Strengthening its commitment to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, the Department of Science and Technology jointly with the Lockheed Martin Corporation and Tata Trusts has recently launched the India Innovation Growth Programme (IIGP) 2.0.
The programme that has been running since 2007, much before the Startup India campaign in 2015, with the support of Lockheed Martin Corporation, has supported close to 500 innovators, start-ups, to boost technologically driven minds.
Startups recognized by IIGP have made an impressive contribution to the economy. So far, over 500 startups have been able to generate an economic value of US$900 million, thus, scaling their ventures to the next level.
With administered support by the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum, the programme has been implemented by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) through a wide outreach campaign spreading to over 100 cities across India over the last 10 years and over 350 commercial agreements signed. The Programme has received and evaluated over 7000 ideas so far.
This year, under IIGP 2.0, Tata Trusts have come on board to support and scale social innovations. The programme will have two separate tracks viz. University Challenge and the Open Innovation Challenge to support innovations across industrial and social sectors.
IIGP 2.0 is the only public-private partnership of its kind that will invest in social and industrial innovations, train innovators in world-class commercialisation strategies, offer support for incubation and assist in business development, ultimately taking ideas and Indian technologies into the global marketplace. Soumya Gupta of BW Businessworld speaks to Nirankar Saxena, Senior Director of FICCI, to learn more about the initiatives.
Excerpts from the Interview:
Tell us about IIGP 2.0. How can startups participate (and win grants)?
The IIGP 2.0 runs two annual parallel challenges – University Challenge for the university students and the Open Innovation Challenge for the wider technology community.
For the university challenge, after screening the applications, top 30 get an opportunity to receive mentoring from IIT-Mumbai. The subsequent top 10 will get a grant of Rs 10 lakh grant of Rs 10 lakh and help on ideation, design and review support. The selected applicants go to a boot camp at IIM- Ahmedabad. This is a golden opportunity as when innovators tank choose four best teams, each team receives an amount of Rs 25 lakh as grant and incubation support.
A similar road map has been designed for the Open Innovation participants. Fifty Start-ups get a chance to go to boot camp at IIM-A. In Phase B, 10 selected startups move on to seed funding, mentoring, and a visit to MIT in the US.
How have startups evolved in India?
About 11 years ago when we started, the startup culture was in its nascent stage. It was an informal sector. In 2007, we had only few incubators pan-India. Today, the number has sky-rocketed. The start-up sector is definitely a recognised sector now.
Startup India campaign by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, recognises the potential of startups in India. There is huge entrepreneurial wave in the country right now. Start-ups are being seen as engines of growth and employment generation.
What is the future plan of action for IIGP 2.0, say three years down the line?
Our target is to nurture startups that will contribute close to $1 billion to the GDP in the next three years. We will also be looking at forming partnerships between last 10 years programme alumnus and new entrants. The last day to file application is closing on May 15th, 2017.
FICCI’s also provides a global exposure to the Indian startups by mounting an annual delegation to the Silicon Valley and help them make the right connections. We have also launched a business accelerator program with Google to educate small and medium business on how to leverage the power of internet.
Read More: Business World