Singapore-headquartered XED Institute of Management, a provider of customised executive education, has signed an agreement with the Maharashtra government to launch an accelerator programme for entrepreneurs, ‘Cornell Maha 60’.

The accelerator programme is in line with Maharashtra State Innovative Start-up Policy 2018. On successful completion, the entrepreneurs will be sponsored by Maharashtra government and will be awarded a certificate from Cornell.

An incubation centre will be set up in Mumbai in association with New York-based Cornell University. The centre is being set up on an experimental basis for three academic years to train 60 entrepreneurs and build the next set of leaders to spearhead Maharashtra’s growth, XED Institute said in a statement.

“Cornell Maha 60 is designed to bridge the gap between their existing entrepreneurial skills and the demands of the contemporary start-up ecosystem. The budding young entrepreneurs of Maharashtra have tremendous potential and talent. This is the first of its kind in India and first for Cornell University outside the US,” Maharashtra Development Commissioner (Industries) Harshadeep Kamble, said.

“This platform will help nurture innovation, lateral thinking and future-ready business skills to build the next generation of entrepreneurs in Maharashtra,” he added.

Entrepreneurs will be taught by professors from Cornell.

“The programme will offer learning opportunities to the marginalised sections of the society. The overarching theme is to foster entrepreneurs in the social arena for a greater social impact,” said John Kallelil, Executive Director at XED.

In particular, the programme encourages women applicants, applicants from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Cornell is a part of the Ivy League and ranks fourth on Forbes’ annual list of America’s most entrepreneurial colleges.