Atal Innovation Mission launches AIM-iCREST

NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), has launched AIM iCREST – an Incubator Capabilities enhancement program for a robust ecosystem focused on creating high performing startups.

AIM has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation – organizations that can lend credible support and expertise in the entrepreneurship and innovation space. These partnerships will provide global expertise and showcase proven best practices to the AIM’s incubator network.

AIM iCREST has been designed to enable the incubation ecosystem and act as a growth hack for AIM’s Atal and established incubators across the country. Under the initiative, the AIM’s incubators are set to be upscaled and provided requisite support to foster the incubation enterprise economy, that will help them to significantly enhance their performance. This will be complemented by providing training to entrepreneurs, through technology driven processes and platforms.

The program aims at going beyond incubator capacity building. Given the current pandemic crisis, the effort will focus on supporting start-up entrepreneurs in knowledge creation and dissemination as well as in developing robust and active networks.

Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog said, “In order to facilitate an AtmaNirbhar ecosystem that is capable of nurturing such disruptive startups, AIM, NITI Aayog is enabling this partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation. We are positive it will propel our portfolio to become #WorldClassIncubators and reach greater heights.”

Sharing his views, Ramanan Ramanathan, Mission Director, AIM said, “This programme is unique also in its design – it is a combination of interactive practices in the field of incubation; enabling the incubators to support sustainable and successful startups. We are pleased to announce the partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation supported by NEN.”

Anjani Bansal, Deputy Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said, “Such innovations in technologies and business models can contribute, both incrementally and radically, to the foundation’s goals of improving maternal and child health, increasing productivity and income of small farmers, increasing access and usage of digital financial services and improving livelihoods for women.”

Ajay Kela, President, and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation said, “The partnership brings decades of experience and global best practice integrated into a comprehensive platform delivered through AIM iCREST. The program will contribute to much needed economic and job growth in these challenging times.”

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