September 27, 2020

Centre to mentor start-up incubator

Patna: Niti Ayog has handpicked Bihar Entrepreneurs’ Association (BEA) to set up a new incubation centre in Patna to mentor state’s start-ups under Atal Incubation Centre project as part of Atal Innovation Mission so that the enterprise culture in Bihar could take off.

Under the project, the association will get grant-in-aid of Rs 10 crore from Niti Ayog to set up a suitable physical infrastructure and capital equipment for providing mentorship, incubation space and technological know-how to agriculture, health and education sector start-ups having sustainable business models from Bihar as well as other states of the country.

Apart from the financial assistance by Niti Ayog, the BEA will have to source additional Rs 10 crore to set up the incubation centre in a 10,000sqft area in Patna within 120 days.

The centre will be independent from start-up incubation centres running inside the premises of academic and technological institutions in the country.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity and wish to spread our incubation support in every village, block and district of Bihar,” said Abhishek Kumar, general secretary, BEA.

The Niti Ayog had shortlisted 40 applicants out of the 2,600 applications received in the phase-1 of the project to provide mentorship and hand-holding support to would-be entrepreneurs in the country under Atal Incubation Centre project.

According to the association, Niti Ayog, for the first time has approved a project in Bihar to encourage and help innovative business ideas to take-off.

The members of the regional coalition of entrepreneurs (BEA), however, hoped it will further boost the start-up-ecosystem and enterprise culture especially in the eastern region and Bihar.

The incubators picked under the Atal Incubation Centre project by Niti Ayog will get Rs 2 crore per year for five years to convert grassroots level innovative business ideas into scalable and sustainable enterprises.

As soon as the incubation centre is established, the BEA will have to provide necessary mentorship, technology, access to investors and supporting client-supplier networks to the three categories of start-ups from across the country.

Despite the recent stimulus given by the Bihar government and entrepreneurship bodies, the conversion of innovative business models into sustainable businesses are mired with several challenges; lack of relevant data, exposure with industry and experts and access to investors, suppliers and clients.

However, experts acknowledge that the start-up ecosystem in Bihar is still in the nascent stage, the whole-hearted support to incubators and the reciprocal services they provide to newly created start-ups become crucial to ensure sustainable future for businesses in the state.

Besides, recognition to initial failures, recalibration of business ideas, market research and sustainability before rising competition and changing client’s needs are yet to be barometered to achieve the highest possible magnitude of enterprise start-ups in Bihar.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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