IIT Madras Gopalakrishnan-Deshpande Centre Trains 2nd Cohort of Entrepreneurs Under Its I-NCUBATE Program

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The Ten Teams have deep-tech ideas from diverse areas ranging from Healthcare, E-commerce and Environment to Industrial sectors

Gopalakrishnan-Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (GDC) at Indian Institute of Technology Madras has completed the Second cohort under its flagship I-NCUBATE program, which enables faculty, researchers and entrepreneurs to commercialise their technological ideas aimed at creating societal impact at scale.

The ‘Finale’ of the second cohort, which comprised ten teams having deep-tech ideas from diverse areas including Healthcare, E-commerce, Environment, and Industrial sectors, was held at the IIT Madras today (14th October). With this cohort, GDC has curated 17 start-up ideas and coached over 100 scientists and students in entrepreneurial thinking. The I-NCUBATE program involves guiding the teams to validate their business ideas through a customer discovery exercise and providing guidance for formulating a coherent Business Model for the start-up venture

Delivering the Chief Guest address during the Finale of I-NCUBATE, Mr. Raju Venkatraman, Founder and CEO, Medall Healthcare said, “GDC is a well thought out initiative and it has a structured approach to help budding entrepreneurs. India will benefit immensely with such a support system for entrepreneurial grooming and development.”

All the teams were unanimous in their appreciation of the transformative experience and learning that I-NCUBATE has provided them in their entrepreneurial journeys.

Delivering a video message on the Vision for GDC, Dr. Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande said, “India is now investing more and more funds in research.  It is imperative for the researchers in the country to have economic and social impact with the new ideas they generate.  I-NCUABTE’s primary mission is to connect researchers to the marketplace in a methodical way so that the chances of impact from research is enhanced.  This is based on a proven methodology at the Deshpande Center at MIT and I-CORP program at NSF in USA.”

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Delivering a video message on the occasion on the topic ‘Innovation – An Indian Perspective,’ Infosys co-founder and Chairman of Axilor Ventures Mr. ‘Kris’ Gopalakrishnan said, “I am glad that the I-NCUBATE Program is scaling up and we are able to help more scientists to bring their ideas to market. This piece was missing in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem and by scaling this program, we hope to help many more scientists achieve their dream of a start-up.”

The I-NCUBATE program is a seven-week engagement where teams, each comprising a Faculty Lead, an Entrepreneur Lead, and a Mentor, come together as a cohort under the GDC umbrella and go through a customer-discovery exercise with their respective business ideas.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. R. Raghuttama Rao, Chief Executive Officer, GDC, IIT Madras, said, “We have just embarked on taking I-NCUBATE beyond IIT Madras to other STEM institutions across India. Over the next two years, GDC aims to work with nearly 200 start-up ideas all over India. Depending on demand from various colleges, GDC would be happy to open centres in different cities.”

By participating in an I-NCUBATE program, the teams gain the following benefits:

1. Obtain insights on the problem-solution fit based on first-hand feedback obtained from transacting with 100 customers.

2. Reach a Go/No Go decision with regards to going ahead with the venture

3. Get prepared to launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and move towards a Product-Market Fit, an essential milestone for a successful start-up

The Gopalakrishnan-Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship was established at IIT Madras to provide the necessary thought leadership and networking impetus to help in building the systems and processes that enable innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the Institute at all levels. GDC will help crystallise out-of-the-box solutions that emerge from the Institute’s labs, faculty and research scholars, as well as from fertile young minds which will create significant economic and social impact at a national and eventually at a global level.

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Source: BW Disrupt

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