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

NITI Aayog Chairman Amitabh Kant unveils startup incubation centre in Ktakas Hubballi
Atom Startups Thursday, July 19, 2018 - 11:36
Written by  IANS

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.

"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," he said after dedicating the hi-tech facility to the nation.

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.

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," he said.

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.

However, Karnataka is not the first state to get an incubation centre in tier 2 and 3 towns. Telangana too is in the process of developing smaller towns such as Warangal, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Khamam and Mahabubnagar into tech destinations. The government has sanctioned Rs 25 crore in each of these towns to set up IT hubs, which will be built as plug-and-play facilities.

After developing Hyderabad into a startup hub, catalyzed by setting up T-Hub, Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao inaugurated the first and the largest technology business incubation centre in a tier 2 town in Warangal in Telangana. Spread across one lakh square foot, SR Innovation Exchange also surpasses T-Hub in terms of area.

Also read: Zoho partners with T-Hub to offer one-year free ‘Zoho One’ subscription to its startups