Incubation of Incubators

Links to register for the programme


The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises jointly with Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH are implementing a project on Innovation Promotion in MSMEs that aims to strengthen the innovation system by systematically fostering cooperation between industry, academia and government and by improving the innovation capacity and sustainability of MSMEs (including start-ups and social enterprises). To this end, the project seeks to enable service provider that support the private sector and foster economic development to take up a more proactive role in their local eco-system. INCUBATORS are seen as one of the key institutional mechanisms to make this happen.

OBJECTIVES of this INITIATIVE The initiative seeks to identify, enable, train and escort organisations with an interest to establish an INCUBATOR through a series of interventions.


The NBIA (National Business Incubation Association) defines incubation,” A business support process that accelerates the successful development of start-up and fledgling companies by providing entrepreneurs with an array of targeted resources and services. These services are usually developed or orchestrated by incubator management and offered both in the business incubator and through its network of contacts.”

An incubator has

• Adequate space for multiple start-ups to operate under one roof

• Utilities and infrastructure that are relevant for the technology sectors in which the start-ups operate

• A well-equipped and competent team of professionals to manage the Incubator

• An expert mentor group that is accessible to start-ups

• A network of services that are critical to nurture business aspects of startups

• Easy access to Angel Investors / VC Community & financial Institutions for growing and scaling the ventures

• A lean, flexible and autonomous structure that can seamlessly deliver the services to the startups


Importance of Incubators

 Act as a “safe house” for startups as they provide the requisite knowledge that entrepreneurs need when starting out

 Spurring entrepreneurial talent resulting in greater number of startup ventures

 Are central to Innovation as entrepreneurs have ready to use infrastructure for their ideas

 Enhance the probability of success of the startup ventures thereby ensuring societal and economic benefits

 Act as a center for innovation for industries local to the area where the incubator resides

 Create employment at lower cost per job in the region

 Act as a nodal point for aggregation of stake holders of the entrepreneurial eco-system – innovators, government, financial institutions, entrepreneurs, investors and mentors

 Acts as a local/regional expert in policy framework development

 Promotes regional growth and development

Why you should start an incubator?
Academic and R&D Institutions are ideally positioned to establish Incubators, for several reasons, major among them are the availability of talent in large numbers, technical facilities available in laboratories, development of technologies to be commercialized etc.

Your Benefits
 Establishing Entrepreneurship, Startup & Innovation culture in campuses
 Fostering market linked innovation capabilities in students & faculty
 Better utilization of technical resources – Faculty/Labs
 Internship/Jobs for students
 Joint product development/Tech commercialization possibilities
 Branding that would enable better quality intake of students
 Facilitate Industry collaboration beyond just placements

National/Regional benefits of an Incubator
 Opportunity for youth/professionals in entrepreneurship and venture creation
 Employment generation (Direct and Indirect)
 Appropriate and affordable solutions for society
 Introducing home grown products, reducing imports
 Diversifying local economies
 Migrating people from welfare to work
 Economic development of the region/nation
 Tax revenues for local/federal government


There are multiple types of incubators which you can start based on the requirements of the institute and the region. Some of the incubators that you can start include but are not limited

Social Entrepreneurship Incubator
More than a billion people across the world are poor. They lack access to health care, education, energy & employment. They remain poor and vulnerable. Governments and NGOs have attempted to solve these challenges. Corporates do not necessarily focus on them. This is where the opportunity lies for a social entrepreneur. The social entrepreneur sees an opportunity in such problems, develops a solution that can potentially become profitable, scalable and impactful. Such social entrepreneurs need to be inspired and supported. This is the role of a social enterprise incubator.

Agri-Business Entrepreneurship Incubator
Agriculture is still the highest sector driving employment in India. It is a sector that will always be essential to any economy. Given the high stakes involved it is essential for a country to encourage and promote innovation and entrepreneurship in this sector. An agri-business entrepreneur works with farmers or is involved himself in farming or add value in the supply chain, improve efficiencies, reduce wastage etc. through innovative interventions. Food processing is another fast growing segment that needs Innovations. Agri-business incubators provide the necessary infrastructure and guidance to help these entrepreneurs grow.

Technology Business Incubators

Science, engineering / technology based companies have over the years demonstrated that they are vital for any nations growth and development. Many of today’s challenging problems at the national and global level have their solutions in science & technology. The innovative products and solutions developed in academia, R&D and by talented technologists, need nurturing and support to be able to reach markets and solve pain points. TBI’s are “safe houses” that try to address the requirements of such entrepreneurs. The thrust area of these Incubators are essentially science / engineering / technology focused such as electronics, manufacturing, healthcare, life sciences, energy, environment tech., etc.

Some GENERAL REQUIREMENTS for starting an Incubator

There are several requirements that need to be fulfilled prior to launching an exercise to establish one. The requirements could vary from sector to sector and location to location. In the list enclosed below are some of the general requirements. The organization promoting the Incubator henceforth will be termed as “Host Institution”.

• Allocate a minimum of 5000 sqft of space to begin with (in case of applying for any government funding this would be 10,000 sqft.). At later stages this may have to be scaled up to atleast 15000 to 20000 sqft for the Incubator to become self-sustainable.
• There should be clear cut arrangements made by the Host Institution as regards the availability of space.


• Incubators need to operate in an autonomous mode for them to be able to offer the best services to startups. It is recommended that the Incubator be Registered as a separate legal “not-for-profit” entity such as a Society (Societies Registration Act) or Section 8 company (Companies Act 2014). In case of seeking Government funding this will anyway be mandatory.


• Provide the land and building and bear the complete cost of the furnishing, fixtures and utilities.

• Provide specialized equipment dedicated to the Incubator depending the sector of work. In case selected for Government funding then under the sanction anywhere between 50%-90% of these costs will come under Grant support, hence only balance support is expected from Host Institution.

• Host Institution must be willing to bear the recurring costs of operations [salaries, utility expenditures, housekeeping, maintenance etc.]. In some of the Government schemes support is extended for this (again it could be a percentage). There are possibilities of revenue generation through services and use of infrastructure.

Incubators require passionate, competent and appropriately experienced manpower. Invariably such manpower needs to be sourced from the Industry. Host Institutions must typically be ready for the following:

• Have separate norms for hiring staff for Incubator.

• Salary and compensation structures should be such that good talent can be attracted to the Incubator.

• If you are reallocating existing staff, then they should be deputed full time to the Incubator. Part time staff is highly discouraged

All the above are general requirements which may need to be customized.

Links to register for the programme