IIM Bangalore launches women startup programme

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Hyderabad: The NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) launched a nationwide “Women Start-up Programme (WSP),” funded by Goldman Sachs, an investment bank and active investor in India, and the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India.

The WSP is India’s first customised online and classroom initiative designed to enthuse aspiring female entrepreneurs-in-the-making across the country. The programme seeks to facilitate the growth of women entrepreneurs by providing in-depth training to foster and augment managerial and entrepreneurial skills through mentoring, incubation, and financial support.

During the coming year, the WSP will provide training for up to 12,000 women through its five-week “Do Your Venture” Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), which has been customised to encourage women to systematically identify and test their business ideas. Thereafter, 300 women entrepreneurs-to-be will be shortlisted for a boot camp to be held at partner campuses in the towns nearest to them, where they will receive classroom instructions on communications and customer interaction.

From the 300 ventures, a select 100 women entrepreneurs will then travel to IIMB for a second boot camp, where they will receive classroom instructions on developing a business plan, understanding costing and pricing, sales and marketing, and negotiation skills. During this period, they will also have networking opportunities with successful women entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, IIMB students, and Goldman Sachs professionals.

After the completion of the boot camp, these women entrepreneurs will have their business ideas incubated for a year at a partner institution of their choice where each women will also receive Rs 30,000 per month for financial support and funding from a small prototype fund to run their ventures. The partner institutions are CIIE’s Innocity, Ahmedabad, IIM Indore, IIM Nagpur, IIM Udaipur, IIM Visakhapatnam, and Presidency University, Kolkata.

The WSP builds off from a pilot programme launched in November 2016 by the NSRCEL which drew more than 1,700 aspiring female entrepreneurs from across the country. The pilot programme selected 50 women entrepreneurs to attend a three-week boot camp at IIMB which enabled participants to develop customized methodology to test and comprehend the success and sustainability of their ventures. From there 15 of the top ideas were selected to be incubated. Ventures included matching volunteers to social causes, specialized healthcare systems, and customized social networks.

Among the top 15 ideas selected last year for incubation, Ntalents.ai, which uses data to assist companies discover their top sales talent and was founded by Deepika Anu and Mayank Sharma, has become a revenue generating venture with clients that include NestAway, Zoojoobe, JustOrganik, and EAI Consultancy.