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STEP Incubation Program

STEP Incubation Program 2022

Shakti – The Empathy Project (STEP) is an incubation program for women-led early-stage startups creating social impact. The program creates funding and networking opportunities for startups. Selected startups will be eligible for micro-grants up to Rs 1 Lakh. Application is open for 6 months Incubation program in Hindi & English language. The cohort will run separately for both languages. The current article briefs the procedure to apply for the STEP Incubation Program for Women-Led Startups.

Know more about the DNA NXT Startup Alliance Program – Startup India

STEP Incubation Program

STEP stands for Shakti-The Empathy Project. It is an incubation program for early-stage women-led enterprises creating social impact. It is run under a nonprofit trust C3 Collaborate and Create Change with 12AA & 80G certificates.

Purpose of STEP Incubation Program

The purpose of Shakti – The Empathy Project (STEP) is to nurture female entrepreneurs.

  • To improve the survival rate of women-run startups with social impact by providing support in skill-building, mentorship, networking, and fundraising.
  • To build a safe and empathetic ecosystem to create a snowball effect that increases women’s participation in entrepreneurship and the workforce
  • The STEP Incubation Program aims to provide an enabling ecosystem for women social entrepreneurs in the early stages to sustain and scale their enterprises.
  • To create opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs and helps them to maximize their potential as an entrepreneur and a leader to accelerate the growth of the enterprise and deliver high impact.

Benefits to Startups

STEP Incubation Program Application is open for 6 months Incubation program. The six-month journey is divided into 3 distinct parts.

  • The ice breaker sessions over 4 days, where the participants get to know each other and kick start the learning process.
  • The next 20 weeks are the core meat of the program where they go through structured mentorship sessions and continued capacity-building sessions.
  • During this period there are community meets where they interact with various guests and other ecosystem enablers.
  • The program concludes with a demo day where they showcase their products & services and network with various funders from the ecosystem like other incubators, accelerators, angel and impact investors, etc.

Eligibility Criteria for STEP

The eligibility criteria for the STEP Incubation Program are as follows:

  • As mentioned above, the STEP Incubation Program applies to women-led social startups
  • At least one of the co-founders of the startup should identify herself as a woman
  • The applicant should be a minimum of 18 years of age and there is no upper age limit
  • The startup should be incorporated in India or Nepal to apply for Step
  • Through her startup, the entrepreneur should be solving a social problem

Eligible Startup for STEP

The following type of startups can apply for the incubation program:

  • Individual
  • Early Traction Startup
  • Scaling Stage Startup

Relevant Service type

  • Location-Based Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Online Aggregator
  • Platform
  • Consulting
  • E-Commerce
  • Social Enterprise
  • SaaS

Focus Area

STEP is looking to collaborate & work with startups in any of the following areas

  • AR VR (Augmented + Virtual Reality) & Automotive
  • Telecommunication & Networking
  • Agriculture, Aeronautics Aerospace & Defense
  • AI, Green Technology, and Fashion
  • Finance Technology, Enterprise Software, Food & Beverages
  • Education, Renewable Energy
  • Healthcare & Life sciences
  • Internet Of Things and IT Services
  • Nanotechnology, Non-Renewable Energy, and Pets & Animals
  • House-Hold Services, Social Impact, Textiles & Apparel
  • Transportation & Storage
  • Logistics, Travel & Tourism
  • Robotics, Biotechnology, and Waste Management

Incentives Offered

The selected startups of the STEP Incubation Program will be offered the following type of incentives:

Fiscal Incentives

Selected startups will be eligible for micro-grants up to Rs 1 Lakh

Non-Fiscal Incentives

  • Mentorship – A team of mentors support the startup and build the capacities on the Business plan, Strategy, Leadership, Branding, and other topics.
  • Networking – The selected startups will be provided an opportunity to meet sector experts, funders, and other like-minded individuals.
  • Capacity Building – The winners shall be encouraged to leverage the grant in capacity building and operationalization support for the identified FPOs
  • Role modeling – The selected startups can provide access to women role models and hold candid conversations with successful women entrepreneurs and other ecosystem players
  • Empathetic Community – Creating a safe and supportive community for women social entrepreneurs is at the heart of the STEP incubation program. The strength of this community lies in the collaboration and support that each woman gives to the other woman within the community. This support is everlasting and doesn’t end with the program

Duration of Step Program

STEP Incubation Program Application is open for 6 months Incubation program in Hindi & English language. The cohort will run separately for both languages.

TimeLine of STEP Incubation Program

Application Opens 10th June 2022
Deadline to Apply 15th August 2022
Application Result Date 25th August 2022

Documents Required

The applicant must submit Aadhar and Pan Cards of the organization to apply for the program.

Application Procedure

The Incubation Program Applications will be open from 10th June 2022 to 15th August 2022. The applicant is required to access the official webpage of Startup India.

  • From the home page click on the Programs option and then select View all active programs.
  • By clicking on the Incubator Programme from the new page, the list of active programs will be displayed. Click on the STEP Incubation Program, the link will redirect to a new page.
  • Click on the apply now an option; the Startup India login page will be displayed. The existing users of Startup India can log in to the portal to apply for the program.
  • New users need to register on the portal to get the user credential. By clicking on the register now option, the applicant can provide all mandatory details for registration.
  • After login to the portal, the link will redirect to the STEP official page, where the applicant can apply. Provide the following details:
    • Email, Name of the Applicant, and Role of the applicant to the enterprise
    • Name of the enterprise and Correspondence Address
    • Name and LinkedIn profile of the founder/ co-founder
    • Age and educational qualification of the founder
    • Marital status of the founder and Contact number of the applicant
    • Details of incorporation of the enterprise
    • Details of Employees

After providing the details, click on submit option. The application will be forwarded to the concerned authority. The selected startups can attend the 6 months Incubation program.