The NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL), the incubation and entrepreneurship hub at IIM Bangalore (IIMB), has been selected by NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) to receive INR 10 crore as scale-up support over the next two years, which will enable the centre to upgrade and expand its infrastructure and thereby its services to entrepreneurs. NSRCEL is one of the six established incubation centres in the country to receive this financial support under the Atal Innovation Mission.
NITI Aayog received 232 applications from all over India last year for assessment under this scheme. A total of 17 shortlisted centres were interviewed and reviewed in depth by NITI Aayog, before the final six were picked.
The selection process included initial screening, data cleaning, evaluation and presentation followed by site visit, if required. The evaluation matrix covered years of relevant experience of supporting start-ups, quality of portfolio start-ups, quality/diversity of mentors and teams, proposed business plan and budget, quality/diversity of existing and proposed partners, and partnership with investors.
The objective of the scheme is to transform the start-up ecosystem in the country by upgrading the established incubation centres to world-class standards.
Explaining how NSRCEL at IIMB plans to use the grant to reap maximum benefits, Dr. Suresh Bhagavatula, Chairperson, Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development, NSRCEL at IIM Bangalore, said: "We are very happy to receive the funding from NITI Aayog. In addition to helping start-ups, we will be using these funds to help SMEs and family businesses professionalise and scale their operations. In addition to incubation facilities, we plan to train entrepreneurs by using a blended learning approach, which uses both online and offline classroom training. Since IIMB already has over 20 online courses, it would be easy for NSRCEL to reach out to a large number of ventures."
NSRCEL is one of the most vibrant start-up incubators in the country, located inside a management school, operational since 2012. Over the years, it has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, actively incubating 67 ventures that have gone on to create close to 5000 jobs and today their cumulative valuation stands at a billion USD. Recently, NSRCEL has started focused initiatives designed to help women entrepreneurs and non-profit sector organisations. The centre is forming active collaborations with industry and other academic institutions to strengthen the much-needed start-up ecosystem in the country.