Editorial Team

The Indian Institute of Technology Mandi Catalyst is inviting applications from start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs for the next batch of the Start-up Exploration Programme, which begins in April 2022. The objective of this programme is to help technology-based ideas/start-ups achieve concept validation and prove market potential. This is the twelfth batch of the Start-up Exploration Programme.

Dr. Puran Singh, Faculty In-charge, IIT Mandi Catalyst, said, “IIT Mandi Catalyst has the mandate to support as many as 100 startups this year. The exploration program is most suited for startups in early stages looking for idea validating and prototype development.”

In the past five years, Catalyst has supported around 227 startups in the exploration program and out of which 125 startups have been funded under various funding schemes available with catalyst.

The three-month virtual programme will offer start-ups:

  1. A structured training programme during which they will set goals they wish to achieve during the three months.
  2. Group mentoring sessions/workshops conducted by industry mentors and experts to help start-ups get in place the basics of building a business.
  3. Workshops will cover aspects ranging from business strategy to legal and financial issues.
  4. Monthly checkpoint meetings to assess progress and identify areas where support is required.
  5. Mentoring sessions, one-on-one.
  6. Access to various funding schemes upon completion of the programme.

Eligibility and selection process: The programme is open to Indian nationals with a technology-based innovative start-up idea relating to any sector/focus area.

Ideas from the following focus areas will be preferred:

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Building for the Himalayas
  • Environment and Sustainability

The selection is a multi-stage process, including online application, screening, pitching to a selection panel, and final discussion.

Expected outcome: Start-ups that achieve validation or show market traction are moved to phase II of the incubation programme.

Successful completion of the Exploration Programme will open doors to various funding opportunities under different schemes available with Catalyst. The incubator has seed funding of up to INR 50 lakhs, prototyping funding of up to INR 10 lakh, and an entrepreneur-in-residence programme, with monthly support of INR 30K under various central and state government-funding schemes.

Following funding schemes are available with IIT Mandi Catalyst

NIDHIMeitYState GovtTIHStart up India Seed Fund
Nidhi-Prayas – INR 10LTide 2.0 EIR – INR 35K pmHPCM SA – 25K pmCPS-Prayas – INR 6LSISF Grant – INR 20L
Nidhi-EIR – INR 30K pmTide 2.0 Grant – INR 7LHSY – INR 50LCPS-EIR – INR 30K pmSISF Loan – INR 50 L
Nidhi-SSS – INR 25-50 LCPS-SSS – INR 50 L
CPS-Accelerator – INR 35

Access to IIT mandi infrastructure: As the teams progress and get selected for the next phase after three months of exploration program, they can get access to various labs facilities available at IIT Mandi. Some of the key labs at IIT mandi are:

  • The Design and Innovation Centre (DIC) focuses on the concept from prototype to product transformation as a part of its mission in the hub-spoke model. The center is envisioned to provide a perfect ambiance for the students to walk in with some thoughts and ideas and walk out with a product. Several technologies such as automatic ration vending machines, firefighters, and electronic guitars are already under development in the center.
  • Centre for Design & Fabrication of Electronic devices (C4DFED) Facility, A World-Class dynamic infrastructure, and toolset for next-generation integrated circuits (IC’s) & electronic device design & fabrication research and technology development focusing on Semiconductor Industries.
  • Advanced materials research center (AMRC) lab
  • BioX Centre, with a focus to pursue excellence in research, innovation, and discovery with a focus on life sciences and technology development by promoting multi-institutional and inter-disciplinary research activities in health-related and agri-based challenges.

The last date to apply for the Start-Up Exploration Programme is 15th April 2022.

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