AIM & Gates Foundation select Venture Center to lead a unique startup mentoring program

The program aims to promote and support science-based deep-tech startups & ventures across India through training and guidance over a period of 12 months

New Delhi: In a major push towards deep technology and driving the country to become a digitally transformed nation, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog has launched AIM-PRIME (Program for Researchers on Innovations, Market-Readiness & Entrepreneurship), a program to promote and support science-based deep-tech startups & 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 in Pune.
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.”
Mr. Anjani Bansal, Deputy Director, Global Development at BMGF said “We are thrilled to partner with AIM and Venture Centre to advance 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.