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IIT Kanpur launches INVENT – incubation fund for social ventures

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, has announced the launch of INVEST — a fund focused on incubating startup which are working towards a social cause. The fund has been setup in collaboration with Technology Development Board (TDB) and the Department for International Development (DFID), Government of the United Kingdom.

The corpus of this fund is said to be Rs 7.5 crore and it will incubate 40 social startups that operate for-profit in the social enterprise space. Through the programme, IIT Kanpur’s SIDBI Innovation and Incubation Centre (SIIC) aims to incubate startups with an upper limit of Rs 50 lakh on each investment, said its CEO Abhijit Sathe.

This month, Innovative Ventures and Technologies for Development (INVENT) has made its third investment in a Lucknow-based startup, Decentrik Technologies. It has invested around Rs 50 lakh in the company. Previously, IIT Kanpur had invested in two other startups — Promorph Solutions and Prosoc Innovators.

Decentrik Technologies, the most recent investment of the INVEST, is headed by Vineet Vats. The company offers mobile water stations dispensing potable water. The company now intends to expand beyond UP to Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Mumbai and Delhi. He said that their solution is complete ‘uberisation’ of on-demand chilled, purified water available roadside at a nominal cost. The startup currently operates in Lucknow and Varanasi.

Apart from IIT Kanpur, many other IITs also have a dedicated incubation programs. IIT Patna has recently proposed an incubation center which will have programs designed to support the successful development of entrepreneurial companies through an array of industry support resources and services.

It says that the incubator would differ from research and technology parks in its dedication to start-up and early-stage companies. This is also an attempt to bring academia and industry closer to each other by providing students and faculty a platform to commercialize their research, final year projects and other technology based business ideas.

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IIT Kanpur launches INVENT – incubation fund for social ventures


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