Even as the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate), Gujarat government's global incubation centre, gets underway with the launch of a seed fund, the state government is set to invest about Rs 150 crore for the centre's own campus.
Floated by Gujarat Foundation for Entrepreneurship Excellence, the incubation and innovation centre will promote innovative ideas among entrepreneurs, students and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
Spread across an area of over 30 acres on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, the campus will house facilities for classroom training and infrastructure for carrying out entrepreneurial ideas in technology, among other things.
"We have started a program called 'Get Your Feet Wet' wherein entrepreneurial ideas will be invited from students, aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals alike. We have a makeshift campus in Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) premises wherein these ideas will be tested for their viability. Meanwhile, the state government is in the process of investing about Rs 150 crore a dedicated campus on the outskirts of Ahmedabad," said one of the founding members of iCreate on condition of anonymity.
While Rs 100 crore will be utilised for building the campus and infrastructure, the rest will act as the working capital for iCreate. "However, within next 10-15 years we intend to develop a mechanism wherein we will invest in entrepreneurial projects in both debt and equity forms and look to generate our own finances through these projects," the source added.
Led by Infosys Ltd. chairman emeritus NR Narayana Murthy as the advisory board chairman and endorsed by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, iCreate recently also launched a seed fund for entrepreneurial ideas. Titled at 'Spark-Up Idea Fund Participation', the fund will carry an initial corpus of Rs 25 lakhs.