NITI Aayog Chairman Amitabh Kant on Thursday unveiled a startup incubation centre in this north Karnataka town to promote entrepreneurship in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

Built by Sandbox Startups, a technology business incubator and promoted by the US-based technocrat Gururaj Deshpande, the startup facility can house about 100 companies at a time.

IndianWeb2 first reported about the incubator back in January 2017 and then earlier this month it was confirmed the launch would happen in Hubbali on 18 July, which was yesterday.

"India needs disruptive innovation to tackle challenges in health, education and agriculture sectors. We have to take a leap in social innovation to make 60 per cent of the population in rural areas a part of the growth story," said NITI Aayog CEO after dedicating the hi-tech facility to the nation.

Noting that real solutions for the country's problems should come from tier-2 and tier-3 cities, Kant said Indian could become a role model for the world if it could find solutions for the challenges faced by its 1.3 billion population. "We can lead the world with our innovations," Kant said further.

Stressing on inclusive growth, Kant said 8-10 per cent GDP growth rate per annum cannot be achieved if majority of the people living in non-metros were not part of the growth cycle.

"The Central government is supporting 25 incubation centres and hand-holding them to find solutions to many challenges facing the country," he said.

As part of its inclusive growth strategy, the NDA government has identified 115 most backward districts, which are being monitored with real-time data for actionable intelligence needed to improve social indicators.

"The governments have to work with non-profit organizations to deliver impact at the ground level," Kant added.

Spread in 6.09 acres of land situated on Gokul Road near the Hubballi Airport, the new facility is the first of its kind in India with full-fledged facilities including a MAKERS LAB and the ESDM Cluster. It also has all amenities that are needed for a robust startup ecosystem to flourish.

"Sandbox has supported 80 ventures with sustainable, scalable and resilient business models and generated Rs 70 crore for the local economy over the last 8 years," said the startup in a statement here.

About 50 patents were filed in the technology space by the startups incubated at Sandbox.

The companies are involved in image processing, agri-tech, Internet of Things (IoT), logistics, E-commerce, healthcare and service sectors.

A dedicated team of Sandbox Samvidha is supporting not-for profit ventures and high social impact startups.

Interested startup aspirants, entrepreneurs, professionals and academecians willing to join the new incubator can register online here.

To recall, in last month, India's Union science & technology minister Harsh Vardhan announced that India will soon have its first international incubator coming up in capital city of Delhi, to promote innovation in the field of clean energy and stimulate research, innovation, and entrepreneurship for the global initiative on clean energy.

It may also be recalled that, in April, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh inaugurated '36Inc' in Raipur, which is the first government-supported startup incubation centre in the state, and claims it to be second biggest centre in the entire country, after Hyderabad's T-Hub.

Source - The News Minute

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