Bhubaneshwar: IIT Bhubaneswar is gearing up to launch its groundbreaking 100-CUBE Start-Up initiative on February 11, 2024. This ambitious program aims to foster the development of 100 startups, each with a valuation of Rs. 100 crores by Odisha’s 100th Anniversary in 2036. The Research and Entrepreneurship Park at IIT Bhubaneswar will spearhead this initiative, offering vital resources, mentorship, seed capital, and access to potential investors. With a generous support of Rs. 130 crore from the Ministry of Education, the Park is poised to expand from its current 20,000 square feet area to about 80,000 square feet over the next two years.
Professor Shreepad Karmalkar, Director of IIT Bhubaneswar, emphasized that this initiative draws inspiration from the vision of Hon’ble Union Minister for Education, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Pradhan, and aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goals for Start-up India and Atmanirbhar Bharat. IIT Bhubaneswar, a second-generation IIT, boasts expertise in various domains including Minerals and Materials, Artificial Intelligence, Climate Science, Smart Infrastructure, Renewable Energy, Semiconductor Devices, and Integrated Circuits.
Professor Karmalkar highlighted the evolution of IITs, from being centers of knowledge creation and human resource development to actively addressing societal challenges through sponsored projects and consultancy. He noted the increasing focus on entrepreneurship and start-up incubation, in line with the mandate of NEP 2020. Additionally, the commencement of the Integrated Teacher Education Program at IIT Bhubaneswar from 2023 underscores the institution’s commitment to nurturing exceptional teachers for school education.
The 100-CUBE Start-Up initiative is poised to propel India’s innovation ranking further, building on the country’s progress from 76 in 2014 to 40 in 2023. This initiative will promote inclusive entrepreneurship across gender, sector, and geography, employing a mind-to-market strategy.
The launch event on February 11 will feature parallel technical workshops for faculty and start-ups, conducted by Faculty Heads of Research Parks of IITs, industrialists, and venture capitalists from 11 am to 1 pm. Subsequently, MoUs will be signed with nearly 20 industries, 30 startups, and 30 venture capitalists from 2 pm to 4 pm, fostering strategic collaborations to achieve the 100-CUBE objective. The event will also witness the Hon’ble Minister officially opening a 1500-seat auditorium and laying the e-foundation for infrastructure projects worth Rs. 450 crore.
In summary, the 100-CUBE Start-Up Initiative represents a significant milestone in IIT Bhubaneswar’s journey towards establishing Odisha as an entrepreneurial hub and nurturing the start-up ecosystem in India. Shri Bamadev Acharya, Registrar, along with Dr. Soobhankar Pati, Dr. Debi Prosad Drogra, Dr. Seema Bahinipati, and Dr. Yogesh Bhumkar, were present at the press meet, elaborating on various aspects of the initiative.