Innovation, Startups

You pitch your idea, they make your product

Witworks is a Bangalore based collaborative invention company, which designs and sells consumer products created by its online community. Its web platform enables anyone to join this community and submit ideas solving everyday practical problems. The company works towards developing these ideas into commercially viable products, manufacturing them and bringing them to the market.

Inventors and designers can now bring their products to the market by merely pitching ideas to an online community of fellow innovators. The community, organised by  Witworks, is founded by three IIT Kharagpur graduates, who promise that a prototype of a chosen design or idea is ready in 30 days. The manufacturing of the products is outsourced to specific companies that Witworks has tied up with.

The startup, which launched operations last year, already has a 1,000-strong community, who decide how useful and unique an idea pitched to them will be as a final product. Witworks selects the top three ideas and puts it on the fast track. “In India, there is no place to invent,” said 25-year-old Somnath Meher, who cofounded Witworks this year with a seed fund of Rs 10 lakh from IIT Kharagpur.

Click Here for the website

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Mentoring, Startups

First time in India, Google to directly mentor 25 startups

Till date, Google has been active in the Indian startup scene through its sponsorship of the Nasscom 10,000 Startups programme.

For the first time in India, Google will directly mentor 25 startups on topics like design thinking, marketing and business development. The five-day event called Launchpad-slated for the first week of November- will see Google employees across the globe share their industry expertise with the startups who will be housed in Google’s Bangalore office.

Earlier this week, the search company announced a similar program in Brazil. “It will be a first of its kind in Asia. It may then be rolled out to places like Tokyo,” said Sunil Rao, country head of startup ecosystem atGoogle India. The Launchpad program already exists in Israel as a one-week pre-incubation program for early stage startups where each day is dedicated to a specific subject and includes presentations, one-on-one mentorship and focused work.

Google executives said the focus of the Launchpad is not to pick companies for future investments. Till date, Google has been active in the Indian startup scene through its sponsorship of the Nasscom 10,000 Startups programme. So far, Google Ventures has not invested in an India-based company. Google Capital, the growth equity arm of Google has invested in Chennai-based Freshdesk, which is headquartered in San Francisco.

http://m.economictimes.com/news/emerging-businesses/startups/First-time-in-India-Google-to-directly-mentor-25-startups/articleshow/38984635.cms

Finance, Startups

Karnataka to draft Startup Act

Karnataka to draft Startup Act to boost the state’s entrepreneurial activity

19 Jul, 2014, 2205 hrs IST, Malavika Murali & Krithika Krishnamurthy, ET Bureau
“We hope to become the unequivocal IT innovation and startup capital in the world,” said IT-BT secretary Srivatsa Krishna.
BANGALORE: The Karnataka government is drafting a new act to boost the state’s entrepreneurial activity.The Startup Act, the first of its kind in the country Is expected to be in force in two months.

“We hope to become the unequivocal IT innovation and startup capital in the world,” said IT-BT secretary Srivatsa Krishna.

Krishna recently met state biotechnology secretary Tanusree Deb Barma and Nasscom Product Council Chairman Ravi Gururaj to discuss issues including issues giving startups global visibility, better linkages to academia and industry, ease of doing business in the state and accessibility of early-stage risk capital.

“We see funds available for 2-5 year-old companies, not in the initial 1-2 years. We are looking at that space,” said Barma.

At present Karnataka providesan initial grant of Rs 5 lakh to nine colleges to each to fund research on projects to solve local problems and find solutions to local needs as part of the ‘Karnataka New Age Incubation Network.’ Startups are eligible for plug-and-play space with internet at a concessional rate of Rs 5-15 per square feet.

“There is a lot of political will to get support this ecosystem,” said Barma.

Barma said the state will also announce a biotech-focused venture capital fund which will operate as a fund of funds.Separately, Nasscom’s 10,000 Startups initiative will also get bigger in scale in Karnataka. A new warehouse will include incubators focused on verticals like design, the Internet-of-Things, and biotechnology, among other things.

As part of the expansion, women-founded companies may get free incubation space for six months, said Gururaj.

“It’s not a lot of money but it’s symbolic. We’re hoping that will push the agenda further,” he said.

http://m.economictimes.com/news/emerging-businesses/startups/karnataka-to-draft-startup-act-to-boost-the-states-entrepreneurial-activity/articleshow/38693516.cms

 

Business Ideas, Startups

Launchpad Challenge 2014

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad, and the National Entrepreneurship Network are delighted to invite you to take part in Launchpad Challenge 2014 – an initiative that celebrates and supports breakthrough innovations from students across all disciplines!

If you are a graduate or post-graduate student in India with an exciting idea/product/prototype to share, enter the Challenge to win national recognition and fast-track commercialization support, including:

  • An opportunity to attend an intensive business plan workshop tailored for you
  • An opportunity to pitch your idea/product to leading investors
  • Recognition at the Launchpad Challenge Grand Finale at EDII, Ahmedabad (to be held on 7th March, 2014)

To enter the Challenge, please submit your completed nomination form (available at link below), on or before 15th February, 2014.

APPLY to Launchpad Challenge 2014

Click Here for more information re: eligibility, etc.

Finance, Startups

5 Bootstrapping Tips to Cut Costs at your Startup

Bootstrapping refers to the process of starting a business without external capital. It provides you with greater control in the initial days of a venture. However, since you are not sourcing capital from an investor you need to be extremely cautious with your cash. In this video Prof. Radhika Meenakshi Shankar, Founder, Wise Owl Consulting, and a Start-up Mentor shares “5 Bootstrapping Tips to Cut Costs at your Start-up.”

Education, News, Startups

India’s new start-up hub, Powai Valley

Thanks to the combination of an engineering school that is as brutally difficult to get into as any in the world, Mumbai’s famed spirit of ‘dhanda’, and relatively low rentals, a new breed of risk-taking, entrepreneurial talent is turning Powai – which once lay sleepily around a picturesque lake – into India’s new hotspot for start-ups. It already houses more than 50 start-ups, and there are many others lining up to enter. (In a nod to its emergence as a business hotspot, a bunch of new upmarket pubs and restaurants have sprung up.)

While some of these ventures are bootstrapping, others are flush with funds but together they fuel an ecosystem which, venture capitalists say could, possibly be India’s answer to Silicon Valley and London’s Silicon Roundabout.
What is brewing in Powai Valley, a moniker given by VCs, is unlike Bangalore and the NCR, largely because most of the start-ups in Powai are in the consumer space whether it’s internet or mobile. Also, the Mumbai suburb is supported by talent coming from IIT-B, giving it an edge over other cities, in the long run.

Click Here for the details of how IIT-B is setting up an entrepreneurship center