Herald: EDC’s incubation center for start-ups to open July 16
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EDC’s incubation center for start-ups to open July 16

14 Jul 2018 04:56am IST
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14 Jul 2018 04:56am IST
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Goa already has eight incubation centers for start-ups. The ninth will be inaugurated on July 16 by Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar. EDC Ltd has come up with a 78-seater state-of-the-art technology incubation center. VIKANT SAHAY had the opportunity to take a peek at what start-ups in Goa can soon be getting

With EDC Ltd achieving revenue of Rs 102.73 crore for FY 2016-17 and earning a record Profit Before Tax amounting to Rs 61.26 crore, without any extraordinary or exceptional item, it decided to give back to the State by setting up an incubation center, specially for the start-up community in Goa.

In the Annual General Meeting held in September, the chairman of EDC Board, Sidharth Kuncalienker had announced they will soon be setting up an incubation center at EDC for start-ups. The center is now ready to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on July 16. The center which is modern in style, has 78 seats which will encourage new young entrepreneurs to set up their own start-up companies in Goa. The EDC has invested about Rs 2.5 crore to set this up.

When asked how this incubation center would sustain itself, the chairman of the EDC Board, Sidharth Kuncalienker said, “We are not looking to make only profit out of this. We are here to put public money for good use and create entrepreneurs who would add value to the State and the economy. It will not be a commercial profit center. However, informally we have agreed to tie-up with Department of Information and Technology of Goa and formal agreement or MoU may be signed on July 16 during the inauguration of this incubation center and this will help the center a lot.”

“EDC has in the past been into very tradition funding. Even the entrepreneurs we have created till date are all in traditional business. Now, even traditional businesses have started using technology and this is one sector which we need to address immediately. We are now looking at intellectual capital and we have created a seed fund also of Rs 5 crore so that the businesses can be supported and for this we have made a board of governors to manage and guide this facility. We have director of BITs, Srinivas Dempo as an angel funder, venture capitalists from Bengaluru, Mohandas Pai, one of the co-founders of Infosys, in the board of governors,” Kuncalienker added. 

The EDC decided about three years ago to come up with an idea to help about 220 start-ups which had mushroomed around that time. The simplest thing they did was that they started with a Chief Minister’s Start-Up Competition and till now two competitions have already been held. At the end of these two events EDC realised that majority of these start-ups required funding, mentoring and a simple basic facility from where they could work.

Managing director of EDC Ltd, K V Ballikar said, “The incubation center will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister on July 16. It will be attended by IT Minister, Rohan Khaunte and his team. We have spent about Rs 2.5 crore to set this up and we are not counting the value of the space. We will be happy if the DOIT also join hands with us to take this forward and make it more sustainable. It will be for the benefit of the Goans and we would welcome all start ups.” 

Director of Evolve IT Strategies, Ryan Carvalho who is the architect of setting up of this incubation center said, “We went through a long journey. We visited different places like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad including the T-Hub of Telangana to see how they have done it. We picked the best we could see and we created the best in this small space of 5000 square feet on the fourth floor of the EDC House. We have also set up a small group of people who could actually run this facility which has 78 seats which does not include separate meeting rooms, pitch room. Some of them are individual spaces and some are cabins. We have ensured that all stations are secure and safe and have access control. We also have network and power control which is up and running 24x7. We are aware that connectivity is critical for each and everyone.”

When asked about whether they will provide server rooms, Carvalho said, “We will not be providing any server rooms. However, we are working with Google, Microsoft and trying to tie up partnership with them for cloud services. It is ongoing process which we are hopeful to get this done very soon. We are also getting good mentors. The idea is to encourage ‘brain gain’ and make available a very niche work space which not only will help the Goans but also help those, who would like to come back to Goa and work in their home state.” 
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