Indian Government is taking significant steps to battle unemployment issues plaguing India. To generate employment opportunities, foster creativity and entrepreneurship among the country’s youth, it has rolled out many big schemes like ‘Startup India’ and ‘Smart India Hackathon’. A step forward in this direction is NITI Aayog’s ‘Atal Innovation Mission.’ Under this initiative, ‘Atal Incubation Centre- Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini (AIC-RMP)’ has been instituted at Bhayander, situated near Mumbai. This centre supports Agricultural, Information Communication and Technology (Healthcare & Education), and Social Impact startups to sustain in the economy and scale up their ventures eventually.
What is ‘Atal Incubation Centre- RMP’?
The Atal Incubation Centre- Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini (AIC-RMP) Foundation has been established in alignment with the ‘Atal Innovation Mission’ of NITI Aayog. The centre focuses on uplifting the socially and economically backward sections of the Indian society by handholding new age problem solvers through innovation and entrepreneurship. With a specific focus on Maharashtra, it has put forward objectives to achieve the same by targeting early, through workshops at schools and colleges. It also aims to help startups with their business challenges through trainings, workshops, regular meetups, sector-specific accelerators, and relevant networking opportunities. In addition to this, AIC-RMP also plans to run bootcamps and academic courses to educate on innovation and entrepreneurship.
AIC-RMP was inaugurated on 20th January 2019 in the presence of Dr. Rajiv Kumar (Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog), Ramanan Ramanathan (Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog), and Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe (MP, Rajya Sabha). The governing board of AIC-RMP includes eminent personalities like Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini’s Director General- Ravindra Sathe, Executive Head- Ravi Pokharna, MLA (Maharashtra)- Mangal Prabhat Lodha and Jai Mrug. With considerable experience of the startup ecosystem, Uday Wankawala (CEO, AIC-RMP) is steering directions in the process of building a World Class Incubator.
Opportunities for Startups with AIC-RMP
AIC-RMP has selected twelve startups in its 1st cohort in October 2019. These startups belong to various geographical locations including Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Jawhar, Nashik, Kolhapur and Bangalore, spanning the effect of their technology businesses across the country. These startups are working towards transformation of Agriculture, Education & healthcare sectors through innovation & technology interventions, thus achieving employment generation for youth and social impact in the journey.
These selected startups will get support through various mediums for a commitment period of two years. Each incubated startup gets assigned with 2-3 mentors who will help them overcome immediate business challenges, develop sustainable business models, and provide relevant networks. Also, during the incubation, various workshops are organized for leadership development, operations improvement, stress-relieving, and money management. Apart from this, the startups are provided with forums to meet prominent figures from a wide range of industrial sectors. This way, the startups can present themselves to attract investment. The center will also offer a shared office for them in the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini Complex from where startups can run their businesses.
Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini – nurturing leaders with a cause
Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini is a distinctive institution in south-east Asia, nurturing leaders from socio-political spheres since 1982. It has been involved in conducting surveys, research, and public awareness activities. It provides training to social workers, entrepreneurs, voluntary organizations, and institutions. More importantly, it was recognized as an NGO in special consultative status in 2006 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The startups incubated at AIC-RMP can leverage upon the legacy of RMP and would be able to get access to its wider network.
Being more than an Incubation Centre
Atal Incubation Center – RMP had organized ‘New India Startup Conclave’ on 22nd June 2019. It was an effort for startups to help them present their novel work before the corporate, government officers, academicians and well-known personalities from various industrial sectors. Parshottam Rupala, Central Minister of Agriculture and Farmers welfare, was the chief guest during the event. The theme of the conclave was ‘Connect-Share-Grow’ and was attended by entrepreneurs, students, dignitaries of public sectors, investors, education experts, mentors, and startups. AIC-RMP aims to create such opportunities every quarter to nurture ‘New Age Entrepreneurs for New India.’
Future Plans for New Age Entrepreneurs
On 8th February 2020, the second edition of their flagship conference will be organized as ‘New India Startup Conclave 2.0’. The startups involved in the Transformation of Aspirational Districts Programme will be provided an opportunity to exhibit themselves. It will include the startups doing noteworthy work in Agriculture, Water and Sanitation, Education, and Healthcare sectors. With all these initiatives, AIC-RMP is contributing towards ‘New India’ that will boast a innovative and tech-led ecosystem generating employment and economic growth through entrepreneurship, as envisioned by NITI Aayog.