The North East region is endowed with pristine natural bio-diversity. Since decades, agriculture and allied activities have been the mainstay of the economy. In the current times, there is a great urgency for developing and nurturing an entrepreneurial eco-system in order to promote enterprises and start-ups in this sector and create more jobs in the years ahead. This will be the key to development and diversification of agriculture in the NE region where focus is being laid to develop B-2-B enterprises.
Assam Agricultural University (AAU) has been developing numerous technologies in the pre-harvest and post-harvest domain to increase farm productivity and reduce cost of production, besides post-harvest processing, value addition and enhancing marketability of a wide range of products of the region.
AAU has established the best-in-class Innovation hub to facilitate absorption and commercialization of various agri and allied-agri technologies to promote ventures and businesses in the North East region.
“The very word “incubate” resonates with a “bird sitting on her eggs, caring and nurturing them, hatching them – to enable them to take birth, learn, grow and fly!”. In the context of business too, an incubator has a similar purpose and intent – to allow a fledgling business to be given ambient environment and resources, nurture and care for its growth until they learn to move on from the Incubator.
Similarly, the NEATeHUB has been set up to create a robust and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem/ support infrastructure to build successful startups in the area of agri and allied agriculture. The Incubator has elements such as physical space and infrastructure, common service delivery systems, network activities, partnerships and linkages – both institutional and individual, mentors and advisors – to enable startups to structure their business and make them “investment-ready” to potential investors. And finally, the incubator helps the startup figure out when it is time to leave and fly out of the incubator.”
It is envisaged that the NEATeHub will augur well for the promotion and facilitation of agribusiness enterprises around commodity-specific value chains. The AAU Incubator has plans to work on a hub and spoke model with its own satellite centres in strategic districts of Assam as well as in other North Eastern states.