The Ministry of Science and Technology (DST) and Texas Instruments (TI), a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company, have announced an India Innovation Challenge Design Contest (IICDC) offering ₹8.2 crore as start-up fund for Indian engineering students.

Top ten start-ups will be incubated by technology start-up incubator NSRCEL at IIM Bengaluru.

DST-TI IICDC, which is in its third edition, has undergone a remarkable change, marking a significant increase in the fund from ₹4.14 crore in the previous editions. In the 2017 edition, 15,380 engineering students from 965 colleges participated, a 43 per cent growth from 2016.

While ₹3.5 crore will be allocated as start-up funds, ₹3.5 crore will be stipend and ₹1.2 crore worth of tools and prizes would be accorded to the students.

‘Unique contest’

Sanjay Srivastava, Director, Texas Instruments India University Programme told BusinessLine: “Texas Instruments India has been running a project-based electronic system design contest since 2009 and has witnessed deeply impactful innovations coming from engineering students. In 2016, we added new dimensions to this contest by partnering with IIM Bangalore for support in business mentoring and the Department of Science and Technology for assistance in seed funding. Thus IICDC was born with the aim to assist young engineering talent to build tech-based innovations and transform these innovations to start-ups.”

He added the uniqueness of the contest lies in the partnerships and collaborations that TI has built to create a complete innovation ecosystem for participants.

IIM Bangalore’s NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning is to help incubate the winning teams and support them in the launch of their venture.

Harkesh Kumar Mittal, Advisor, Ministry of Science and Technology, added in a statement, “With a vision to promote research and development of cutting edge technologies in the country, we help bring together the best of talent to a common platform. This will encourage students to engineer innovative solutions that bring socio-economic changes.”

Govt support

The Ministry of Science and Technology will support the aspiring entrepreneurs with funding for their start-ups. MyGov, the government’s online portal, will reach out to its five million subscribers for participation. A dedicated TI-IICDC page was launched on the MyGov portal.

While ₹20 lakh will be the seed fund to top 10 start-ups, ₹5 lakh will be provided as product development fund to select semi-finalists teams, and ₹30,000 stipends will be given to select semi-finalists teams and free TI Tools worth up to ₹70 lakh will be given to participants.