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India launches Gyan Circle Ventures: MeitY–funded technology business incubator

Gyan Circle Ventures, a Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) funded Technology Business Incubator (TBI) of Indian Institute of Information Technology, Sri City (IIIT Sri City) was launched recently. The IIIT Sri City incubation centre is the perfect example of the collaboration of education and industries and they are working great in the field of innovation.

Inaugurated via video conference Gyan Circle Ventures will function as a Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE 2.0) incubation centre. It will serve as a hub for innovation and startups by providing support, investments, infrastructure and mentoring.

Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal, speaking on the occasion said that innovation is the engine that powers the progress of the nation. The nation needs to foster innovation and entrepreneurship to ensure that India is self-sustainable and remain at the cutting edge of science and technology.

Centres like Gyan Circle Ventures have the potential to instil entrepreneurship in young minds and steward them to become successful innovators. The initiative functions as a Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE 2.0) incubation centre as envisioned by the Ministry of Information Technology (MeitY).

The incubator would leverage the Indian Institute of Information Technology’s entrepreneurial spirit,  leverage its intellectual capital and use emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), Cyber Security, Internet of Things (IoT) and Robotics and other such potential technologies.

The centre will enable incubatees to leverage expert mentors and networks from both academia and the industry. The minister expressed hope that the incubator will catalyse the advancement of society-conscious entrepreneurship and fuel job creation.

Indian Institute of Information Technology, Sri City has been part of the Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell and had established the Institute Innovation Council. Additionally, IIIT Sri City has established an Entrepreneurship Cell (E-cell) to support and enable students to create innovative ideas and convert them into business opportunities.

E-cell trains students on how to be successful entrepreneurs with social responsibility. It is envisioned that the TBI- Gyan Circle Ventures supported by MeitY will provide support for innovators and startups, in various phases via funding, systems and advice. It will also serve as a channel for commercialising the innovations of faculty and students.

Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE) 2.0 aims to promote tech entrepreneurship through financial and technical support to incubators engaged in supporting ICT startups primarily engaged in using emerging technologies such as IoT, AI, Block-chain, Robotics etc. in pre-identified areas of societal relevance.

The Scheme will be implemented through empowering 51 incubators in India and handholding close to 2000 tech start-ups over 5 years. The scheme envisions creating a holistic ecosystem to support technology startups and incubation centres through identifying and creating necessary linkages.

MeitY Startup Hub (MSH) would be set up under TIDE 2.0 to ensure synergistic linkages among the TIDE centres, theme-based incubation centres, Centre of Excellences on emerging technologies and other collaborative platforms. The MSH will also ensure the crisscrossing of technology resources across the innovation ecosystem to come out with technology solutions to various societal challenges.

Its salient features are:

  • Fostering and evangelising a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem that inspires budding entrepreneurs as well as support existing ones
  • Creating entrepreneurship models of both financial as well as social value.
  • Provide holistic incubation support including co-working space, mentoring, and networking for startups.
  • Provide financial support to 51 incubators and close to 2000 tech startups pan India.
  • The financial support for startups will be provided Facilitate IPR filings

TIDE Centers

Proposals from 51 TIDE 2.0 Incubation Centres are to be obtained from institutions of higher learning and R&D organisations having incubation facilities and established linkages with large companies, industry bodies, industry.

To leverage the diversity in the ecosystem, it is proposed to roll out TIDE 2.0 in a layered approach. For this it is envisaged that each of the 51 TIDE Centres will be categorised into three distinct groups:

Group 1 Centers

Group 1 Centres (G1C) will offer deep support to startups including mentoring, capacity building, investing, and post-investment advisory. Typically, G1Cs will be mature incubators having capabilities of providing such support. It is proposed that six such incubators are to be selected as G1Cs. These six G1Cs would mentor and supervise the Group 2 Centres and Group 3 Centres if needed.

Group 2 Centers

Group 2 Centres (G2C) will enable a large number of aspiring entrepreneurs and students to build high-quality startups. Typically G2Cs will either be new incubators or academic/student-focused incubators that have deep networks in the local ecosystem. It is proposed that 25 such incubators be selected as G2Cs.

Group 3 Centers

Group 3 Centres (G3C) will initiate and evangelise innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in unexplored regions. These will typically be incubators that are recently established in academic institutes that would initiate and evangelise entrepreneurship and innovation activity in regions with absent/ dormant ecosystems. It is proposed that 20 such incubators be selected as G3Cs.

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