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Accelerator and incubation centre for start-ups set up to promote entrepreneurship in Marathwada

The Chamber of Marathwada Industries and Agriculture has set up an accelerator and incubation centre for start-ups in Aurangabad in an effort to promote entrepreneurship in the Marathwada region. Officially set up in December last year, the Marathwada Accelerator for Growth and Incubation Centre (MAGIC) currently supports five students in their bid to turn ideas into successful business models.

MAGIC, which took part in the Magnetic Maharashtra summit held in Mumbai, is trying to build a start-up ecosystem in the Marathwada belt. “The idea is to provide an entire support system to rising entrepreneurs in the region, right from helping them ideate to pitching their ideas and connecting them with potential investors,” said Mahesh V K, incubation manager at MAGIC.

At the outset, the centre is trying to emulate some of the existing successful start-up hubs, such as the ones in Bengaluru and Mumbai. MAGIC’s activities include hosting start-up boot camps and hackathons at educational institutes. “We tie up with industries to identify problems in their sectors. At the boot camps or hackathons, we ask for solutions to these problem statements,” said Mahesh.

Those selected by the centre will be mentored by successful entrepreneurs, industry experts and investors. Apart from workshops and awareness camps, MAGIC also holds innovation summits and accelerator programmes. It also helps entrepreneurs avail government funds through various schemes.

“We have tied up with seven engineering colleges in Aurangabad. Entrepreneurs can make use of the laboratories in any of these colleges to work on their products. We also help them design their product and later pitch it to investors,” said Mahesh.

MAGIC is currently trying to bring on board more mentors and industry experts, Mahesh said. “We’re at an early stage currently. Going forward, we aim to set up a branch of the centre in each of the eight districts of Marathwada. We are also in talks with engineering colleges to set up e-cells so that students get to nurture their entrepreneurial skills early on,” he added.