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 National Initiative on Developing and Harnessing Innovations

National Initiative on Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI)

National Initiative on Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI)

India has constantly witnessed incredible development in its startup ecosystem. The numbers have always been positive in terms of startup growth and business funding, leading to a robust startup culture. However, the difficulties faced by individual innovators to raise funds in order to kick off their entrepreneurial dreams are challenging. The National Initiative on Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) would help startups with seed funding for students. This article talks about Startup-NIDHI and its various aspects.

The Programme

The National Initiative on Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) or commonly known as Startup-NIDHI would offer startups by students with the stepping stone they require in terms of funding. Startup-NIDHI looks forward to supporting 20 student startups annually with the financial stability that they need to commence. Primarily, the startups must be founded by students and must be a student startup of New Generation Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre/IEDC/NewGen IEDC. The programme intends to support each of the selected student startups with an amount of INR 10 Lakhs which would be given as an ignition grant or award.

Objectives

The following are the objectives of the National Initiative on Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) programme.

  • To take student innovations in the IEDC/NewGen IEDC programme forward to the commercialisation stage.
  • To promote the concept of student startups in the country.
  • To increase the speed at which an idea develops into a prototype by offering the funds required in the initial stage.

Essential Features

The following are the notable features of the National Initiative on Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI).

  • It should be noted that the programme would only support student startups.
  • A student involved in one startup cannot be a part of another or multiple teams. The entire focus of the student must be centred on a single startup.
  • Startups are required to be a part of NewGen IEDC / IEDC or Host Institutions where the Department of Science and Technology has approved the NewGen IEDC / IEDC.
  • A maximum number of 20 student startups would only qualify to be supported, annually.
  • Every startup applicant has to go through a national level competition to get selected.

Activities of NIDHI

Startup NIDHI would take part in the following activities.

  • The programme would organise a National Level Competition to shortlist student startups amongst the NewGen IEDCs.
  • They would shortlist 20 of the best innovative startup ideas that would also have commercial viability.
  • The ignition fund for each startup would be a maximum of INR 10 Lakhs.
  • The NIDHI programme would monitor and review the progress of all the startups that they have funded.

Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for the disbursal of funds are as follows.

  • Any project that is supported by the IEDC/NewGen IEDC in the past five years.
  • Current student projects in the IEDC/NewGen IEDC.
  • The projects are required to be nominated by the IEDC/NewGen IEDC.
  • The startup must completely own the intellectual property. The host institutions are required to transfer or forgone their rights to intellectual property.
  • The startup is required to be registered as a company or a limited liability partnership.
  • No student is permitted to be a part of more than one team.

Mechanism of the Programme

The National Initiative on Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) would organise a national level competition amongst the IEDC/NewGen IEDC hosting institutions. The IEDC/NewGen IEDCs would nominate the teams that come up with the best startup idea that is commercially viable as well. Finally, the National Experts Committee on Entrepreneurship in Education (NEAC) would finalise on the selected 20 startups to offer support. An amount of INR 10 Lakhs along with a certificate would be awarded to the chosen startup teams. The host NewGen IEDC of the selected groups would be awarded INR 2 Lakhs, a certificate and a trophy as well.

Funding

The following is the pattern according to which the National Initiative on Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) would disburse the funding for the initial stage of the startups.

  • 70% of the ignition fund would be disbursed to the selected startups as soon as they are elected to be a part of the programme.
  • The remaining 30% of the ignition fund would be disbursed to the selected startups when they achieve their set milestones or pre-defined deliverables.

The IEDC/NewGen IEDC would monitor and supervise the work of the student startups with the help of intermediate coordinators on a daily basis. Accordingly, the NewGen IEDC would continue to release the remaining funds and the certificate of achievement of the milestone.

Review

The startups would be periodically monitored based on their performance. This review system is initiated to ensure the progress of the startup teams and to suggest any mid-term corrections if any are required. The startup will be required to submit their quarterly progress report to the IEDC/NewGen IEDC. This report would further be forwarded to the implementation agency. As per the conclusions arrived from the report, the startups could be called for review meetings, if required.

Closure

The concerned NewGen IEDC would monitor and review the progress of the startups and recommend the disbursement of the remaining funds accordingly. After the implementation agency has received the recommendation to release further funds, they would issue the balance of the promised funds. The IEDC/NewGen IEDC may choose to continue supporting the startups and their projects for successful commercialisation.

Implementation Agency

The implementation agency for the National Initiative on Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) programme would be the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad. The DST would transfer the required funds for the implementation of the programme to the EDII, Ahmedabad. The Institute would ensure the implementation of the programme Startup-NIDHI as per the given regulations and guidelines. The implementation agency would be offered with a programme management fee, the creation and the management of an MIS system and overheads online. The NIDHI programme will also be implemented as per the norms of the National Experts Advisory Committee on Entrepreneurship in Education for the selection of student startups for the ignition grants and awards. The National Initiative on Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) would help startups with initial or ignition funding for students.

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