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ICRISAT offers funds for start-ups

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Hyderabad: The Agribusiness Incubator (ABI) of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has launched a second call for applications from eligible Ag-tech start-ups under the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations-Seed Support Programme (NIDHI-SSP).

This programme is supported by the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the institute said in a release on Friday.

Indian start-ups working on innovative technologies or business models in the agri-food and allied sectors are encouraged to apply. It is an ideal opportunity for start-ups to raise funds without any equity dilution. ABI-ICRISAT will provide debt-based funding at the prevailing repo rate.

ABI-ICRISAT will offer incubation services for business development and scaling up activities, access to mentor and investor networks and ecosystem service partner packages.

“We received an overwhelming response to our last call for applications under the NIDHI-SSP, look forward to receiving applications from innovative ag-tech startups responding to our second call,” said Aravazhi Selvaraj, Head, ABI-ICRISAT.

“We aim to support technology-driven startups in agriculture and allied sectors that can contribute to our mission of food-secure and resilient drylands,” Selvaraj added.

“ICRISAT plays an important role in catalyzing the growth of early revenue-stage start-ups by strengthening the product-market fit and clarity on their value proposition. This seed fund support will help in graduating them to the next levels of growth and fundraising,” said Victor Afari-Sefa, Global Research Programme Director, Enabling Systems Transformation, ICRISAT.

Start-ups selected for incubation will be evaluated as per the scheme criteria to receive funding of up to Rs 50 lakh. The last date for submission of applications is November 30.

Established in 2003, ABI-ICRISAT to support innovative technology-backed Ag-tech startups and agribusiness enterprises working on solving dryland agriculture challenges.

Over the years, ABI-ICRISAT has supported 118 start-ups, of which 98 have graduated from the incubator

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