National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) is an umbrella programme promoted by Department of Science and Technology (DST) for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups.

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) Programme is one of the programs introduced under NIDHI to inspire the best talents to be entrepreneurs, to minimize the risk involved in pursuing start-ups, and to partially set off their opportunity costs of high paying jobs. The NIDHI-EIR programme provides tremendous opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs to expand their networks and get critical feedback on their ventures in order to promote their entrepreneurial career goals and aspirations.

What is NIDHI EIR Program

The NIDHI-EIR Programme is an entrepreneurship fellowship / grant in the form of a stipend to an aspiring or budding entrepreneur with a potential for pursuing a promising technology business idea.

Objectives of NIDHI-EIR Programme

  • Encourage graduating students to take to entrepreneurship by providing support as a fellowship.
  • Provide a prestigious forum for entrepreneurs to pursue their ventures without any additional risks involved in technology based businesses.
  • Make pursuing entrepreneurship related to a technology business idea more attractive amongst available career options.
  • Enable creation of new start-ups by entrepreneurs and significant progress towards raising funding or investment.

Benefits available

  • A grant support of INR 10 – 30 K per month for a period of 12 months.
  • Guidance from mentors & experts on idea to product conversion, business concepts related to commercialization of the idea.
  • Access to co-working spaces and lab facilities for prototyping subject to policies of Incubation Centre.

Target Audience

Typical NIDHI-EIR needing the support is a first generation innovative entrepreneur, who has no prior source of income. The ideal candidates will be those individuals who

  • Want to embark on an entrepreneurial journey, but have no entrepreneurial experience.
  • Wants to validate an idea that they have, before committing significant resources.
  • Are exploring a business idea alone and are looking for co-founders.
  • Have been unsuccessful in their attempt to startup, and want to give it a try again using the lessons from previous attempt.

Expected Outcomes

EIR candidates will explore a technology based business idea to

  • Bring more clarity on its potential for commercialization.
  • Develop business plan for development and commercialization of the idea.
  • Validate industry, market, technical and financial feasibility using appropriate methods.
  • Find potential team members and funding sources.
  • Get incubated at Incubation centre IIT Patna for product development and commercialization support, subject to its policies.

Eligibility Criteria

NIDHI-EIR support recipient should not treat this support as a stop gap arrangement to support them in their academic pursuits or transition between jobs.

  • The EIR applicant should be citizen of India.
  • Applicant should have completed 4 years of formal full time undergraduate/post graduate education (across one or more degree programs) with graduation /diploma in science or engineering. Applicants holding 3 years degree /diploma in science or engineering with 2 year full time work experience after completion of degree or diploma are also eligible.
  • Applicant shall be willing to pursue the business idea under NIDHI EIR full time. It cannot be concurrent with any other remuneration or fellowship.
  • The applicant shall propose one technology business idea in a prescribed format and should have a formal business plan for the idea they intend to pursue.
  • Applicant seeking the support should demonstrate the ability to build a scalable technology business startup and make a business presentation including the investment proposal.
  • The applicant should be willing to be registered for the pre-incubation or incubation program at the Incubation Centre IIT Patna for the entire duration of NIDHI-EIR support.

You are NOT eligible if :

  • You are the promoter or significant share-holder (holding above 10% of shares) / beneficiary of another company at the time of applying for and receiving the grant approval.
  • You or your team members have availed of any NIDHI-EIR grant in the past. NIDHI-EIR can be used only once (ie. If you have received EIR support from one incubator, you cannot avail it further from the same or different incubators).
  • You have received similar grant support previously for the same innovative concept proposed for support under NIDHI EIR.
  • You or Team members are already being supported under NIDHI-PRAYAS or NIDHI – EIR from any incubator.

Focus Sectors

Electronics Systems, Healthcare Devices, Energy and water management, agritech, edutech, robotics, IOT and automation, Robotics and mechatronics, speech/text/image analytics and other emerging sectors.


  • Technology business ideas with larger technology uncertainties and/ or long gestation periods.
  • Technology business ideas leveraging technology or IP from publicly funded research or academic organizations.
  • Technology business ideas with considerable potential for social impact or job creation.
  • Women entrepreneurs.

Call for Application

Application deadline Ended

Send your completed applications to:

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  • Application to the program does not guarantee admission under the program.
  • Received applications will be screened and only shortlisted participants will be notified/ informed about the final presentation to the monitoring committee.
  • Screening committee decision for approval and funding support will be final, firm and binding.
  • Approved applicants need to agree for Pre incubation/ Incubation with Incubation Centre IIT Patna as per its policies.
  • The applicant is required to declare if he/she has applied for NIDHI Prayas or Nidhi EIR support from any Prayas Centre. If the applicant is selected for EIR at Incubation Centre, you shall not take any such support from any other Prayas Centre. If the applicant is found to be receiving such support, IC IIT Patna reserves the right to take appropriate action.
  • Screening of applications usually take 4 to 8 weeks from application submission end date. If you receive no communication from ICIIT Patna within this timeframe, it may be considered as non-selection of your application.
  • IC IIT Patna will not provide any suggestion/explanation with regards to the application that are not selected.