MIT-GSW was conducted at Novotel, HICC Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA, 21-23 March, 2016.


MIT-GSW was conducted at Novotel, HICC Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA, 21-23 March, 2016.

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While the Make in India and Digital India campaign picks up the momentum in India, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Global Start-up Workshop, MIT -GSW had been quite timely to engage more than 350 aspiring entrepreneurs in a three day sessions to hone their ICT talent and respective entrepreneurial skills to pull off successful ventures in the Digital World to provide solutions to the real-life challenges. Largely focused on ‘Women in Entrepreneurship’ this workshop did attempt how to ring in innovation in products, service using Information and Communication Technologies, ICT at the core.

Inaugurated by the Kalraj Mishraji, MSME Minster, Government of India the workshop deliberated various phases and pain points in a Start-Up ecosystem and how to confidently negotiate them to achieve the preferred objective. It is time that the Government of India initiates many such to encourage the impact on the India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth trajectory so as to garner results near-instantaneously.

“This is very different from the entrepreneurship conference I have been to, I have learned a lot interacting with the GSW speakers like Chris Howard, Libboo founder and Ketan Makwana, Serial Entrepreneur, special Advisor to UK Prime Minister” said, Bhawin Kabra, Independent Research Associate, Department of Economics, Yale University.

The focus of the MIT –GSW, 2016 was to redirect the growth trajectory of the Start-Up company from starting and selling to a sustainable business and build a growth culture around it,” said Sunil MayReddy, founder of the Catalyzer. Hosted in cooperation with the MIT and Catalyzer Start-Up Accelerator, powered by Confederation of Women Entrepreneurs of India, COWE, for the first time in India, this workshop had attracted delegates from 70 countries to showcase the ideas over disruptive technologies that could shift the course of Digital Empowerment in India, presumably across the Globe as well. Insightful conversations and discussions around entrepreneurial opportunities in Information and Communication Technology, tips and how to go about mechanism were imparted to the selected Start-ups at the event.

MIT-GSW had two engaging panel discussions on Start-up opportunities in medical field, resources to tap into the potential Indian health market and reach out to the remote part of the country. Impact Entrepreneurship stressed on social business that bring about a vast change in the line of education, waste management and disaster management and affect a change at the base of the pyramid by working  together with the NGO’s and the government.

In a key note address R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India observed that there is a need in India for Hi-Tech manufacturing through realizing Missile programme and Satellite launch projects. Incentives need to be given to the Start-Ups in the sector –specific production at various facilities with amiable government policy to help establish and sustain the eco-system. However IP, Intellectual Property could be a game changer in the long run.

In a “Value Proposition of the Start-Ups” by Ketan Makwana, a serial entrepreneur, UK urged the attendees to have a knack to comprehend customer behavior and change approach based on the same.

Emphasizing on the importance to beget readiness ensured before the phase to approach the investor by a Start-Up , Chris Howard, founder of Libboo felt the need to have a ‘Hacker’, Hipster, and a ‘Hustler’ on the team keen to change the dynamics of the venture.

Interestingly the panel on the funding for the Start-Up felt that funds were quite important for a fledgling start-up and the fund allocation for a any such depends upon the team behind the Start-Up. Incidentally, financial and Infrastructure enablers were discussed where various schemes, subsidies and policies of the government were highlighted that support the start-ups through the first few stages of development. State bank of India, SBI had enlisted a few initiatives to help MSME and start-up ventures. Statutory compliances should be simplified for the Start-Ups,” observed a panelist who shared his thoughts on the Hi-Tech Manufacturing in India.

Jayesh Ranjan, IT Secretary, Government of Telangna stressed upon the steps taken up by the state government to leverage the growth of the start-ups and the veracity of T-Hub, the largest incubation facility in India to achieve the desired goal. The capacity of the present T-Hub in Telangana very soon would be expanded.

The moot question however was do MIT –GSW assist the Start-Up companies to expand globally to set up their operations at different points across the Globe? Mili Shah, one of the Organizer of the event from MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, Massachusetts shares, “Yes, it is done in three different ways so to say. Primarily, through Global Competitions, mass Challenge partnerships, two networking and connecting through the Facebook Group and lastly via MIT connections- Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship.” MIT Global Start-up Workshop was powered by KGS Advisors, the solution providers for the SME. While NSIC and Citrus were the Silver partners, with PowerHouse Ventures and Mumbai Angels as its Investment Partners.

The workshop concluded on the 23rd, March 2016 with an emphasis on need of innovation, networking, besides elevator pitches and Business plan pitches shared by the participant Start-Up compnaies. It observed that the academia and Industry need to connect extensively to enhance the innovation quotient in the research labs, bring in quality efforts into products and services aligned with the spirit of MIT’s founders who believed in “Education for Practical Application”.

Leella– Leela Rani. Dondapati,

The author is a freelance writer/journalist and has close to a decade’s experience as a writer having worked with some of the major media houses of India. She can be contacted via e:mail –