Fifteen start-ups selected in the first-of-its-kind government’s supported product accelerator programme for innovators developing sustainable solutions will soon start working towards solutions in the healthcare and agriculture domains.
This is the first cohort of the NIRMAN Accelerator Programme launched by Start-ups Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC) IIT Kanpur. The accelerator program supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), through its NIDHI scheme portfolio, will help solve challenges in the product development journey of indigenous innovations. The programme takes a leaf out of the best methods and key insights from the 2 very successful national initiatives of SIIC IIT Kanpur, The Ventilator Project and Mission Bharat O2.
According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, the calls for the programme were launched in July 2022, and the start-ups were selected through rigorous screening. This was followed by training, including residential workshops for getting the start-ups geared up to meet the challenges ahead.
Officials said that the first three-day residential workshop for the startups provided the startups with a better understanding of funding opportunities, compliance & business opportunities for health tech and agritech startups, Angel and VC funding for early-stage startups, compliance through Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), ISO and Government e-Marketplace (GeM) and ethos associated with team building. Representatives from VCs like growX, YourNest, corporates like DS Group, and government agencies like TDB, GeM shared their insights and learning with the startup founders in this program. Startups under the cohort got opportunities to interact with eminent speakers from government agencies, Angel Investors and VC communities, and prominent industry leaders.
Dr Anita Gupta, Head NEB Division DST, underlined this program’s importance in strengthening the country’s innovation ecosystem and creating startups focusing on areas of national importance.
Regarding the programme’s response, Prof Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur, said, “NIRMAN Accelerator Programme is expected to expedite the journey of startups developing cutting-edge, technology-driven innovations in these critical areas from prototype to market.”
The programme will enable comprehensive nurturing and fostering of the start-ups through effective mentoring and market access, and with the completion of the training period this month, the start-ups will get launched in their journey towards indigenous innovations, said officials.