Startup Oasis, based at Jaipur, is an incubation centre that seeks to develop an ecosystem in the State of Rajasthan to inspire and support students, aspiring entrepreneurs and startups to solve persistent problems, develop breakthrough innovations and create world-class enterprises. The initiative was jointly set-up by the Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation Limited (RIICO) and Center for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE). It is supported by the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. This article explores the scope of the initiative and the activities covered in it.
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Startup Oasis is implementing a program known as INVENT through the support of the DFID, UK Government, and in association with Technology Development Board (TDB) of the Indian Government. It is spearheaded by Villgro Innovations Foundation, which incidentally is the lead incubator. The object of this program is to support entrepreneurs by providing funding and capacity building to four government-affiliated incubators (namely IIT Kanpur, IIM CIP, Startup Oasis and KIIT Technology Business Incubator (KIIT TBI)) in the low-income states. Its target populous includes the eight low-income-states of the country, especially Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Startups registered into the program would get funding of up to INR 50 lakhs along with one-year incubation, mentoring, capacity building, networking, and follow-on funding support.
The program is applicable for:
- Startups who have validated the business model and looking to increase their scope of funds.
- Startups seeking incubation and rigorous mentoring support to validate the business model.
- Startups who have crossed the prototype stage and penetrating/ready-to-penetrate into the market.
- For-profit organizations.
- Full-time entrepreneurs.
Startup Oasis serves to offer knowledge sessions, early-stage incubation programs and mentoring to startups and social enterprises from Rajasthan through its seven incubation centres, which is located in the Cities of Ajmer, Bharatpur, Jhalawar, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaipur. The services are rendered in collaboration with the Department of Technical Education, Government of Rajasthan.
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The program lends support to institutions and organizations for conducting startup incubation programs through capacity building workshops and knowledge/program support services. Till now, Startup Oasis has actively supported institutions such as Banasthali Vidyapeeth and the Indian Institute of Crafts and design in conducting women-focused and craft-focused incubation programs, respectively.
Social Accelerator Programme
Social Accelerator Programme was formally designed and implemented to assist the startups in applying for INVENT programme and has now become a critical component of Startup Oasis. The first-ever Social Accelerator Programme was launched in late 2017 by marking the participation of nine social start-ups. After this. Startup Oasis went on with four of such programs, totalling it to five. The sixth accelerator programme will be launched for the Invent incubate companies. The program would include companies that have been under incubation for over six months, who may now be required to gear up themselves for follow-on funding and scale-up strategy.
The Startup Oasis platform allows applicants of different kinds. A candidate can apply among Innocity Booster, Innocity Pitch, Fundraising Support, Coworking Space, Invent Program, and Startup Support Programs. Applications to these can be made by merely clicking the Apply Now option on the Home page of the portal and providing the required details. Let us conclude by having a closer look at these applications:
- Innocity Booster – provides entrepreneurs with an opportunity of pitching to mentors and experts and gain critical feedback on the startup idea.
- Innocity Pitch – by applying for this, entrepreneurs may pitch to angel investors, mentors and corporates for funding and investor feedback.
- Fundraising Support – applications here can be made by persons who wish to support Startup Oasis in making the financial model and connecting with investors.
- Coworking Space – this is an avenue for startups, entrepreneurs and freelancers. It is a collaborative workspace where entrepreneurs may connect, share learnings and ideas and play a role in the growth of each other.
- INVENT Program – As already observed, the initiative of INVENT provides entrepreneurs with an incentive of INR 50 lakhs along with one-year incubation, mentoring, capacity building, networking, and follow-on funding support.
- Startup Support Programs – details on this would be provided soon, as the initiative is yet to be enrolled.