The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Startup India initiative launched the first edition of the ‘National Incubator Capacity Building Program’ to support the growth of incubators across the country. This is following suggestions from the National Startup Advisory Council (NSAC) constituted by DPIIT, chaired by Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups to drive sustainable economic growth and generate livelihood opportunities.National Incubator Capacity Building ProgramThe hands-on training program is designed to help incubators become sustainable. The initiative will provide 3 months mentorship and advisory support to the incubators and provide knowledge resources & tools for entrepreneurs to grow. The program is implemented by Villgro, winner of National Incubator Award 2020 by DPIIT, GoI.The program will develop customized business models for incubators and organize masterclasses, workshops on managing the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS). It will also offer access to VITALS (Villgro Information Tracking and Learning System), a technology-based information system for tracking incubation of enterprises.Incubator Business Advisors such as Paul Basil, Mohammad Azhar, Chand Das, Rama Kannan and Arun Venkatesan will mentor and guide upto 20 incubators. They will go through a 12-16 week long 3-phased cohort-based hybrid capacity development program which will consist of self-learning modules and in-person sessions.Speaking about the National Incubator Capacity Building Program, Mr Prashant Prakash, Member National Startup Advisory Council, said, “There is a dire need for efficient incubators that can support the vibrant startup community and scale innovative solutions. We are delighted to launch this program, which will help us identify our first cohort of visionary incubators and enable them to create impact at scale. Over the last 7 years, Startup India has been an enabler of the India Startup Ecosystem, and we look forward to working with incubators in developing process-driven incubation and investment, through this program.””India’s start-up ecosystem has witnessed immense growth in the past few years & incubators have played a vital role in this regard. However, start-ups in Tier 2 & 3 cities require guidance and mentorship in order to develop a sustainable and scalable business model. Villgro is determined to develop the capacity of incubators by guiding the cohort with knowledge of the domain, incubation plans, and customized roadmaps,” says Mohammad Azhar, Lead, Govt & Public Sector Initiatives, Villgro. Incubators that are incorporated or a registered entity in India with a special focus on early-stage startups, having a minimum of 5 employees and at least 5 start-ups incubated in the current or last financial year can apply for this program on the Startup India Platform by 25th March, 2023.Application Link – www.startupindia.gov.in/content/sih/en/ams-application/.The program will commence from May, 2023 and the incubators will graduate from the program on August 30th, 2023.