Recently, the Ministry of Science and Technology has said that 15 Startups are selected for the NIRMAN accelerator program.



  • This is the first cohort of the NIRMAN Accelerator Program launched by Start-ups Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC) IIT Kanpur.
  • The accelerator program is supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Ministry of Science & Technology through its NIDHI scheme.


What is National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) scheme?

  • It is an umbrella programme conceived and developed by the Innovation & Entrepreneurship division, Department of Science & Technology.
  • Aim — To nurture start-ups through scouting, supporting and scaling innovations.
  • Key stakeholders — Various departments and ministries of the central government, state governments, academic and R & D institutions, mentors, financial institutions, angel investors, venture capitalists and private sectors.
  • FundingBy the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB).
  • NIDHI Accelerator — An accelerator is typically a 3-6 months fast track structured program helping ideas get accelerated to the next orbit.


Objectives of NIDHI-Accelerators

  • To fast-track the growth of potential start-ups through rigorous mentoring and networking support in a short span through existing TBIs.
  • To attract subject matter experts, mentors, and angel investors to get associated with technology Business Incubators through structured accelerator programs.
  • To build a vibrant start-up ecosystem, by establishing a network between academia, financial institutions, industries and other institutions.
  • To act as a hub for several incubators in the region, so that high-potential start-ups can be fast-tracked for increased exposure and validation.


Characteristics of NIDHI -Accelerator Programs

It is envisaged that 2 broad types of Accelerator Programs will be supported by NSTEDB under this scheme

  • Sectoral Programs: These are accelerator programs focused specifically on start-ups focused on a certain sector or theme. For example Smart Cities or healthcare.
  • Non-Sectoral Programs:Non-sectoral accelerator programs are most relevant for locations where a critical mass of ventures within a specific sector may not exist.