The ‘Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Centre for Policy Research & Analysis and Incubation and Enterprise Support Centre' at IIM Shillong hosted a two-day virtual workshop cum roundtable discussion for ‘Business Incubators of North East India' on July 16th and 17th, 2021.
The virtual workshop cum roundtable discussion were attended by representatives of various incubators from the North Eastern (NE) States. Several topics were covered during the sessions such as, status of business incubators in NE, managing incubators in Indian context, technology commercialization through incubation, offering specialized services, implementing a mentoring program, raising finance for incubated startups, and marketing and stakeholder management. Shri Gaigongdin Panmei, IRS, Financial Adviser, NEC, MDoNER, GoI graced the event as the Guest of Honour and emphasized on the significance of value addition on various regional products. He also underlined and highlighted on the importance of 3Rs- Reuse, Reduce and Recycle of waste management.
Mr. R. Ramanan, Former (First) Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, delivered the keynote address, focusing on how lot of government schemes are brought in and how a lot of incubators have been established pan-India to support the startup movement in the country.
In the technical session, Dr Biplab Bhattacharjee, Faculty, IIM Shillong and Dr. Sanjeev K. Ningombam, Coordinator, Dr APJ Centre brought forward the key challenges that the incubators in North Eastern Region are facing to achieve their stated goals. Mr Viiveck Verma, Senior Adviser, Telangana State Innovation Cell in his technical session emphasized that the Co COVID world has brought in lot of opportunities for incubatees and incubators. He also stressed upon the opportunity for virtual mentorship for incubatees.
Mr. Atul Kulkarni, Management Consultant and Member, Board of Governors, IIM Shillong in his session stressed upon the fact that along the years North East has moved from a land of opportunity to a land of deliverables. He also mentioned few barriers for scaling-up for NER-Startups such as, lack of skilled manpower, lack of technology up-gradation, lack of interventions, lack of backward and forward linkages, and lack of value addition for the products.
The other speakers for the technical session of the two days program were Ms. Preethi M., Manager-Technology Business Incubator, National Institute of Technology, Calicut, Prof. G. Krishnamoorthy, Vice-Chairman-Governing Body, IIT Guwahati-Technology Incubation Centre, Mr. Sreerag Rajan, Incubation Manager, Amrita TBI, Kerala, Mr. Lijo P Jose, General Manager, LIVE Incubator, IIM Kozhikode, and Prof. Tejbanta Singh Chingtham, CEO, TBI, Atal Incubation Centre, Sikkim Manipal University, Sikkim. There were also follow-up roundtable panel discussions with representatives of different incubators from Sikkim, Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura, and Mizoram. Also, Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists, and Legal Expert took part in the panel discussions.
The incubators agreed on working in close coordination to build a robust incubation ecosystem in NER. It is also agreed that in coming days best practices would be shared to support emerging incubators in managing and sustaining. Similar kind of handholding, mentoring and supporting initiatives will be taken up by IIM Shillong.