Science and Technology Entrepreneur's Park was established as a joint venture between the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and Thapar University (TU) in April 2005, the Science and Technology Entrepreneur’s Park (STEP) at Thapar University is a Centre for Business Incubation that has emerged as a nursery for entrepreneurs and a launch pad for MSMEs. STEP is playing the role of a catalyst for change in the MSME sector by tapping new business opportunities through commercialisation and transfer of technology.
Focusing on the domains of agri-biotechnology, biofertilisers, bio-pesticides, mushroom cultivation, plant tissue culture, food processing technology, soy processing and spirulina production technology, STEP has successfully incubated 25 companies, out of which 10 have started their own ventures.
It has conducted 76 entrepreneurship development programmes and 16 farmers’ meets since its inception, in the process providing hands-on training to hundreds of people, including students of various reputed institutes, teachers, researchers, farmers, NGOs, entrepreneurs and industrialists. After exiting STEP, they remain attached for consultancy and other services like lab facility.
While most business incubation centers focus on research and training, pilot-scale trials and process and product development, the one at Thapar University goes a step ahead by aiding the incubatees in commercialization of technology, seeking constant feedback on the results achieved by them to ensure incubator sustenance as a confidence-building measure and encouraging business-oriented research in the area of agro-biotechnology. These initiatives are aimed at turning the trainees into technopreneurs and agripreneurs.
While the registration fee for participants is Rs 1,000 for six months, they do not have to bear any initial expenses on plant and machinery, so the risk is minimised. All they are required to pay for is the actual operational cost.
STEP has established linkages with many government institutions and NGOs to facilitate co-business incubation in different areas of intervention, especially to create more entrepreneurial opportunities and commercialise technologies for efficient transfer of innovation and ideas to the industry. It is a member of the ISBA (Indian STEPs and Business Incubators Association), APIN (Asia Pacific Incubators Network) and Patiala Management Association (PMA).
The focus of STEP at Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology University is Business Incubation, Entrepreneurship Education, Consultancy, Training and Mentoring.