IIT-BBS set to mentor 45 start-up entrepreneurs

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By Shubhankar Behera

Bhubaneswar: The Indian Institute of Technology -Bhubaneswar (IIT-BBS) has received as many as 54 proposals from budding entrepreneurs across the country, of whom the potential shortlisted applicants will be mentored by the premier institution beginning next month.

Prof RV Raja Kumar, Director of IIT-BBS said, about 45 applicants have been shortlisted and of them, top ten candidates with innovative and unique ideas will get a seed grant of Rs 2.5 lakh for their ventures.

“Shortlisting has been be made by the Institute on the basis of the potentiality of the proposals. The institute will provide mentoring support for the start-ups and a seed grant to the tune of Rs 2.5 lakh to the maximum of 10 start-ups per year to selected start-ups out of the enrolled ones.”

“Since it is our first year and we will be facilitating incubation of technologies to the entrepreneurs, we are very much excited about it,” Kumar said, adding the mentoring process will begin by next month.

The institute will provide 10 start-ups customised working space as per the requirement of the entity with facilities like internet, water and electricity on nominal payment basis. All the facilities will be available for one year which may be extended to another year or two depending on the progress, sources said.

However, the remaining enrolled entrepreneurs could also avail the facilities of the institute like faculty guidance, workshop, laboratories, library and hostel (if available) on payment.

The institute, which has occupied the Toshali Plaza premises here for administrative purposes, is planning to begin the handholding support at its Samantapuri campus. The institute has now added more space at its Samantapuri and Toshali campuses for enrolment of the start-ups.

Official sources said, while maximum applicants are from Odisha, the institution has received proposals from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala and West Bengal.

“We hope that the institute will spearhead the activity and generate new generation entrepreneurship in the region,” Kumar added.

Apart from mentoring, Kumar said, the start-up centre will also help the units link financial support through bank loans. The IIT-BBS has established a start-up Centre with the support of Rs 1.5 crore by Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD).

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