NEW DELHI: The US government today announced the launch of a facilitator programme 'Nexus Startup Hub' aimed at creating a dynamic ecosystem for aspiring entrepreneurs in the country.
The US Embassy runs the Nexus Startup Hub in partnership with the IC-squared Institute at the University of Texas-Austin that was put to operations in March 2017.
Since operations, Nexus has imparted a ten-week intensive, pre-incubation programme for two cohorts of ten startups each.
Nine of those have been selected for long-term incubation. And a third cohort of ten startups have began a pre-incubation programme at the end of January.
Kenneth I Juster, the US Ambassador to India at the launch of the startup hub announced two new Nexus initiatives for 2018 - special mentoring and training for women entrepreneurs and extension of this hub to neighbouring countries through South Asia Connect.
Women entrepreneurs represent a tremendous, largely untapped pool of talent for economic growth and prosperity, Juster said.
"However, they often face barriers to building businesses that their male counterparts simply do not encounter.
"To help address this problem, we...announce that the US Department of State has committed to expanding our Nexus offerings by providing special training, mentoring, and networking opportunities for female entrepreneurs throughout India," he said.
Entrepreneurship and innovation embody the best of the India-US partnership, Juster said, adding the programme will guide women students with entrepreneurial interests studying at India's leading universities.
Notably, India and US in November last year had co-hosted the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad with the theme 'Women First, Prosperity for All'.
To begin with, it will be a pilot project for two months and then expanded later on, said Erik Azulay, Director of Nexus.
Funds from angel investors will support the training to women businesspersons under this programme.
From this experience of incubation sessions, the US Embassy will extend it to other South Asian countries and announced to launch the 'South Asia Connect at Nexus' that will take it to startups in neighbouring nations.
"This grant supports the expansion of the Nexus offerings – including training, mentorship, and networking opportunities – to startups in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
"The American Center and IC-Squared, through Nexus and South Asia Connect, will help foster an increasingly dynamic, integrated, and innovative startup ecosystem across the region," Juster said.