The North-Eastern part of India has always been known for its rich bio-diversity and abundant natural resources. The economy of the region mainly depends upon the agricultural sector. In the current times, great emphasis has been laid on developing and nurturing entrepreneurs and startup companies in the country. By doing so, it is believed that more jobs would be created in the coming years in the agri and allied-agri sectors, especially in the North East Region of India.
Thus, with the single point agenda of creating an enabling environment for the agriculture-based start-ups the North East Agriculture Technology Entrepreneurs Hub (NEATEHUB) has come into existence. It is a section 8 non profit company established under the aegis of the Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Jorhat, and has raised funding from NITI Aayog, Govt. of India and Dept. of Agri Cooperation and Farmers Welfare’ (DAC&FW) flagship scheme RKVY- RAFTAAR (Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana – Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied Sectors Rejuvenation). It is ably supported by Assam Agricultural University as the university 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. AAU has also developed numerous technologies in the pre-harvest and post-harvest domains to increase farm productivity and reduce the cost of production.
NEATEHUB is an incubator that can be termed as a breeding ground for startups. The word incubator in itself resonates with “a bird sitting on eggs nurturing and hatching them, taking care of the hatchlings and enabling them to 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.
The core sectors of focus for NEATEHUB are horticulture, live stock, fisheries, food processing, soil conditioning, natural fibre, textile, medicinal and aromatic plants and small farm machinery etc. Apart from this NEATEHUB is one of a kind incubator in the region which emphasizes solely on the agri and allied services. In addition, specialized pre incubation training, admin, accounting and legal services for the startups are provided. High quality personalised mentoring and coaching for business growth is given to the budding entrepreneurs. North East being a tribal dominated region special fellowships opportunities for tribal youths are also on the anvil.
NEATEHUB offers physical co-working space for startup and enterpreneurs. It also brings in industry linkages and networking , training and business coaching, technology transfer and IP portfolio management, legal and quality assurance services, seed funding and access to investment. It is an one point contact to angel investors, mentors, corporate and VC funds interested to invest in agri businesses.
NEATEHUB presently is offering two programmes Isanya (pre-seed ) and Saranya (seed stage) . While Isanyabeing a two-month residential agri entrepreneurship orientation programme (with stipend) for entrepreneurs who are at an idea stage – which need curation, refining and nurturing the idea into a product/ service. Saranya is a start-up incubation programme for early-stage and growth stage start-up companies who are already registered as a legal entity, and need mentoring and funding support for scaling up.