The incubator of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, known as ‘IIM Calcutta Innovation Park’ has launched more than 60 start-ups in the region since it was founded in 2015. The common factor in these startups is that they are from ‘Social Entrepreneurship Space.’ Subhrangshu Sanyal, the CEO of IIM Calcutta Business Park has explained that they do not look for ‘unicorns’ but ‘social unicorns.’ The startups launched by IIM Calcutta Business Park should be the entrepreneurs in shaping the social life of people rather than building a multi-million dollar industry.
The incubation Centre of IIM Calcutta helped to carry out first-of-its-kind Bengali TV show named Egiye Bangla (Bengal is Ahead) on Zee Bangla to inspire the potential entrepreneurs in Bengal. The show was supported by the state government of West Bengal and featured former Indian Cricket Team Captain Saurav Ganguly as the host of the very successful show.
The initiative focuses on the north-eastern states as well for the development of the region and with this aim, many state governments are also actively helping the initiative to promote development in the states.
The initiative also acts as the ‘Knowledge Partner’ for multiple departments of business and education of the West Bengal Government. Mr Sanyal has informed that not only Bengal and North East but any startup in any parts of India supported by the IIM Calcutta can also be considered as an incubatee. He added that any person supported by the incubator program should be able to raise funds to self-sustain within two years.
The centre connects potential entrepreneurs with the investors rather than self-funding of the projects. The IIM Calcutta Business Park also works in the rural districts of Bengal and runs campaigns to raise awareness about entrepreneurship through roadshows and workshops.
Mr Subhrangshu said that there is a lot of potential in the districts waiting to reach people. The IIM Calcutta is reaching out to them and creating a buzz.
The IIM Calcutta is working for the state-level entrepreneurs to bring them under the incubator program for giving them a boost. There is a facility of ‘regional incubators’ for the people who do not want to come to the IIM Calcutta Campus. Recently, a similar regional incubator centre has been set up in Assam with the help of the state government of Assam.
Through this accelerator programme, major stakeholders in regional entrepreneurship ecosystem including subject matter experts, mentors, investors and start-ups will come together. The selected entrepreneurs will be invited to take part in boot camp and experts from IIMCIP will mentor these entrepreneurs on different aspects of the business. Finally, these entrepreneurs will be connected to potential investors and customers.
The state government of West Bengal has stepped forward to help by creating a 200 Crore rupees fund to help the startups with government funds.
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