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Tata Trusts, Lockheed Martin & DST join hands to invest $2Mn in tech-based social startups annually

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Tata Trusts also finally seems to be embracing the advent of technology in every aspect our lives. In addition to NGOs, the organization now plans to add start-up investments to its portfolio in collaboration with aerospace behemoth Lockheed Martin and the Department of Science and Technology (DST). They’re coming together to announce the launch of the second edition of the India Innovation Growth Programme (IIGP), which aims to invest around $20 million in socially relevant startups in the next ten years.

The said programme was rolled out by Tata Trusts’ Chairman Ratan N Tata, DST Secretary Ashutosh Sharma and Lockheed Martin’s George Standridge during the Festival of Innovation (FOIN) at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Other partners for IIGP 2.0 include Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), IIM Ahmedabad, and IIT Bombay.

Under India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0, the partners plan to invest as much as $2 million annually into entrepreneurs working to develop technology-based solutions for the betterment of our society. It plans to lead investments in startups which can help provide solutions to major issues such as waste water management, traffic management, and others. The hopes from this initiative are to look for solutions which can further the development of future smart city projects.

This edition is a public-private partnership that will offer selected startups and innovators with incubation support, training in commercialization strategies and assistance in business development. It is bigger and better in scale compared to the first one and also has provisions for seed funds for startups.

Describing his vision for the second edition, Manoj Kumar, Tata Trusts’ Head Innovations said,

Under IIGP 2.0 we will search for innovators who are on a mission to fight poverty and underdevelopment. Through our incubation programmes, selected innovators will be able to access the resources they need to create high quality, commercially viable and affordable solutions for social impact.

The first edition of the said programme was started by Lockheed Martin back in 2007. But, witnessing the flourishing Indian startup ecosystem, the DST jumped in to lend a hand in 2009. This programme ran its ten-year course and provided support of over a million dollar per year to a total of 500+ startups. Their capital was also employed to set up more than 100 incubation centers to provide startups with a dedicated space for assistance across India. It also gave selected startups a chance to learn from representatives of the industry.

Talking about this edition, Harkesh Mittal, DST Programme Head of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Tech Commercialisation said,

Encouraged by the success of taking 500 innovations to market and helping them capture local and global market value of around 6,000 crores, we now in new version hope to achieve an even better success not only in financial numbers but also improve lives of people.

A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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