IIT Mandi To Handhold, Fund 9 Start-ups


Mandi: IIT Mandi Catalyst, the first technology-based incubator in Himachal Pradesh, has selected nine startups to disburse Rs. 2 Crore under the NIDHI Seed Support System programme of the Department of Science and Technology (DST). NIDHI seed support system is a sponsored programme of DST to provide financial assistance to the startups with promising ideas. For the same, startups need to spend at least three months in residency at IIT Mandi and successfully show their idea’s worth. During 2019-20, Catalyst was awarded the Nidhi-Seed Support System programme under which a total funding of Rs. 10 crore has been provided for the commercialisation of start-ups. In August 2019, IIT Mandi Catalyst declared that it would disburse Rs. 10 crore in coming five years in a phased manner.

Speaking about the incubated startups, Dr. Puran Singh, Faculty-in-charge, IIT Mandi Catalyst, said, “These startups have been with us for anywhere between six months to about three years. They have benefitted from valuable technical mentoring from faculty and business inputs from industry mentors. They are ready to scale up. I wish them the best. There are many more startups in the pipeline that are building their product and may be funded soon.”

In the recent seed funding round under the Nidhi Seed Support System, five out of nine startups are from the Himalayan region. These include: Leopan Motors; Greentrek Innovation; Genetico Research & Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd.; Descatuk; and High Five Innovation Labs (HFIL) Technologies Pvt. Ltd. IIT Mandi Catalyst will disburse a total of Rs. 90 lakh to these five start-ups for commercialisation.

IIT Mandi through its incubation programme is currently mentoring various startups, including from the Himalayan region, that are bound to create great social impact through their solutions in areas including Waste Management, Health and Nutrition, Agrotech, Clean and Renewable Energy, Application of AI/ ML in solving large scale problems. Startups recently selected for the seed funding include:

IIT Mandi Catalyst is the first Technology Business Incubator (TBI) in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Catalyst aims to incubate technology-based start-ups focused on economic and/or social impacts. During 2019-20, Catalyst was awarded three new funding programmes namely, DST Nidhi-Seed Support System and Nidhi-Prayas programme under which a combined funding of Rs. 17.5 crore has been provided. Along with this, Rs. 1.7 crore was awarded to IIT Mandi Catalyst by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, for the incubation programme. Till April 2020, IIT Mandi Catalyst has supported over 75 start-ups of different domains and has committed to disburse or disbursed Rs. 3 crore as grants and investments.

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