IIT Kanpur incubator crosses 100 startups mark with combined valuation over USD 1 Billion

Foundation for Research & Innovation in Science & Technology (FIRST), IIT Kanpur is home to three national brands - Phool, Noccarc, and Swasa - two of which have been at the frontlines of emergency COVID-19 response

Kanpur:  IIT Kanpur instituted incubation centre has crossed the 100 startups-mark with a combined valuation of USD 1 Billion significantly contributing to the mushrooming startup ecosystem of the country to address unmet consumer desires.

The IIT-K initiative to promote entrepreneurship and innovation by converting ideas into products is spearheaded by Foundation for Research & Innovation in Science & Technology (FIRST), a Section-8 company, supported by the institute. FIRST was registered in 2018 as an offspring of the Technology Business Incubator of IIT Kanpur popularly known by its brand name, Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC).

The IIT K mission has helped foster next-generation innovations and merging profit with purpose. The incubator is supported by a vibrant, dynamic IIT Kanpur ecosystem that has inspired entrepreneurs to achieve excellence in product innovation at par with global standards.

Congratulating the leadership for the sustained efforts, Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur, commented, “SIIC has compounded IIT Kanpur’s efforts towards establishing a unique incubation ecosystem with a vision to contribute to the nation’s growth. Every incubated company is welcome to harness IIT Kanpur’s infrastructure. We are proud of SIIC for taking entrepreneurship to the hinterlands of India and creating a legacy of innovation.”

Prof. Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, Professor-in-Charge, Innovation & Incubation, IIT Kanpur, added, “SIIC is a powerhouse of visionary talent that pushes boundaries to create impact at the bottom of the pyramid. At SIIC, we wake up every day to facilitate the conversion of ideas into products. We look forward to supporting more promising technologies that put quality at the helm of innovation.”

Currently, SIIC is home to more than 100 companies across multidisciplinary domains of healthcare, agritech, cleantech, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and waste to value. Historically, more than 50% of SIIC incubates have remained active and sustainable for more than five years since the incorporation of the companies. At present, over 37% of SIIC incubated companies are in the revenue-making stage.

Dr Nikhil Agarwal, the CEO, FIRST commented, “Our companies have solved nation’s pertinent challenges through technology. When the first wave of COVID-19 arrived, Noccarc stepped up and developed a ventilator in 90 days. That victory galvanized our belief to overcome formidable odds. This year, we partnered with MSME manufacturers and set up oxygen plants pan India under the Mission Bharat O2. With these initiatives, we are moving a step ahead in our vision of making India an indigenously supported, state-of-the-art manufacturing hub.”

In an existence spanning two decades of redefining indigenous manufacturing, SIIC has been blessed with support and assistance from the Government of India, through erstwhile bodies like the SIDBI, Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), CGMFPfed, Ministry of MSME, and TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and so on. On the state government front, it has received a significant contributions from the Uttar Pradesh Government through programs such as the UP Skills Training for ITIs. The state government has also approved the Centre for Excellence in Artificial Intelligence & Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship at Noida.

For its excellence in product innovation, SIIC has been able to attract funding and support from Ansys, ICICI Securities, HDFC Bank, Tata trusts, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Infoegde, Portescap, Citi Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, NTT Data, Capri Global, MCX, and REC Foundation. The incubator has further received fundamental support from corporate partners; Escorts Group, Tech Mahindra, and Punjab National Bank; and ecosystem partners including Indian Angel Network, TieUP, Venture Catalysts, TiE Delhi-NCR, SICCI, Entrepreneur First, and NASSCOM. The trust and support of SIIC’s contributors have led to the execution of rapid-scale emergency response programs like the Ventilator Project and the Mission Bharat O2 (https://www.bharato2.in/) to create a lasting impact.

Given such tremendous and continuous support, SIIC will commemorate its contributors, partners, and benefactors who have graciously added value to the incubation ecosystem nurtured at IIT Kanpur, over the coming weeks.