Friday, August 6, 2021

NIDHI4COVID: Indian Startups igniting ray of hope in fight against COVID-19

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures and to wage a successful war, the entire national capacity has to be leveraged. Resources, energies and mindshare of leaders, entrepreneurs have to be synergised to minimise the damage of the pandemic. Aligning with this, NIDHI4COVID 2.0 initiative has been devised as a rapid response to support startup driven solutions, which would be helpful in tackling the current challenging COVID-19 situation in the country.

In recent developments, KIIT- Technology Business Incubator, a Centre of Excellence supported by DST, has been selected as the Implementing Agency of NIDHI4COVID 2.0 initiative. In this, KIIT-TBI will work closely together with DST to support promising startups with upto 50 lakhs funding assistance under the program.

A call for startups & innovators to join War against COVID

Inducted as a special drive of the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science & Technology (DST) & govt of India, NIDHI4COVID2.0 aims at introducing indigenous solutions and innovative products which would aid the nation in to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic effectively.

Looking at the current scenarios, startups have the potential to play a crucial role in introducing new technologies and products to the market, thus, making India stronger on multiple fronts. Some of the startups already have promising technologies but need mentoring, financial and marketing support to reach the next level. Thus, DST’s attempt through this new initiative is to scout and support deserving startups with much-needed support to scale up their technologies, helping them reach the product deployment stage in the minimum time possible.

Thrust Area to be supported includes Oxygen Innovation, Portable Solution, Relevant Medical Accessories & Equipments, Diagnostics, Informatics among others.

Indian Startup Ecosystem: Opportunity in Chaos

As the country grapples with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, startups in India have stepped up to continue igniting rays of hope by helping in procurement efforts. From making masks to deployment to oxygen necessities, to bringing together essential medical equipment, the Indian Startup Ecosystem proved to bring innovation even in dire situations because as it is stated that even in chaos, there is an opportunity.

Not only in the fight against COVID, but NIDHI-Technology Business Incubator(TBI) are serving other objectives as well including creating jobs, wealth and businesses aligning with national priorities. Promoting new technology & innovation-based startups. This also aims to build a vibrant startup ecosystem, by establishing a network to provide cost-effective, value-added services to startups like mentoring, legal, financial, technical, intellectual property related services.

Funding Mechanism

Under the NIDHI4COVID programme, Startups whose technologies/products are of huge importance in the war against COVID would be considered for Seed Support through DST supported network of Technology Business Incubators. Financial and mentoring support would be offered to recommended promising startups for scaling up their products/technologies to the next level and speeding up their processes, helping them reach the product deployment stage as fast as possible.

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