Dehradun-based multi-disciplinary university, UPES, has launched ‘Runway’, its biggest incubation program to work with start-ups within and outside of the university on their ideas and help them transition into strong, scalable, and successful businesses. ‘Runway’ aims to help brilliant innovators get through the early stages of setting a start-up and reach the point where they have made a product/service impressive enough to raise money. This will be done through a mix of mentorship, grants and investments, legal and incorporation support, and allocation of space to work.
‘Runway’ is established under the UPES Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (UCIE), which has been recognized by the government of Uttarakhand as a business incubator and the state nodal agency to encourage entrepreneurship and help incubate start-ups in the state.
Speaking at the formal launch of ‘Runway’ at the university campus, Dr. Sunil Rai, Vice-Chancellor, UPES, said, “At UPES, we are serious about encouraging innovation and developing the entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow. The Runway is our most ambitious initiative in this direction. We are fully committed to the ideas, passion, and dreams of our students, faculty members, and individuals outside of UPES who are gearing up for their entrepreneurial journeys. Start-ups are one of the significant growth engines of the Indian economy. ‘Runway’ is our endeavor to fuel this engine and be an ally in the nation’s progress.”
The launch event was led by Rahul Nainwal, CEO, ‘Runway’ and attended by Sharad Mehra, Chairman, Hydrocarbon Education Research Society (HERS, UPES); Shilpa Sharma, Co-founder, Jaypore; Sri Prakash, President, TiE Dehradun; Saurav Kumar Sinha, Founder & CEO, Homeversity, and Priyanshu Jain, Founder, Agri Joy.
Sharad Mehra encouraged the students and faculty members of UPES and individuals outside of UPES to utilize ‘Runway’ for their entrepreneurial success. Shilpa Sharma advised that those who want to start their own start-ups should work closely with someone who has been on that path for better learning and experience.
On ‘Runway’, start-ups will refine ideas and business models, develop prototypes, and identify key customers and investors. ‘Runway’ will also provide financial support through grants and funding. The process involves: