Atal Innovation Mission And Gates Foundation Select Pune-Based Venture Center To Lead Its Science-Based Deep Tech Startups Mentoring Program

venture centre
Share this News:

Pune, 31 March 2021: In a major push towards deep technology and driving the country to become a digitally transformed nation, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog today launched AIM-PRIME (Program for Researchers on Innovations, Market-Readiness & Entrepreneurship), a program to promote and support science-based deep-tech startups and ventures across India. 

In this regard, AIM has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to launch this nationwide program which will be implemented by Venture Centre – a non-profit technology business incubator hosted by CSIR-NCL.

The first cohort of the program is open to technology developers (early-stage deep tech start-ups, and scientists/ engineers/ clinicians) with strong science-based deep tech business ideas. The program is also open to CEOs and Senior incubation managers of AIM Funded Atal Incubation Centres that are supporting deep tech entrepreneurs. 

Deep technology is an outcome of very intense research and development (R&D) with high knowledge content. Consequently, the entrepreneurial journey emphasizes different aspects and requires a different approach to navigating the de-risking process and bringing such ideas to market.  

The benefits of this program are aimed at addressing these specific issues through training and guidance over a period of 12 months. Candidates selected for the program will get access to in-depth learning via a comprehensive lecture series, live team projects, exercises, and project-specific mentoring. They will also have access to a deep tech start-up playbook, curated video library, and plenty of peer-to-peer learning opportunities. The AIM-PRIME program is specifically tailored for the rapid scaling up of deep-tech science ventures in India, providing not just the necessary intellect and support but also the exposure they rightly deserve. 

The announcement was made as a part of the virtual programme attended by officials of AIM, NITI Aayog, BMGF, Venture Centre, Incubators, start-ups and mentor amongst other beneficiaries. As a part of the launch webinar, Dr Ashley Stevens – President, Focus IP Group, and Past President, AUTM was invited to talk on global experience on building vibrant high-tech clusters, innovation ecosystems and local technology commercialization capabilities 

Speaking during the virtual launch of the program, AIM Mission Director Shri R. Ramanan said, “AIM has been at the forefront of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the Nation through its various programs for school students, budding entrepreneurs, and incubators. AIM PRIME aims to take science-based deep tech entrepreneurship to a new level in India by drawing lessons from global and national best practices.”

Anjani Bansal, Deputy Director, Global Development at BMGF said, “We are thrilled to partner with AIM and Venture Centre to advance the deep tech startup ecosystem in India. This initiative builds on the foundation laid by AIM to support startups and provides specialized services to transition research to industry.”

Director of Venture Centre Dr Premnath said, “The hallmark of the AIM-PRIME program shall be hands-on practical insights and mentoring from experts and mentors who have been nurturing science-based deep-tech startups in global innovation hotspots as well as in India.”

The program is catalyzed by the office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, and the Pune Knowledge Cluster. Details on the AIM-PRIME program are available at or

The official launch for the program was attended by officials of AIM, AIM Supported incubators and start-ups, officials from the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, Venture Center mentors, and international faculty and experts.  

Venture Center, hosted by CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune is India’s leading inventive enterprises incubator. It is the recipient of the National Entrepreneurship Award 2019, the Asian (AABI) Incubator of the Year Awards for 2018, and the National Award for Technology Business Incubators from the President of India in May 2016. Venture Center is also recognized and supported by DST-NSTEDB and BIRAC.