BSE Institute (a wholly-owned subsidiary of BSE) in association with AIC-Mahamana foundation of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and government think-tank Niti Aayog launched ‘Atal Incubation Center’ at BHU in Varanasi on Tuesday.
The incubator aims to help identify new startups, accelerate them, provide mentorship, connect them with investors and scale up. It is expected to help young entrepreneurs in domains such as eGov, social, water tech, clean tech, defence and financial inclusion. The total project outlay for the incubation center is about Rs 20 crore for a period of five years.
The incubator will help in reaching out to tier II and tier III cities, and will help budding startups to scale up businesses, raise funding, build prototypes and create new incremental jobs.
The incubator is set up in the BHU campus and is built in an area of 10,000 sq ft. It will provide co-working space, ideation areas, tinkering labs, administrative offices and collaborative meeting rooms.
The institute, along with its startup accelerator, has also invited applications for the QUEST programme. QUEST is an accelerated bootcamp for startups willing to implement solutions in Varanasi and help them to enable market access in Mumbai, through a two week in-city programme, followed by a three month virtual programme.
The institute plans to conduct the programme every quarter to help budding startups build a community of entrepreneurs in the BHU campus. More than 80 applications were received from startups across India.
Under each cohort, 10 startups will be provided a hands-on mentorship programme for pursuing their ideas, and convert them into real businesses and/or enable market access opportunities with a prototype.
The selected startups will be put through a three-month structured programme, with a two week residential component, where they will learn about product innovation, UI/UX, digital & mobile marketing, technology, growth hack, legal & financials, industry connects, raising investments from successful entrepreneurs and market experts.
The incubator will be managed by a team to monitor and ensure successful implementation of the programme. A governing board chaired by the BHU VC and other market experts will also be formed.