In a bid to improve innovation and entrepreneurship in the agriculture sector, the Indian government is launching a new program called AGRI UDAAN – Food and Agribusiness Accelerator 2.0 that will mentor start-ups and help them to connect with potential investors.
The program is run by ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research). ICAR’s National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM); Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A) Incubator’s Center for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) will look after the programme. Apart from this, the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) and DST have also come forward to support the accelerator programme.
This is a 6-month program in which shortlisted agri startups with promising innovative business models will be mentored & guided to scale up their operations. Under this program, the selected startups will stand a chance to get up to $40K (INR 25 Lakhs) funding assistance.
Speaking about the program, Narendra Singh Rathore, Deputy Director General of Agricultural Education at ICAR said, “The idea is to attract the youth from rural India and elsewhere, and train them so they can add value to the farmers’ produce.”
AGRI UDAAN will reach out to agri-startups across the country with a series of roadshows in Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bangalore, Kolkata & Hyderabad. Below is the program focus area.
The startup can apply trough online website. Applications will be evaluated by mentors from industry, business and partner organizations, based on the average scores top 40 startups will be shortlisted and allowed to pitch in front of panel of evaluators during cohort finalization programme on 9th and 10th of October 2017 at NAARM. Out of these about 8 to 12 startups will be selected for final cohort for capacity building workshop.
The shortlisted cohort of startups will undergo a capacity building (CB) workshop in ICAR-NAARM. During this period, the startups will be trained in different aspects of technology commercialization, product validation, business plan preparation, risk analysis, customer engagement, finance management, fund raising etc. There will be a match making between startup-mentor. The accelerator program will culminate with demo day/ investors meet at Hyderabad and Mumbai.
Below is the detailed timeline for the AGRI UDAAN Accelerator 2.0 programme.
This initiative is backed by Caspian Impact Investments as Platinum Partner, Yes Bank as Banking Partner, NCDEX eMarkets Ltd (NeML) & Marico Innovation Foundation as Silver partners. AGRI UDAAN also received support from National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), Agrinnovate as tech transfer partners, and FICCI as an outreach partner.