Union minister for education, skill development & entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday, said IIT Bhubaneswar’s Research and Entrepreneurship Park will provide essential resources, mentorship, seed capital and access to potential investors to create 100 start-ups, each with a valuation of ₹100 crores by the 100th anniversary of Odisha in 2036.
Pradhan, who launched the 100-Cube Start-Up initiative of IIT Bhubaneswar’s Research and Entrepreneurship Park, said the 100-Cube Start-up Initiative will shape the future of the entrepreneurship landscape of Odisha and India by creating a conducive environment. “The youth of Odisha and India are full of passion and enthusiasm towards turning their ideas into successful ventures,” said Pradhan, addressing a gathering of more than 1500 people from various industries, educational institutions, start-ups, venture capitalists and students at IIT Bhubaneswar.
Listing the challenges ahead, Pradhan stressed the importance of streamlining processes, enhancing access to information, markets, and funds for aspiring entrepreneurs and called for a collective effort towards a ‘Viksit Bharat’, while emphasizing the need for a supportive ecosystem and interconnectivity among institutions and stakeholders. He also advocated for a redefined model of education focused on research, innovation, and entrepreneurship, with a strong emphasis on student-faculty partnerships.
During the event, IIT Bhubaneswar signed MoUs with 15 companies to build strategic collaborations for achieving the 100 Cube objective. Ranjit Rath, CMD, Oil India Limited, handed over grant cheques worth Rs.3.5 crores to 4 start-ups
incubated by IIT Bhubaneswar. Pradhan also officially inaugurated the 1500-seater auditorium hosting the event and laid the e-foundation for infrastructure projects worth Rs. 450 crores.
The Research and Entrepreneurship Park is set to expand from its present 20,000 square feet area to about 80,000 square feet over the next two years with the support of Rs. 130 crore from the Ministry of Education. The Park is a platform for nurturing and supporting innovative ideas and early-stage startups in various fields such as technology, engineering, and social entrepreneurship.
The Park provides seed grant for selected start-ups, furnished/Semi-furnished/Unfurnished space as per the requirement of the start-ups, Internet, electricity, and water facility, laboratory and workshop facilities, interactive workshops with Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists, facilitation of bank loan and support for legal and financial advice by empanelled consultants. So far, the Park has got 13 start-ups.
T. V. Narendran, MD & CEO of Tata Steel; Dr. Vivek Lall, Chief Executive of General Atomics Global Corporation, Dr. Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD & CEO of National Stock Exchange, Dr. Tito Gronow, minister, Deputy Head Mission of Finland, Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Mission director of Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Ayog and Madhumita Agarwal, Co-founder & CEO of Oben Electric also spoke on the occasion and lauded the initiative.