Digital IndiaLatest NewsTechnology

IIT Kanpur, Centre of Excellence for UAVs, and DFI launch UDAAN: Drone Startup Acceleration Program

skye air mobility, delivery

The Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC) at IIT Kanpur has joined forces with the Centre of Excellence for Capacity Building, Training, and Design of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles at IIT Kanpur (Drone CoE Kanpur), an initiative by the Government of Uttar Pradesh, and the Drone Federation of India (DFI) to launch the UAV/UAS/Drone Acceleration and Networking (UDAAN) Program. This program promises to be a game-changer for aspiring and promising drone startups in India, providing them with the resources and expertise needed to scale their businesses rapidly.

The UDAAN program will select 20 startups annually, divided into two cohorts, for an intensive acceleration journey. These startups will be incubated at SIIC, IIT Kanpur, gaining access to cutting-edge R&D facilities, technical mentorship, financing opportunities, and invaluable industry relationships.

The program offers a comprehensive support system designed to equip startups with the tools they need to thrive in the competitive drone landscape. This includes strategic product and business development assistance, market analysis, customer targeting, alliance building, and growth plan development.

Furthermore, startups will have access to state-of-the-art testing facilities at the Drone CoE, including the Helicopter and VTOL Laboratory, Flight Laboratory, and the National Wind Tunnel Facility. They will also benefit from workshops, short courses, and mentorship from leading UAV experts and esteemed IIT Kanpur faculty.

To further accelerate their growth, the program will organize investor connect activities such as pitch sessions, demo days, and networking opportunities with angel investors, venture capitalists, and industry leaders. Additionally, the top six startups in each cohort will receive fellowship support of Rs. 3 lakhs per annum, providing crucial financial backing for their continued innovation and growth.

Prof. Ankush Sharma, Professor in Charge at SIIC, IIT Kanpur, emphasized the program’s significance. “The UAV/UAS Acceleration Programme is a testament to our commitment to nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship in the drone sector. By providing startups with access to world-class resources and mentorship, we aim to accelerate the growth of the UAV industry in India and contribute to technological advancements that have the potential to revolutionise various sectors.”

Prof. Abhishek, Professor In Charge, of Drone CoE, IIT Kanpur added, “We are dedicated to fostering innovation and supporting the next generation of UAV pioneers. By providing mentorship, state-of-the-art facilities, and customized support, our goal is to help startups succeed and drive significant advancements in unmanned aerial vehicles. Let’s embark together on a journey of exploration, innovation, and endless possibilities.”

Startups interested in participating in the UDAAN program must be registered as Private Limited companies with DPIIT, operate within the UAV/Drone sector, and focus on product development, testing, design verification, or technical consultancy. Additionally, their annual turnover should not exceed Rs. 3 crores.

The UDAAN program represents a unique and powerful collaboration between academia, industry, and government, all working together to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the drone sector. Startups eager to accelerate their growth and contribute to the advancement of UAV technology are encouraged to apply for this exclusive opportunity.

For more information and to apply, please visit Applications close on June 20, 2024.

About Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre, IIT Kanpur

Established in 2000, the Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC), IIT Kanpur, is one of the oldest technology business incubators with many successes under its belt. In 2018, the leadership brought the incubator’s operations under the Foundation for Research & Innovation in Science & Technology (FIRST), a Section-8 company promoted by IIT Kanpur. The multifaceted, vibrant incubation ecosystem nurtured over two decades continues to fill all the gaps on the road to convert an idea into a business.

About Centre of Excellence for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

The Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles at IIT Kanpur fosters collaboration across users, developers, researchers, manufacturers, and service providers within the state. This interdisciplinary hub offers cutting-edge drone testing facilities at affordable rates for startups and companies affiliated with IIT Kanpur and UPEIDA. Key facilities include a state-of-the-art Helicopter and VTOL Laboratory, a unique 1 km runway with DGCA-approved flight testing area, and the National Wind Tunnel Facility. This CoE plays a crucial role in supporting new startups and accelerating their growth into established companies.

Today we live in a T-shaped world. While broad knowledge across the ecosystems is critical, deep insights and expertise of Subject Matter Experts help organizations leapfrog. At IndiaTechnologyNews, we cover much more than news, views and analysis, and we feature SMEs to help translate their knowledge to wider audiences. Reach me at

You may also like