U.S. Mission to India seeking Applications for Nexus Start-Up Hub 2.0

U.S. Mission to India seeking Applications for Nexus Start-Up Hub 2.0

Deadline: 31 July 2020

The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section in New Delhi is soliciting proposals from legally recognized non-profit, non-governmental organizations that meet U.S. and Indian technical and legal requirements to develop and implement public diplomacy programs.

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There is a strong desire across business sectors in India to study and adapt the skills and values of the American entrepreneurial ecosystem. With the goal of building cultural and economic bridges between individuals and companies in the start-up space, Nexus Start-up Hub at the American Center New Delhi opened in Spring 2017. Nexus quickly established itself as a leader in sharing American best practices with Indian entrepreneurs – male and female – from across India.

The Public Affairs Section in New Delhi plans to continue providing this expertise, preparing these future business leaders to engage with Indo-Pacific investors and business partners, especially those from the United States, while also broadening the scope of Nexus to reach a larger, more diverse audience.

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Nexus annually recruits and trains three cohorts of 10 to 15 start-up companies per 10-week residential session. To date, the Nexus Start-up Hub at the American Center New Delhi has produced 97 companies or “graduates” in its alumni network. Nexus graduates have raised more than $6 million in funding. In addition to creating more than 1,000 new jobs, Nexus graduates have generated more than $4.7 million in revenue. They have also concluded 28 deals with U.S. companies.

Proposed Project: To implement a full-time, India-wide residential incubator hub at the American Center New Delhi; organize regional entrepreneurship workshops across India in critical economic sectors such as health/pharmaceuticals/biotechnology, defense/military, agriculture, and higher education; and develop a series of training seminars for incubator managers across India. This project has a target start date of January 1, 2021.

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Goal: Over a period of 24 months, strengthen ties between Indian and U.S. business sectors through training and networking; identify, recruit, train, and follow up with start-ups/entrepreneurs from across India in American entrepreneurial strategies and values; and train Indian incubator managers in state-of-the-art U.S. incubator management practices.

Objectives: Over the course of 24 months, the grantee will strengthen ties between U.S. companies and Indian start-ups by strengthening and better aligning the Indian entrepreneurship ecosystem with U.S. business best practices. By building a team of subject matter experts, the Nexus incubator hub at the American Center New Delhi will become the industry leader in nurturing the start-up sector in India. The four key components of this project are: (1) four cohorts of 15 promising startup companies; (2) a growing network of Nexus cohort alumni with ties to American businesses; (3) four industry-specific workshops for 25 participants each, across India; and (4) ten incubator management seminars reaching 25 managers each (two per consular district). Prospective applicants may submit proposals that address one, two, three, or all four key components of this announcement.

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Sixty start-up companies (i.e., four cohorts of 15 each) graduate from the Nexus program with greater knowledge, strategic focus, business acumen, and prospective networks/connections with U.S. businesses as a result of their participation in the Nexus training program at the American Center New Delhi. At least one-third (or 20 graduates) should be female-led companies.
New graduates will be added to an existing network of Nexus alumni, with ongoing outreach and programming activities to engage Nexus alumni through specially designed programs. To support this growing network, two outreach events (approximately 100 participants each) will bring together recent Nexus graduates and American businesses exploring opportunities to collaborate and pursue commercial ties. Planned in coordination with the American Center New Delhi, each event should reach equal numbers (~50) of representatives from American businesses and recent Nexus cohorts.
Over 100 participants (e.g., startup companies and industry representatives) are trained and connected to each other through four regional, industry-specific workshops that focus on key business sectors of strategic importance to the U.S.-India economic relationship, such as health/pharmaceuticals/biotechnology, defense/military, agriculture, and higher education.
Over 200 incubator managers across India are trained to operate more effective, strategic, and productive incubation hubs utilizing U.S. best practices.
Funding Information

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Funding Type and Amount: Grant/Cooperative Agreement
Minimum Award Amount: $500,000
Maximum Award Amount: $1,000,000
Project and Budget Periods: Should be appropriate to the award amount and complexity of the project, with a target project duration of 24 active (programming) months. The projected start date for this project is January 1, 2021.
Audience: This project is targeted at Indian entrepreneurs and incubator managers representing a diverse cross-section of industry sectors and geography; the ideal cohort and training participants are entrepreneurship and incubator leaders looking to expand their knowledge base, learn best practices, and strengthen partnerships with the U.S. business community, potentially through commercial deals, business networks (or connections), industry associations, and other collaborative efforts. To support one of the priority demographic groups, each Nexus cohort class will strive to have at least one-third (33 percent) participation by female entrepreneurs.

Eligibility Criteria

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Eligible Applicants:
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Private institutions of higher education
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
The following organizations are eligible to apply:
Not-for-profit organizations
Civil society/non-governmental organizations
Think tanks
Public and private educational institutions
Public International Organizations and Governmental institutions
Please choose organization nationality and type: International Not-for-Profit Organization.
Organizations may sub-contract with other entities, but only one, non-profit, non-governmental entity can be the prime recipient of the award. When sub-contracting with other entities, the responsibilities of each entity must be clearly defined in the proposal.
For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=326954

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