CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Technology INCUBATORS @ IIT-Madras

POWERING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Start-up ventures increasingly emerge from cutting-edge innovations at premier academic institutions, and play an important role in the transfer of technology to the industry and society at large. In the globalized world today and with the rising importance of pioneering solutions addressing the needs of the society, the modern entrepreneurial cycle has crucial value. Start-up ventures can step in and fill the gap in the technology-transfer chain, in areas where conventional companies would be more cautious in view of novelty of field or risks involved on return of investment. Thus start-ups today play a vital role, not only as drivers of innovative solutions to societal challenges, but also as job creators and economic stimulators.

However, the entrepreneurial culture in India is still in its nascent stages, and young entrepreneurs face several challenges, including lack of structured access to resources and an ecosystem to sustain them through the high-risk initial stages. Since technology and knowledge based start-ups are ideally poised to emerge from universities, the role of academic incubators in providing a support system for the entrepreneurial culture to take root and flourish is now widely recognisedIIT Madras, with its resources such as its extensive social, academic and industrial network and the Research Park, is uniquely positioned to provide a boost to technology-based entrepreneurship. In order to attain organic growth and emerge effective in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem, IITM’s incubators are in need of strong financial and other support. While support from Government in sustaining this process is crucial, the role of corporate sector cannot be overstated, and the Companies Act, 2013 provides an ideal route for the latter through the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) channel. 

FUNDS FOR TECHNOLOGY INCUBATORS IN ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS GET CSR STATUS

Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 lists permitted CSR activities, and by a key recent amendment, contributions or funds provided to technology incubators located within academic institutions which are approved by the Central Government’ qualify as a CSR expenditure. IIT Madras has established two incubators recognised by Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, which hence qualify to receive funds from Indian and foreign companies operating in India as part of fulfilling their CSR obligations under the Companies Act 2013

A vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem needs strong capital inflows to fuel startups to become enterprises. In collaboration with corporates, IITM incubators aim to promote Incubators as Entrepreneurial hubs with intimate private sector engagement. Funds will be utilized for seed and early stage investments in incubated companies and creation of facilities for rapid growth and sustenance of start-up ventures:

Incubation Facilities: setting up the interiors of the Incubation Floor, 3rd Floor, IITM Research Park Phase II 
Total built-up area: 74012 sq ft covering Blocks A, B & D; cost ~ Rs 20 crore
Corporates can provide partial funding (individual blocks) and there's possibility of naming rights.
E-prospectus link
IITM Startup Fund - provides seed funding to IITM incubatee companies. 
The Fund is governed by a Fund Advisory Body (IITM Director is the Chairperson), and fund disbursal to incubatees overseen by an Investment Committee.
Donor companies can nominate members to participate as Invitees and make recommendations to the fund committee.
E-prospectusPDF Link
Latest update on IITM Incubators: link

We invite the corporate sector to partner with us and contribute to IITM’s start-up vision for the nation through CSR. IITM’s impeccable record, growth and global position will provide your company with unmatched potential for your CSR activities, with assured impact, value and visibility.