IIM Ahmedabad launches effort to build clean energy businesses
Renewable Energy Search is an endeavour by IIM Ahmedabad's Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (Government of India) to identify, encourage and incubate entrepreneurial ideas aimed at solving the energy crisis in the country through creation of viable business models around existing clean energy related technologies.
The effort aims at commercializing scalable existing technologies developed by innovators (researchers, individual inventors, start-ups and large corporations) across the world through creation of a viable business around it; areas of interest include energy generation, efficiency and storage.
The program shall provide support, recognition, licensing, seed-funding and mentoring to the following groups and invites applications in all the three categories.
The program shall provide funding and mentoring support to technology-based early stage start-ups (even pre-revenue) with viable business model and complimentary team. CIIE shall make an investment of up to Rs 20 lacs per start-up over the next few months and either directly fund or help raise further round of investment in the companies.
The program shall also identify entrepreneurs interested in setting up their venture in this growing sector, but not having yet narrowed down on their business idea. Such EIRs shall get to spend 3-4 months with the program as an EIR to identify a proven technology around which they would like to build their venture. Having done that, the EIR shall create a business plan and build a complimentary team around the idea. EIRs with most viable plans shall be provided funding and incubation support under the program.
Innovators (researchers at institutes, corporations, individual inventors etc) interested in commercializing their research work through creation of an enterprise or licensing shall be considered for the "Top Innovator Awards" comprising a cash prize of Rs 5 Lacs apart from incubation and funding or upside from licensing of the technology.
The program shall be a collaborative effort between industry, academia, government and innovators to create sustainable solutions for India’s energy problem and several like-minded organizations across the globe have shown interests in partnering us for this unique initiative. We are currently in the process of evaluating and finalizing tie-ups with these organizations to jointly build these clean energy start-ups. Some of the partners shall include leading technical institutes in the country for technology evaluation, industry bodies like CII for helping raise future investments, venture capitalists for strategic support and government agencies for further grants whenever required.
The program has a very strong backing from the Government of India with Mr. Deepak Gupta, Secretary of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy leading the Advisory Committee.
Kunal Upadhyay (CEO, Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship, IIM Ahmedabad