Bengaluru

IIMB’s women start-up programme gets bigger

Professor G. Raghuram, Director, IIM Bangalore; Mr. Ravi Krishnan, Chief Administrative Officer, Goldman Sachs (Bengaluru); Dr. Anita Gupta, Adviser and Scientist, Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India; Ms. Nirmala Sankaran, IIMB alumna and co-founder of HeyMath!; and Prof. Suresh Bhagavatula, Director of WSP 2017-18 and Chairperson of NSRCEL’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development, at the launch of the second edition of the programme on Monday.

Professor G. Raghuram, Director, IIM Bangalore; Mr. Ravi Krishnan, Chief Administrative Officer, Goldman Sachs (Bengaluru); Dr. Anita Gupta, Adviser and Scientist, Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India; Ms. Nirmala Sankaran, IIMB alumna and co-founder of HeyMath!; and Prof. Suresh Bhagavatula, Director of WSP 2017-18 and Chairperson of NSRCEL’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development, at the launch of the second edition of the programme on Monday.   | Photo Credit: TH

Of the 15 selected last year, 13 were from Bengaluru; this year, 100 women entrepreneurs will be selected

At just 26, Anushka Shetty left a lucrative job at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the city to follow her dream: that of sharing stories. The passion for the idea was there, but the journey towards fruition was always going to be long. Luckily for her, she reached out to Indian Institute of Management - Bengaluru (IIM-B’s) women entrepreneurship programme, and having passed the rigorous assessments, she started Penbound, a story-sharing platform, last year. Now, it has 600 stories and 10,000 reads in just six months. The venture has also got seed funding.

Her fellow participant in the programme, Suhruta Kulkarni, who co-founded GoCrackIt that provides career advice, interview coaching and preparation for students, has gained seven clients and reached out to over 500 students in six months.

While all 15 women entrepreneurs selected under the N.S. Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) at the institute have seen varying degrees of success, IIM-B is well aware of the Bengaluru tilt to the programme. After all, out of the 15 start-ups in the first edition, 13 are from Bengaluru. Of the 50 selected for the bootcamp — which is the final stage of selection — 44 were from the software hub.

To address this, IIMB is scaling up its programme to reach out to women elsewhere. For this, it has partnered with institutes such as IIM-Ahmedabad's CIIE Innocity, IIM-Indore, IIM-Nagpur, IIM-Udaipur, IIM-Visakhapatnam and Presidency University, Kolkata. The programme is funded by Goldman Sachs and the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

“Though a lot of women participated in the online course last year, many did not carry on, as the boot camp and incubation were held only in Bengaluru. We (now) have partnered with more institutes to enable more women to take the programme,” said Suresh Bhagvatula, chairperson, Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development, NSRCEL.

For the second edition, the free programme will see over 12,000 women being trained through a five-week 'Massive Open Online Course'. Of these, 300 will be selected for a boot camp at the partner campuses nearest to them. They will receive classroom training on communication and customer interaction. 100 women will be selected for a second boot camp at IIMB, where they will be helped with developing business plans, understanding costing, sales and marketing and negotiation skills. Eventually, these will be incubated for a year and will run at the centre of their choice.

Anita Gupta, Associate Head of National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board, said that just 11% of the total entrepreneurs in the country were women and just 3% get funding. “The Start-up programmes, such as the one by NSRCEL, help leverage the potential of women and ensure greater economic and social returns,” she said.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 5:13:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/iimbs-women-start-up-programme-gets-bigger/article22398235.ece

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