We promote innovation and commercialization around the world
ACIR works with innovators, companies, organizations and governments to help them successfully move their innovations into the market. With our network of national and international partners, including some of the top universities in the United States, our services include everything from creating frameworks for building a national innovation infrastructure and drafting interactive curricula on entrepreneurship to conducting practical workshops on how to successfully pitch to funders and create winning presentations for grants and competitions.
ACIR provides innovation infrastructure analysis, market review and technology commercialization assessments, international commercialization assistance, incubator management training as well as workshops on SBIR funding, technology analysis methodologies, refining value propositions, creating the ideal business pitches and targeting your market and your customer.
Ecosystem Building: Nexus Startup Hub (Ongoing)
Nexus is an initiative by the U.S. Embassy in India to showcase American best practices in incubation and to support the growing Indian entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. ACIR was brought in to create a central hub (Nexus) for entrepreneurs, innovators, government agencies, industry players and funding organizations to come together and collaborate to promote Indian startups and strengthen the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Nexus Incubator offers selected startups unparalleled access to networks of industry and government partners as well as training from top commercialization experts, an extensive mentor network and access to both private and public fund managers specializing in supporting startups. In just over 3 years, more than 95 startups have graduated from the program and raised millions of dollars in outside funding, creating hundreds of jobs and closing deals with numerous Indian and U.S. companies.
Due to its success, ACIR’s Nexus team is now working with several Indian states to help them create or revise their incubation and startup programs, and is included in the national Government discussions on startup policies.
If you are looking for an experienced group with proven, on-the-ground experience to help you build and strengthen a national or regional innovation ecosystem, give ACIR a call.
Regional Connectivity & Ecosystem Building: South Asia Connect
To increase the economic impact of entrepreneurs beyond their home countries, the South Asia Connect program was born. The Nexus incubation and training model was expanded to support entrepreneurs in the surrounding countries of Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
The mission was to create a network of regional entrepreneurial leaders, combine the expertise of ACIR with regional best practices, and then use the collaborative networks for regional and global startup acceleration. The participating entrepreneurs got access to new business opportunities, built market-fitted strategies, and a connection to an international community in India and the surrounding regions. The program included training for the leaders and startups in their home countries and at Nexus in New Delhi, networking events for business development and connections to private and public stakeholders to help the startups grow and succeed. Interested in similar “train the trainer” impact programs for your region? ACIR can make it happen.
“The South Asian Connect program is more than just an entrepreneurship program. It quickly targeted challenge areas of startups and trained the entrepreneurs on how to deal with them. Team work, skilled training, 1-1 mentoring, collaborative learning and useful networking are some of the key elements that make this training world class.” Pritom Chowdhury, Bangladesh Entrepreneur
Promoting Women's Entrepreneurship
While there are more women than ever starting and leading businesses, female entrepreneurs still face some unique challenges. Lack of funding, networks of successful mentors, social expectations and education in business skills have been listed as primary obstacles to women starting and growing their businesses.
Whether it’s supporting “traditional businesses” like art, handicrafts and services, or more technology-based startups, ACIR can provide the content, experts and curricula to create in-depth, impactful programs focusing on women. One initiative conducted through Nexus was the Aspiring Women’s Program, which focused on female university students.
The program took the participants through a series of experiential learning sessions to understand the potential of their business ideas and how to take those innovative ideas and create a viable business. In addition to the workshops in India, the most promising startups were sent for two weeks to Austin, Texas, one of the top startup centers in the United States. There at the University of Texas, the women networked with local students and entrepreneurs to explore commercial opportunities in both the Indian and U.S. markets.
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