1) What is icreate?
International Centre of Entrepreneurship and Technology (icreate) is an autonomous institution that identifies, nurtures, and mentors aspiring individuals /teams (with or without ideas) to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. icreate is section 25 company ( Not for profit company) established on Public Private Partnership model.
2) What is icreate’s Grooming Program all about?
At icreate’s Grooming Program you can experience the entrepreneurial journey before actually starting one. It is a 13 week intensive program to equip individuals for their next-gen entrepreneurial journey leveraging innovation and technology to create rapidly scalable global businesses. We select aspiring entrepreneurs with or without ideas/teams. It involves classroom sessions, ideation exercises, presentations, on and off – field activities, entrepreneur meetups, etc. Grooming Program covers all the aspects of an entrepreneurial journey as depicted in image below:
Post grooming program, we don’t guarantee incubation with icreate. Also, it is not mandatory to apply for incubation.
3) What is next gen entrepreneurship?
Next gen entrepreneurship attempts to leverage innovation, technology and globalization to make a difference. It requires an ethos which encourages curiosity, experimentation, and accepts genuine failures without stigma, besides providing access to mentors, money and market.
India needs to get increasing number of capable people with right attitudes, to opt for such career path for continued growth, wealth generation and next gen employment creation.
4) Why should I join Grooming Program? I have a MBA degree/work experience?
The Grooming Program proposes to impart knowledge to enable you to identify fertile ground and spot good opportunities within the chosen space consistent with the context of emerging socio-eco-techno scenarios. This knowledge is provided from a start-up entrepreneur’s perspective rather than existing large corporate perspective. The program is essentially for providing a holistic exposure of the mindset, toolset and skillset that is required for the pursuit of next gen entrepreneurship.
5) What is the selection Process?
At icreate, we bet on individuals. It doesn’t matter if you have an idea or not, if you have team or not. The only requirement is, you having an entrepreneurial spirit. Our selection procedure is as follow:
• Fill in the grooming application form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Our Selection Committee will short list applicants based on the submitted applications.
• Short Listed applicants to undergo Personal interviews. (Specific dates and venues for which shall be directly communicated to the short listed applicants.)
6) Who takes the sessions at grooming program?
Ans: Our faculties at icreate are actually “mentors” for all aspiring entrepreneurs. Coming from varied backgrounds, all of them contribute rich source of experience and information to the batch. Some of our mentors are:
• Dr. Madhukumar Mehta (Founding Team Member and Chief Mentor- icreate)
Dr. Madhukumar Mehta is a technocrat who turned to being a coach for pursuit of next gen entrepreneurship. In the past he has founded three companies. First was a consulting firm to design digital electronics based products (notably calculators). This was followed by Digital Innovations, which designed and marketed computers for diverse applications. The third venture – Anjaleem, created attended PCO and shaped the birth of STD PCO markets in India. Dr. Mehta has mentored many startups and is also involved with many industry, non-profits, university bodies to promote technology and entrepreneurship. Dr. Mehta played a pioneering role in setting up of Nirma Labs where he groomed and mentored high tech entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds.
• Mr. K. Thyagarajan (Founding Team Member, Director- icreate)
He has a professional career journey of over 30 years that has traversed across a variety of fields; hard-core engineering (involving design-manufacturing-project management), management consulting, mentoring and propagating next-generation entrepreneurship, and academic teaching in diverse areas of technology, business management and entrepreneurship, and advisory in policy making. Mr. Thyagrajan was earlier involved in setting up and running a unique Technology Business Incubator – NirmaLabs for close to four years (2004-2007), as its Chief Executive where he mentored over 40 potential entrepreneurs. He is currently on the Advisory Board of some of these ventures. In his earlier stint for over 25 years with Mott MacDonald Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Thyagrajan served in various capacities; starting out as a Management Consultant to heading their India operations as General Manager – HR and Learning & Development.
• Mr. M.C. Gupta (Founding Team Member- icreate, Company Secretary)
Mr. Gupta is practising as a Company Secretary for more than 25 years. He is also a visiting faculty at many institutes. He is mentoring many new projects for technocrats at various incubators. He is also associated with many NGOs, the social organizations.
• Prof. B.H. Jajoo (Founding Team Member, Director- icreate, Adjunct Faculty, Former Professor & Dean, IIM – Ahmedabad)
Prof. Jajoo joined IIM- Ahmedabad in 1980. Previously, he was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Computer Science at University of Delaware, USA from 1987 to 1989. He has participated in more than thirty consulting projects for national and international, private and public sector organizations. He has been invited several times to design and conduct workshop and seminars at several reputed institutions, corporate houses, and professional bodies like CSI and IEEE. Currently, he serves as a Member of Board of Directors of many technology companies.
In addition, there are number of guest speakers drawn from diverse backgrounds with rich domain expertise and for vast experience in entrepreneurship.
7) What after Grooming Program?
Ans: Subsequent to the Grooming phase, in the next 8 to 10 weeks aspirants are expected to pick an idea that has a strong value proposition around which a viable and dependable business can be built, and workout enough details to submit an incubation proposal along with a skeleton business plan . Participants will be exposed to various elements of writing a business plan as a part the Grooming Program. Such proposals are then evaluated by an independent panel for incubation at icreate. Once incubated, icreate provides funding upto Rs. 15 lacs, monthly sustenance, mentorship, networking opportunities, support and assistance (including physical infrastructure) for your taking your ideas to proof to concept stage.
8) Which are the technologies of interest for icreate?
Ans: icreate is interested in Information technology, Agro and Food Processing, Robotics, Electronics, Non- Conventional Energy, Biotechnology, Bio- Medical Equipments and Devices, Nano Technology, etc.
These are not restrictive and going forward proposals from the other emerging areas of technology would also be encouraged. Even currently, if there is a proposal where significant product and/or process innovation is evident (even outside of the listed sectors) and where icreate can potentially add value to the enterprise, then the same shall be considered.
9) Is there any fee involved?
Ans: Yes, there is a nominal conditional refundable deposit of Rs. 35,000/- for the program. This amount is refundable only if you are incubated at icreate and a notional grooming fee of Rs. 75,000/- is debited to the incubated project.
10) Does icreate provide accommodation facility to participants?
Ans: As of now, icreate doesn’t provide any accommodation to participants. We are setting up a 40 acre campus near Ahmedabad. Once operational, icreate will provide accommodation facilities to all participants. Travel, stay, meals and all other living expenses during the Grooming program is the responsibility of the participant. icreate will however facilitate the participants in making such arrangements.
11) What is the current status of the centre?
Ans: Currently the centre is operating from GMDC building in Ahmedabad. The land for the Centre’s campus is soon going to be transformed into a sprawling ecosystem.
The first three batches of grooming program have successfully concluded. With 33 aspirants from India, U.S.A, U.K. and Singapore over three batches, 13 had pitched, out of which 9 got selected for incubation. The Centre has also conducted various Seminars, Reach-Out programs, Networking events, etc. for students as well as aspiring entrepreneurs.
12) Can I join the Grooming Program on part- time basis?
Ans: No, you can not join Grooming Program on part-time basis. It is a 13 week full time commitment- to icreate, to your entrepreneurial aspirations and moreover to yourself. We will have our classroom sessions from 10:00 A:M – 6:00 P:M. But, you will be immersed in grooming sessions 24×7 for complete 13 weeks. Various activities/interactions may extend beyond classroom sessions.
13) Do I need to leave my job to join the program?
Ans: You are the best person to answer this question. You need to give 13- weeks full time commitment to icreate and to yourself. Post Grooming program, icreate gives you a window of 8 to 10 weeks to prepare your incubation pitch. Once selected for incubation at icreate, you will be working on building your enterprise on full time basis.
14) But, I don’t have an idea.
Ans: That is not unusual. Having business or innovative idea is not a prerequisite to join. We don’t bet on ideas, we bet on individuals. Moreover, this journey will help you to explore yourself as an entrepreneur.
15) Do I need a team before joining it?
Ans: No, you build your team along the way.However, having a team and joining as a team does have an advantage in the long run.
16) I already have a start-up venture, can I still apply? Also, should I come with my team?
Ans: Yes, you can still apply and ideally you should come with your founding team. In fact, we have had people like you applying and participating in our Grooming Program. You can refer to our website and explore the diversity of our participants.