In an innovative move, companies may now be able to fund early stage innovations in the communication sector as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR), thanks to a new initiative by the Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad (MICA).
Founded in 2010, Comcubator was the country’s first ever communication technology - Business Incubator - that was started with the support of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.
MICA plans to open its corpus fund and raise Rs 50 lakh from corporates, who can divert their 2 per cent CSR in funding these early stage start-ups incubating at Comcubator. It currently operates through the fund of Rs 8.75 crore set up under DST, of which the institute has so far received Rs 1.2 crore in the first phase.
Currently, there are eight start-ups at Comcubator in various stages of development, of which MICA has added six in the last one year.
“We are encouraging funding to come from the industry so that we can scale up this incubatee cell. This proposal of asking corporates to provide funding to upcoming businesses is under approval process with the governing council of MICA. We plan to adopt four new start-ups by this year-end and we will be launching the corporate fund by March 2014. This new fund raised by corporates will be then used to provide 10 more new start-ups next year,” said U T Rao, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at MICA and in-charge of Comcubator.