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STPIs Centres of Excellence (CoE)

A Centre of Excellence (CoE) is a domain-specific specialized incubation facility for start-ups in the area of emerging technologies where the highest-standards and best-practices in terms of infrastructure, technology, leadership, mentoring, training, research & development, funding, networking for the given focus area is made available.

The Government of India has a special emphasis on start-ups & entrepreneurship. Accordingly, the Start-up India initiative was announced by Hon'ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi during his independence day address on 15th August 2015 from the Red Fort. Subsequently, the action plan was taken-up on 16th January 2016. This initiative is based on three pillars: Simplifications & Handholding, Funding Support & Incentives and Industry-Academia Partnership & Incubation centers.

In order to build leadership and to build next wave of budding entrepreneurs in the emerging sectors of technology like Internet of things (IoT), Block Chain, FinTech, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented & Virtual Reality (AR/VR), ESDM, Data Science & Analytics, Medical Electronics & Healthcare, Gaming & Animation, Machine Learning, Cyber Security etc., Government of India recently made announcement for setting up of CoEs by STPI in specific domains spread across India. For each kind of CoE, incubation space having specific characterization and best suited for different domain of emerging technology as said above shall be developed by STPI.

The typical objectives & outcomes of a CoE are as follows:

CoE Objectives

Various stages of in the lifecycle of a CoE and the incubated start-up are shown as below:

CoE Objectives

The collaborative ecosystem for Start-ups is as below:

CoE Objectives

The CoEs STPI IoT OpenLab at Bengaluru, Electropreneur Park ESDM Incubation Centre at Bhubaneshwar and FinTech at Chennai are approved by MeitY. A brief about these CoEs is as follows:

"Internet of Things" or IoT is a computing concept that encapsulates the idea of everyday physical objects being connected to the internet and being able to identify themselves to other devices as well as communicate (i.e. send/receive information). It is estimated that India will soon have 1.9 billion IoT devices installed with a market size of $9 billion. IoT is the next big thing in technology industry.

There are more than 500 start-ups in Bengaluru which are developing solutions around IoT. These start-ups have very good product ideas, but they lack infrastructure support for Hardware development and also mentoring for selecting right Techno Commercial hardware platform for their application which can make their product competitive in global market.

As per the Global start-up ecosystem report 2017 by Startup Genome, Bengaluru ranked 20 among the global start-up hubs. Considering the potential of the city and innovative start-up ecosystem, Bengaluru is chosen for setting up of IoT OpenLab.

With the above background, STPI IoT OpenLab has been proposed in Bengaluru as per following highlights:

  • Objective: The objective of setting up IoT OpenLab is to create a technology platform for enabling innovative start-ups to develop IoT based applications, products & solutions which will address not just domestic needs but have a global perspective also.
  • Location: Bengaluru, the IT Hub & "Silicon Valley" of India is the chosen location for the proposed IoT OpenLab due to its vibrant start-up ecosystem and entrepreneurship zeal.
  • Chief Mentor: Sh. Sanjeev Keskar, MD Arrow Electronics will be the Chief Mentor of this lab.
  • Partners: The partners include STPI, MeitY, M/s Arrow Electronics and others. M/s Arrow Electronics is a technology neutral as well as vendor-neutral organization working across multiple technologies and representing more than 150 global suppliers of components such as semiconductors and connectors. Additional partners like IESA, TiE shall provide networking opportunities to the start-ups, Academic partners like PES institute and RVCE Bengaluru shall provide academic expertise, Funding partners like Forum Synergy, Cyber Media shall provide funding support & assistance.
  • Facilities & Services: This facility will encompass:
    • 4200 sqft of ready-to-work plug & play space
    • IoT Lab equipped with complete Sample Bank, Test Equipment & Technical support
    • Technical mentoring & support by in-house Engineering team
    • Access to financial resources, marketing support etc. under one roof enabling start-ups to complete the projects in time.
    • A comprehensive screening process in the form of Hackathons and Business/Idea Challenge etc. for the selection of the best start-ups.
  • Target Beneficiaries: It is targeted to support and nurture around 100 start-ups (physical & virtual) per year over a period of five years.
  • Duration: The CoE is proposed to be operational for five years from the date of its launch.
  • Budget & Source of Funding: The overall budget of this project is 11.47 cr. over a period of five years in which MeitY contribution to be released as grant-in aid Rs 1 cr., contribution of STPI is Rs 3.52 and contribution of M/s Arrow Electronics Rs. 6.95 cr.

With the rapid growth of Digital Technologies and their influence on day-to-day life of the common man, the technology landscape of financial domain is undergoing a massive change. While this change is intended to bring in ease to the end users, it faces an equally complex challenge of Security and scale. The need of the hour is to comprehensively address both the challenges namely, "Usability" on one hand and "Scalability & Security" on the other.

Financial Technology (or) FinTech has the potential to unleash a new era of competition, innovation and job creating productivity in the economy. FinTech is not just about digitising money, it's about monetising data.

FinTech solutions hold enormous potential benefits to all business, especially new and existing small businesses. SMEs are crucial for economic growth and jobs but face difficulty in securing the funding support required to survive and grow.

FinTech offers solutions that are efficient and effective at lower scale and benefit small businesses and provide them with increased access to more diverse funding options. Innovative FinTech products can be better tailored to the needs of the SMEs. These include marketplace lending, merchant and e-commerce finance, Invoice finance, online supply chain finance and online trade finance.

By reducing information asymmetry in the marketplace, FinTech is not only improving the ability to match investors, lenders and borrowers but providing a more level playing field that allows retail investors to have greater participation in the market. FinTech is allowing people to conduct transactions though their mobile phone or tablets, improving efficiency and the customer experience.

With the above background, a FinTech CoE has been proposed in Chennai as per following highlights:

  • Objectives: To provide complete handholding & support to innovative start-ups & entrepreneurs in working in FinTech. The services shall include access to all technical resources (including tools, technologies & technical mentorship) as well as marketing support and financial support.
  • Location: Chennai is an ideal location to setup "COE in FinTech" for various factors like i) It has legacy of home grown infotech companies which provide financial services and the presence of back offices for bank transactions give Chennai an inbuilt advantage to position itself as Financial a hub. ii) It has a transaction volume which serves 900 million people across the World through Back office operation. iii) several large financial companies and insurance companies are headquartered here iv) the city has a fully computerized stock exchange called the Madras Stock Exchange etc.
  • Chief Mentor: Sh. Arun Jain, Chairman & MD, M/s. Intellect Design Arena Ltd., is proposed to be the Chief Mentor. The Chief Mentor will be associated with all activities and be the guiding light & anchor for the CoE.
  • Partners: Partners include STPI, MeitY, State Government and others. Intellect Design Arena shall be the industry & knowledge partner, Yes Bank is proposed to be the "Partner Bank", Pontaq-UK shall be Funding Partner which has committed funding support of $2 Million as seed fund to start-ups of Fintech COE. Other Partners include National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, TiE Chennai, Torus, RBS, PayPal etc.
  • Facilities & Services:
    • 100 Ready-to-work Plug & Play space.
    • Access to APIs, payment gateways and sandbox environment of Partner Bank.
    • Sandbox environment of NPCI.
    • CANVAS Technology of M/s.Intellect
    • Technical mentoring & support.
    • Access to financial resources (angel funding, seed fund, VC etc)
    • Access & support towards networking & marketing activities.
    • A comprehensive screening process in the form of Hackathons and Business/Idea Challenge etc. will be conducted for the selection of the best start-ups.
  • Target Beneficiaries: The CoE in FinTech intends to support & nurture 58 start-ups over a period of five years who would develop products and/or services around "FinTech".
  • Duration: The CoE is proposed to be operational for five years from the date of its launch.
  • Budget and Source of Funding: The Total Budgetary outlay has been worked out to be of Rs. 24.45 Crores (Approximate). This consists of Capital Expenditure of Rs 3.16 (Approximate) Crore and Recurring expenditure of Rs 7.67 Crores (Approximate). These will be met from contributions from MeitY, STPI and Govt of TN. As mentioned above, Pontaq-UK shall provide funding support of $2 Million i.e. Rs. 13.63 Crore (Approximate) as seed fund.

Electronics Import of India is soon going to exceed its oil imports. There is an urgent need for India to reduce its dependence on imported electronics and increase domestic production. With its Make in India initiative, Government has laid special emphasis on domesticising electronics produce and as a result of the same, several mobile manufacturing units have been established successfully across the country. This is however not enough, and lot more needs to be done.

In line with the above vision, STPI has already established the first-of-its-kind ESDM Incubation Centre "Electropreneur Park" (EP) in New Delhi. The EP at New Delhi has been immensely successful with multiple start-ups getting funded as well as multiple patents being filed. With support from MeitY, STPI is in the process of replicating this highly successful collaborative model across various parts of India, with next EP coming up as ESDM Incubation CoE in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. EP at Bhubaneshwar aspires to contribute to the ESDM growth story of India through creation of a holistic eco-system for encouraging R&D, innovation, Entrepreneurship in the ESDM sector. This eco-system is necessary to develop, promote, incubate, mentor and create breakthrough innovations in the ESDM sector. It shall emphasize on development of product and IP creation in the ESDM sector. Following are the highlights of EP @ Bhubaneswar:

  • Objectives:
    • Incubate 35-40 companies in five years
    • Create a holistic eco-system for encouraging R&D, innovation, Entrepreneurship in the ESDM sector in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
    • Enable creation of Intellectual Property within the country, particularly in the state of Odisha, for maximizing domestic value addition.
    • Aid during prototyping, development and commercialization for the ESDM products produced through the scheme for India and other growth markets.
    • Create employment opportunities at various levels.
    • Establish long-term partnership with strategic sectors.
    • Demonstrate unique integration of academia, industry, Govt. and other incubation eco-system elements
  • Location:
    • Electropreneur Park will be setup at STPI's new building at Bhubaneswar. The following are some key factors which make Bhubaneswar as the ideal location:
    • State of Odisha has formulated a forward looking Startup Policy where it is envisaged to develop a "Startup Hub" in Odisha by 2020, create enabling environment and supporting eco-system that facilitates at least 1,000 start-ups in next five years making Odisha as one of the top 3 start-up hubs of India.
    • STPI has been empowered by State Government as Nodal Agency for scrutinizing application in IT/ESDM sector & recommending for recognizing as Startup & availing financial assistance.
    • As an added incentive and promote the successful start-ups/Incubates of proposed ESDM Incubation Centre, it is envisaged to offer preferential allotment / incentivize in Electronic Manufacturing Cluster.
    • Major Indian ICT & Software development firms such as Infosys, Tech-Mahindra, TCS, Wipro, Mindtree along with local Odisha based companies like Mindfire, Tatwa, Tcube, make Odisha an IT hub of East India
    • Bhubaneswar has been ranked 3rd in terms of ease of doing business by World Bank in its 2009 "Doing Business – Sub national reports for India ranks". It ranks the 5th city in terms of ease of starting & closing a business, 1st in terms of ease of EXIM and is attracting plenty of entrepreneurial activities.
  • Partners: Like Electropreneur Park, New Delhi, the collaborative model involving Government, Academia and Industry is also used in EP, Bhubaneswar. STPI will be the managing partner with IIIT-Bhubaneswar playing the role of the Academic Partner. IESA shall be the implementation partner of this initiative.
  • Facilities and Services:
    • Spread over 7,500sq. ft. of built up space, the state-of-the-art facility includes:
      • Fully furnished office space
      • High speed connectivity
      • Multiple conference rooms with video conference facilities
      • Cafeteria
      • Business Centre o Wellness Centre o Reception
      • Parking
    • State of the art ESDM Lab with equipment for prototyping and testing in the following areas
      • Power Electronics
      • LED
      • Communication
      • RF
      • Software
      • Embedded hardware and software
      • Test and measuring
  • Target Beneficiaries: 35-40 Incubatees/companies are proposed to be incubated over a period of five years at an average eight Incubatees per year.
  • Duration: The Electropreneur Park is proposed to be operational for five years from the date of launch.
  • Budget and Sources of Funding: As per the Detailed Project Report (DPR), the total budget outlay is estimated at ₹22.44 Crs for a period of five years which will be jointly borne by STPI, MeitY, Government of India & Govt. of Odisha.