A new incubator that’s been put together thanks to collaboration between the government, academia, and Intel, wants to shift the focus towards hardware.
Plugin is a new hardware startup incubator that’s a partnership between the government’s Department of Science and Technology (DST), which is a leading funding agency; the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), which is IIT Bombay’s business incubator, and has supported over 80 startups until now; and Intel.
Plugin will look to provide funding and access to equipment as well as mentorship and refine the startups’ go-to-market strategies.
“Traditionally, SINE has incubated companies based on IP, and software startups,” explains Poyni Bhatt, COO, SINE, IIT Bombay. “Plugin is a first because we haven’t backed hardware startups like this before.”
With the “Make in India” program, there’s greater interest in local hardware development, and it’s becoming easier to get government buy-in for funding activities and that’s something that Plugin’s first batch of startups will be hoping to benefit from.
Plugin – which was officially announced on Saturday – will be accepting applications from around India, and will start its program in October.
“We will be offering Rs. 30 lakhs, each to 20 startups and that includes hardware toolkits, product development kits which are also quite expensive,” adds Bhatt.