Adarsh Kataruka, an alumnus of MDI, 2009, is a happy man these days. His alma mater has set up an incubation cell in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to support the innovations conceived at the MDI campus. Kataruka had dropped out of placements last year and dared to turn entrepreneur. Till now, he hadn’t received any financial support from the institute but now, he hopes, some money (to the tune of R10 lakh) will come his way. “I provide services to the corporates to make them conduct CSR activities. Now I expect to receive some funding which I will use to set up a web platform for my enterprise,” he says.
With a total budget of R7.5 crore, it is the first incubation cell set up in partnership with DST in Delhi. The cell will primarily focus on technology-centric innovations taking birth in the MDI campus.
The support system to be provided by the institute will relieve entrepreneurs of numerous expenses such as company’s office rent, telephone, and hiring a research company to conduct market research, and also paying the lawyer and accountant.
To top it all, the young entrepreneurs will also get a platform where he/she can present his/ her business plan to the angel investors, who visit the campus.
If lucky, their venture would receive funding from venture capitalists. “The confidence of an angel investor goes up when he knows that there is a system backing the venture,” says HK Mittal, head of National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Programme (NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology. When a venture capitalist (VC) gets convinced, he not only adds value to the start up in terms of investment but also brings in intellectual support. In return, he stands to get a two per cent stake in the venture and a seat on the board.
DST is hopeful of this initiative. “We have set up 60 such cells in different IITs, NITs and IIMs. More than 3,000 ventures have been churned out of these cells. A few of them were successful and made around several million dollars in three years of incubation (the maximum period for which assistance is given).
In our country, innovations take place but they lack business sense. We want to expose them to the commercial opportunities they can tap,” adds Mittal.
While management related guidance will come from the in-house faculty of this B-school, technical support will be delivered by the experts at FITT (Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer), IIT Delhi, informs Prof Rohit Prasad of MDI. The cell will be headed by a Chief Incubation officer who will establish links with the industry and VCs for the benefit of the start ups.