One of the first incubators in the city, the Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, has turned 10 years old, a journey that saw it nurturing over 200 start-ups investing ₹3 crore in 30 of them and engaging 17 with the IIIT-H research labs.
The CIE has come a long way, as Professor of Practice (Co-innovations) Ramesh Loganathan says, from the time in 2008 when there barely was any structured support for start-ups to the present where it runs two technology-based accelerators.
“Prior to February 2008 when the CIE started operations, we had an informal programme [for start-ups],” he said in an interaction ahead of the decennial celebrations at the Centre in which IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan participated. On the occasion, the facility showcased around 30 start-ups that use deeper, newer and non-trivial technologies.
The CIE in its V2.0, particularly with T-Hub taking shape on the same campus, shifted focus to deep-tech start-ups, seeding start-ups that come directly out of research and actively connecting research with start-ups.
“We are the largest academic incubator in the country, and right now we have around 80 start-ups,” he said, pointing out that an accelerator programme each for deep-tech and medtech were available.
A third, social accelerator is to be launched in a couple of months, said Loganathan, who has been associated with IIIT-H since 2002 as an adjunct faculty before joining full time after a stint in the corporate world.
Going forward, the emphasis would be on having on board more deep-tech start-ups. Their number is around 35-40, out of the 80 start-ups. The deep-tech start-ups, he replied to a query, would be those “doing work at a level that a research lab can meaningfully help, even just by advising them...” Stating this, he highlighted the growing interest in Artificial Intelligence, an area in which IIIT-H has the largest research cluster in the form of Kohli Centre on Intelligent Systems.
A press release said the CIE’s portfolio of start-ups have raised funding of ₹50 crore from external sources and have generated over 1,200 jobs.