“Track”, an incubation program launched by UPES Dehradun


Through University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun, India

The multidisciplinary Dehradun-based university, UPES, has launched ‘Runway’, its largest incubation program to work with start-ups inside and outside the university on their ideas and help them develop. transform into strong, scalable and successful businesses. “Runway” aims to help brilliant innovators take the early stages of creating a start-up and reach the point where they have created a product / service impressive enough to raise funds. This will be done through a mix of mentoring, grants and investments, legal support and incorporation 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 nodal agency state to encourage entrepreneurship and help incubate start-ups in the state.

Speaking at the official launch of ‘Track’ on the university campus, Dr Sunil Rai, UPES Vice-Chancellor, said: “At UPES, we really want to encourage innovation and develop the entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow. The track 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 as they prepare for their entrepreneurial journey. Start-ups are one of the important growth engines of the Indian economy. “Track” is our effort to fuel that engine and be an ally in the progress of the nation. “

The launch event was chaired by Rahul Nainwal, CEO of “Track” and attended by Sharad Mehra, President of the Hydrocarbon Education Research Society (HERS, UPES); Shilpa Sharma, co-founder, Jaypore; Sri Prakash, President, TiE Dehradun; Saurav Kumar Sinha, Founder and CEO, Homeversity, and Priyanshu Jain, Founder, Agri Joy.

Sharad Mehra encouraged UPES students and faculty and people outside of UPES to use “Lead” for their entrepreneurial success. Shilpa Sharma advised those who want to start their own startups to work closely with someone who has gone down this path for better learning and experience.

On “Runway”, start-ups will refine their ideas and business models, develop prototypes and identify key customers and investors. “Track” will also provide financial support through grants and funding. The process involves:

  • Selection: Start-ups in the idea phase and start-up will be selected through an open application process. “Track” is industry and location independent, implying that start-ups can come from any field and be located anywhere in India.
  • Incubation: Shortlisted start-ups will go through an 8 week hybrid incubation program (online and offline). This will include refining business ideas and preparing them for the market and investors. Other important peripheral supports will also be provided to the selected start-ups, such as incorporation services, logo design, etc.
  • Mentoring: each selected start-up will be aligned with a mentor to support them during and after the incubation process. They will also receive the necessary support for infrastructure, such as laboratories and offices.
  • Pitch: The incubation program will end with the day of the demo where the start-ups will present a carefully selected audience including investors, advisers and others.
  • Feed: The “Runway” team will continue to feed and support start-ups even after they have completed the incubation program and taken off.
  • Networking: Thanks to “Runway”, start-ups will meet the best in the industry at events and workshops both online and offline.

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