Incubator Capabilities enhancement for a Robust Ecosystem for high performing Startups

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), over the last few years, has created a network of incubators that energize the innovation value chain in India. Within this ecosystem, AIM is conscious of the team related challenges faced by incubators as they strive to produce viable, successful businesses. Keeping this in mind, AIM, designed iCRESt - a first of its kind, remotely conducted, program that aims to become a growth hack for incubators as they strive to become #WorldClassIncubators and reach greater heights.

For this program, AIM has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation – organizations that can lend credible support and expertise in the entrepreneurship and innovation space. These partnerships will provide global expertise and showcase proven best practices to the AIM’s incubator network.

AIM iCREST, as the name suggests, has been designed to enable the incubation ecosystem and act as a growth hack for AIM’s Atal and Established incubators across the country. Under the initiative, the AIM’s incubators are set to be upskilled and provided requisite support to foster the incubation enterprise economy, which will help them to significantly enhance their performance. Through this program, AIM will enable incubators and their teams to gain deep insights about incubation and acceleration, learn about best practices of about 200 incubators and accelerators globally, and use tools, templates, and frameworks to close the existing gaps and uncover the magic behind successful incubation. This capacity-building program for the incubators will be complemented by providing training to entrepreneurs, also through technology-driven processes and platforms.

For the first time in the Government, AIM iCRESt is being extended to the entire portfolio of 65+ AIM supported incubators. Even with the constraints caused by COVID 19 pandemic, the core program teams have worked out means to deliver this program in a contactless and digital manner via interactive online sessions. This program leverages technology in a big way to convert the art of incubation into science by providing logical, structured, self-learning modules on a digital platform.


AIM believes that incubators and accelerators have a tough, yet critical, role to play in creating high-potential startups, and it is not easy! There is a strong need for creating disruptive solutions for the socio-economic challenges within the country. This need is more pronounced post the COVID-19 pandemic that has brought along with it a new world order. AIM has launched the iCrest program with the objective of enabling and empowering its incubators so that they are able to nurture and hand-hold to next-gen disruptive startups that shall provide transformative solutions for India and the world. This is aligned with the clarion call of Atmanirbhar Bharat given by our Honorable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.

The core objective of this structured capacity building program is to enable the incubators to design and implement world-class entrepreneurship programs, make their institution sustainable, and build credibility.

The Program has been designed keeping the following main objectives in view:

  1. Enable Incubators to design a world-class entrepreneur support program that covers all aspects of incubation:
    1. Sourcing & selection 
    2. Incubation & startup building 
    3. Community engagement and collaborations
    4. Monitoring progress & tracking growth
    5. Mentor onboarding & management 
  2. Enable incubators to develop sustainable business models for themselves
  3. Enable incubators to provide requisite support infrastructure and training for startups
  4. Create a robust network of mentors, investors, and other ecosystem stakeholders and encourage a collaborative ecosystem
  5. Create a process to produce viable, investable startups and attract investors 

Elements of AIM iCRESt

  • Structured Training Sessions & Workshops delivered digitally
  • Open House Sessions
  • Pre-Read and Post-Read Material on the LMS
  • Progress tracking through LMS
  • Digital Toolkits, Templates and Frameworks
  • Pitch Event
  • Interaction with Industry Veterans
  • Training for Startup Cohorts through a digital platform
  • Workshops
  • Digital Toolkits, Templates and Frameworks
  • 1:1 Check-ins with Trained Fellows
  • Multiple Networking Opportunities
  • Ready-Recknor for all aspects of a successful incubation program
  • Toolkits, templates, frameworks, worksheets available for instant use and implementation
  • SoPs and Standard agreements and contracts for Incubators and Startups
  • Case Studies & Success Stories
  • Incubator Success Metrics
  • Best global practices
  • Data backed analysis
  • Case studies
  • Benchmarking of AIM incubators against the best practices
Super mentors
  • Tailored implementation of the study modules
  • Personalised 1:1 sessions with incubators to build individual strategy
  • Support in solving their operational challenges
  • Post program support
  • Networking and Collaboration opportunities


  1. Launch Video:
  2. Ebook and GBP Study announcement :
  3. AIM iCRESt Reflections:
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