Five institutions from Gujarat, including the Gujarat University (GU) and Gujarat Technological University (GTU) will get grants to establish Atal Incubation Centres under the aegis of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) set up by the Niti Aayog. As many as 34 incubators in the country have been approved by AIM.
GTU, Surat Smart City Development Limited from Surat- a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the implementation of the Smart City projects in the city, GU, Gujarat Law Society(GLS) and Indrashil Institute of Science & Technology, Mehsana, have been given approval for the scheme. Sources said GTU has been given the green signal to flag off a biomedical and healthcare incubator whereas GU will be operating a new entity on social enterprises. Each of the selected applicants will be eligible for grant of up to Rs 10 crore for Atal Incubation Centres (AICs).
AIM has been conceptualised to fill the gaps in entrepreneurship by providing grants for encouraging commercially viable products in economic and social sectors. It promotes self-employment where innovators are supported and mentored to run successful businesses and innovations are promoted. As many as 2,676 applications were received for scale-up support of existing incubation centres (EIC) and green field incubators under AICs.
Dr Hitesh Ruparel, director of GLS University’s Incubator LEAF, said, “Our current incubators focus on big data and IoT (Internet of Things) and mobile-based apps. With this approval, we plan to focus solely on social enterprises and design start-ups. We may plan more facilities over and above the existing one where we have incubated 80 start-ups. We will be adding a 100 more now.”
All applicants who have received the AIM approval have four months to comply with the guidelines, including forming an SPV as a Section 8 Company and opening bank account for the host institution to contribute funds. Moreover, a 10,000 sq ft built-up space for SPV must be earmarked and a board to manage the SPV formed. The guidelines also necessitate a detailed budget plan managing team (Board, CEO and other officials) and a mentor list. Within 120 days of announcement, all mandatory compliances and readiness of applicants will be considered for fund disbursement.
“At GU, we have already set up the Atal Advisory Committee and work on creation of a new entity is in progress. Under the new entity, we will incubate start-ups and innovations that work to create social impact and develop business solutions for social problems. GU is the only university in state that has been given approval to become a Department of Science and Technology -sponsored Technology Business Incubator.
So far, we have incubated 66 companies and we plan to bring in 25 social impact business enterprises this year. Our target is to reach 100 companies before year ends,” said Rahul Bhagchandani, acting CEO, GU Startup & Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC).