Economy

Entrepreneurial dreams to get push with funding for incubators

| | Updated on: Mar 02, 2013

Entrepreneurial dreams of Indian students are set to get a boost with the Union Budget proposing that corporate funding to incubators will come under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) tag.

The move will also help corporations meet the CSR requirement in the new Companies Bill whereby they have to report a spending of at least two per cent of their net profit on CSR. This is also likely to prompt many top-tier education institutes to float their incubation centres.

Industry watchers say the budget proposal will give a fillip to funding for on-campus incubators that encourage budding entrepreneurs to start their own ventures.

“This is a definite game-changer as it opens up a large pool of funds to on-campus incubators who have been traditionally dependent on government funds or alumni donations,” said Prakhar Bindal of External Relations Cell, IIM-Calcutta.

The IIM-Calcutta incubation centre has ventures in sectors such as education, social networking and enterprise.

“We recently launched a deferred placements programme which allows students to come back after two years to sit for placements, in case their start-ups do not work out. Quite a few students have exercised this option in the previous two batches, and the number is only expected to increase as the economy grows,” Bindal added.

On-campus incubators

Upbeat over the Budget proposal, other IIMs such as Kozhikode (IIM-K) have plans to set up on-campus incubation centres.

Currently, IIM-K has an entrepreneurship cell that offers virtual incubation services and consultation projects to students.

“From the current batch, some students are setting up their own ventures in sectors such as food processing, agri-business and automotive parts,” said M. K. Nandakumar, Chairman of International Exchange Programme, IIM-K.

Similarly, IIT-Bombay has also seen a steady growth in entrepreneurial ventures. About 25 per cent of the students did not sit for placements this year in IIT-B as they are likely to take the entrepreneurial route. In IIT-Madras, too, there is a 20 to 25 per cent growth in the number of students floating their own ventures.

Currently, incubation centres in other institutes like National Institute of Technology-Calicut get most of their funding from government enterprises.

“The budget proposal will give a boost to incubation centres that can now approach corporates for funding,” said Nandakumar, who is also the member of executive committee of technology business incubator, NIT-Calicut.

The institute has 13 students who are part of the incubator cell and two are in the waiting list to join. Further, two applications for patents have been filed by NIT – Calicut students.

> nivedita.ganguly@thehindu.co.in

> deepa.nair@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 09, 2018

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