IIM Calcutta sets up innovation park

Pratim Ranjan Bose Kolkata | Updated on September 04, 2014

The Indian Institute of Management Calcutta has set up 'IIM Calcutta Innovation Park', to incubate 40 start-ups in the next five years. The institute also has an accelerator programme for established start-ups.

The first directors of the innovation park include Saibal Chattopadhyay, Director-IIM Calcutta, Ashok Banerjee, Dean (New Initiatives and External Relations) and Anindya Sen, Dean (Academic).

The Department of Science and Technology has approved a funding of Rs 7 crore for capital and operational expenditure. The institute will raise Rs 10-20 crore as seed fund over the next six months.

Our New Delhi Bureau adds: The innovation park will look at selecting incubatees from sectors like healthcare, clear energy, analytics, education and lifestyle. Currently the company has signed on three start-ups- ONergy, Doctors For You and Edwell. Another two companies Bodhi Healthcare and Sambad Setu will be joining within the next two months. IIP will acquire an equity stake of 2-5 per cent in the incubating companies. The equity will be in the form of an upfront transfer to IIP or liquidation of the stake at the time of exit from the park. The company will operate out of an existing building at IIMC called the New Teaching Block. An area of 10,500 sq ft has been marked off which will be scaled up to 36,000 sq ft by the next 5 years. The added focus by IIP would be on Social Enterprise and East/North-East based businesses.

IIP is differentiated by its 'learn, grow and share' model. The programme requires businesses to go through a give-back system (through credit points) to the institute in form of student participation in projects, involvement in traineeship and placement, workshops, guest lectureship, consultancy and research opportunity for faculty etc.

It has deployed a format to the start-ups including the physical space and infrastructure, mentorship from faculty and successful IIMC alumni / entrepreneurs, accelerating programme, seed funding as well other support services like legal, secretarial and administrative from a readily available source.

There will be two arms of the Innovation Park - the Incubation Unit and the Innovation Lab. The incubation unit will be for start-ups who would be mentored by IIMC alumni and faculty towards all aspects of establishing their ventures. The Innovation Lab could be availed by established organisation for their R&D activities or as a knowledge centre, through a credit point scheme. VCs and Angel investors could use the space at the Innovation Lab as office as this will give the incubatees better access to them and some incubatees may migrate to the Innovation Lab after the expiry of their tenure at the Incubation Unit.

The incubatees would have the option of choosing between Physical and Virtual Incubation. For Physical Incubation, the incubatee would be required to register and operate from the IIP premises, while for Virtual Incubation, the startup would be required to register with IIP but operate from their own space away from the Institute premises.

The incubatees would have a two-pronged mentorship. Each incubatee would have an IIM Calcutta Faculty Mentor who would advise in preparing Business Plan for the incubatee and also advise on Human Resources, Marketing, Finance and / or Processes and an IIM Calcutta alumni mentor who would help the incubatee in building market linkages and facilitate Angel/VC funding.

The incubatees would be selected from amongst the top performers in national/global business plan competitions and conferences, thus creating a potential pipeline for future incubation.

Published on September 04, 2014

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