ventures and startups navigate some of the most challenging aspects of running a business. Incubators work to help you develop and refine high-potential startup ideas to grow your business providing a trajectory which you can follow to give your business ideas a potential form.

Inception of the Idea
The idea for incubators began just over 60 years ago in Batavia, New York. With a family-owned factory at his disposal, Joseph Mancuso took up the idea of helping other like-minded individuals, so they get their small businesses off the ground and land up to a great height. The structure of an incubator is much like a corporate office space which includes mandatory meetings, strict deadlines, and even a direct supervisor. The resources and services they offer can vary, but often include access to office space, mentorship opportunities, business education classes, and community networking events.

If you are a budding entrepreneur then this article is for you to know how and where you can get the assistance of incubator to grow your business to the next level.

Detangle the potential innovations and tangle up the profits!!

Significance of Incubators in the lifecycle of a Startup

• Guidance on developing a product from your idea and help to convert ideas into action.

• Help running experiments to prove product-market fit

• On-demand access to resources.

• Legal consultation, so that your company cannot face any legal hazards.

• A workspace shared with other entrepreneurs, which can uplift the spirit of entrepreneurship, and you feel confident and focused.

• Networking and mentorship opportunities help you get the required funding without facing troubles.

• Funding in return for a stake in your company as equity and attracts investors.

• It bridges the gap between those startups who are floating on the same boat in the market, and helps the startups to collaborate, connect and share ideas through workshops and panel discussions and help each other to grow bigger.

• It offers vigorous rounds of mentorship or guidance through workshops or webinars to encourage encapsulate and enhance the innovations.

Land on your dream!! Nurture your ideas!! Igniting the spark of entrepreneurship!!
Whether you’re looking for seed funding, networking opportunities, or mentorship, there is a startup incubator that can help. Y Combinator, is a prominent platform for startups which hosts a three-month program and provides $500,000 to each company in exchange for a seven percent share. It’s estimated that there are as many as 305 million startups created every year, while there are only 7,000 incubators. That means you’re going to have a lot of competition. So to encourage the sea of innovation from the young visionaries, Management colleges and B-schools are opening incubator programs to support their students throughout their path of a successful businessman. This incubators provide an environment within the campuses where innovative thought and problem-solving skills are further cultivated. University incubators are usually university or student-run and can receive funding from donations or venture capital support. They may also invest in students’ projects and use the proceeds to fund new endeavors. These programs can provide pupils with all types of assistance and mentorship, from access to costly technology to logistical solutions.

Few prominent incubators of the lot are-

1. Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) by IIM Ahmedabad
The Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, has been established with support from the Government of India and Gujarat Government. It was founded as a research institute in 2002, CIIE turned into a full-fledged incubation centre in 2007. It has accelerated nearly 1000 startups, funded 300 and mentored and coached over 5000 startups. They have started several incubator programs such as Aarohaan Ventures, iAccelerator, Infuse Ventures IIMAvericks, IdeaPad, Startup Oasis. A lot of successful companies have shined bright in the industry. Few of them are Birds Eye Systems, Barrix Agro Sciences, Biosense Technologies Private Limited, Ecolibrium, Forus, iStar, Travelyaari, Innoz, Thots. CIIE.CO provides funding in the form of government grants, pre-seed, seed and series, an investment starting from around ₹10 lakh to ₹15 lakh of grand capital up to US$5 million. It has arranged iAccelerator in 2009 for offering mentorships, market connections and access to capital, Bharat Inclusion Initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and Department of Science and Technology.

2. Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Park by IIT Kharagpur
This is a non-profit organization for students to sow the seeds of entrepreneurship skill inside the young minds of the students of India. It was founded in 2006. This organization inside the heart of IIT Kharagpur, E-Cell has since been involved in more than 70 startup companies in the initial stages of their existence. It is a student body under Rajendra Mishra School of Engineering Entrepreneurship (RMSOEE), IIT Kharagpur and has taken up various initiatives to promote new ventures by students of IIT Kharagpur and students across the country. They are providing mentorship through individuals for students launching their startups. E-cell has now started to 'Support Starting up' by various one of its kind ventures like Kharagpur Angel Network, Startup Services Programme, StartIn Portal, etc. They have successfully arranged Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015, Global Entrepreneurship Conference, Startup Fair, and Entrepreneurship Awareness Drive 2009. STEP-IITKGP works hand in hand with other incubation programmes like Technology Incubation and Entrepreneurship Training Society (TIETS) and Technology Business Incubation (TBI) within the IIT-KGP ecosystem. Apart from these programs they have also inaugurated and undertaken numerous knowledge camps, workshops to encourage young students who has the ideas but doesn’t know the roadmap to achieve their target.

3. Amity Innovation Incubator
This center is a pioneering concept in the context of Indian Universities. Supported by DST, Ministry of Science & Technology, GOI, ‘Amity Innovation Incubator’ has in a very short time of its existence earned an enviable position for itself with start-ups which have regularly been on top of the innovation. It was founded in 2008, located in Noida. They are mainly focusing on Rural Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, Information and communication Technologies (to include Social media and ecommerce, Mobile computing and technologies, Analytics, Cloud computing and Big Data), Education and Education Technologies, Food and allied Technologies, Biotechnology and Life Sciences, Nanotechnology and Material Sciences. They can raise funding up to INR 1 crore. Few successful companies are, Anduril Technologies.

4. Nadathur S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) by IIM Bangalore
It is the entrepreneurship development center of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore. Apart from incubating entrepreneurial ventures, the cell delivers courses and programs relating to entrepreneurship. Some of the popular programs offered at Management Programme for Women Entrepreneurs and Management Program for Entrepreneurs and Family Businesses. NSRCEL is IIM Bangalore’s flagship business incubator founded in 1973. It is a non-profit institution purely focused on aiding creators and funding startups in their journey. With nearly 600 ventures incubated that exceed $1.5 Billion in combined value, there’s nothing stopping you from embarking on your entrepreneurial journey. NSRCEL is an open incubator, which admits projects of both IIM Bangalore student/alumni and non-alumni. So far, it has incubated 45 enterprises. Few of their successful startups are Amagi, Nextgen, ttatva, Milaap, MeshLabs.

5. Wadhwani Centre For Entrepreneurship Development (WCED) Institute by Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad
This significant setup of organization was established in 2001 at ISB and funded by Wadhwani Foundation, in order to assist young entrepreneurs in the area of business planning. It also focuses on entrepreneurship education. Its chief areas of focus are finance, Innovation and Knowledge Network. It is a hybrid incubator which was created collaborating with Govt. of Andhra Pradesh for new and emerging SMEs. This foundation has taken several initiatives- Incubation: Edi (physical), Khub (virtual) Growth: SME-SEZ Connect, Propero,ISBGI, R2M platform, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor partnership, Innovation for Humanity (I4H) partnership, TIE-ISB Connect event. Few of their successful startups are, Orkash, Richcore Lifesciences, Loylty Rewardz, Avsarr Quest.

Don’t Hesitate to Empower & Elevate the thriving legacy of Innovative Entrepreneurship

Final note
Startup incubators are some of the most sought-after programs in the sky of startup. They can help build a business from the ground up, offering a number of huge benefits, especially for early-stage ventures. India is a developing country, and this status of India can be changed only if startups can grow more in number. Sadly, Indian government cannot offer 100 percent employment to all the young talents as the number of engineering colleges are more in number than organizations and offices. So, by establishing a network of campus incubators, we can create local employment and a better quality of life for the communities around the campuses. Incubators help the young startups from ground zero, offering a number of huge benefits, especially for early-stage ventures. Decision, planning, execution might be a difficult task for you to undertake but now you’ve got a better understanding of some of the ins and outs of the process holding the steady hands of the incubators to transform the nation to create a greater distribution of social and economic development across the country.