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Uniken Innovation Lecture Series Successfully inaugurated in Pune

Wednesday June 15, 2011 , 4 min Read


The inaugural session of UNIKEN Innovation Lecture Series was held in Pune on 3rd June 2011, in association with Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) IIM Ahmedabad. was one of the Media Partner for the event.The evening witnessed a gathering of innovators, entrepreneurs, students, working professionals, leading industry experts, scientists and academia from leading institutes.

Vivek Saxena (Director & Chief Delivery Officer, Uniken - a leading technology innovation company) initiated the proceedings, and announced the launch of a national network with CIIE (IIM-A) to help innovators and entrepreneurs get their first customers(or ‘early adopters’ of technology) as a viable way to get seed funding for R&D effort and developing a prototype along with market validation. Instead of the traditional route of seeking investors or VCs, this promised to be a more inclusive and long-term growth oriented approach towards commercializing technology. He talked about the challenges faced by innovators and outlined the goal of the Lecture Series to provide a platform to innovators to showcase their ideas or products and entrepreneurs to present their ventures or business ideas and connect with business leaders, industry experts and academia that would help take their ideas to market.

This concept was further explained by by Mr. Pranay Gupta(Joint CEO, CIIE IIM-A) who said, “Unlike common perception, innovation needs a customer more than a funding body. Once a customer base is ensured, there is no dearth of funds. So we’re trying to help young innovators identify such bases through this platform.” He went on to share a model of converting an innovation prototype into a real product and developing an entrepreneurial streak through the assistance of various innovation incubation centres. Pranay also mentioned the importance of licensing, patenting technologies and innovations & the role played by incubation centres in commercialization of various innovations.

Dr. Yogesh Kulkarni (Executive Director, Vigyan Ashram) shared the work being done at the grass-root level by groups such as Vigyan Ashram - an informal school in Pabal district near Pune. The effort taken by Dr. Kulkarni and Vigyan Ashram to involve more than 6000 students across 17 districts in Maharashtra and Karnataka in the 'Rural Development through Education System' (RDES), and turn many dropouts into entrepreneurs and innovators was highly lauded by the audience. It took many by surprise to know that the first FABLAB to be set up by Massachusetts Institute of Technology outside the United States, was in Vigyan Ashram. Dr. Kulkarni showcased various innovations by the students and emphasized the need for educating the masses in the field of innovation.

This was followed by a discussion on India's current innovation scenario with panelists from diverse fields like education, gaming and iron and steel industry. Moderated by Pranay Gupta, the panelists included J.G. Bapat (Senior Consultant, Forbes Marshall), Philippe Segard (Project Management Trainer, DSK SUPINFOGAME) and Ashok Benegal (Director, SIBMT, Suryadatta Group of Institutes). Each panelist committed to help the innovators and entrepreneurs present, either by providing mentorship or access to the resources.

TranSafe - a virtual private secure internet application, one of the innovations showcased, was seen to have significant potential in providing security and privacy of confidential data, especially among enterprise users, as it offered complete protection against cyber attacks, internet frauds, trojans, malware and other online threats.

The concluding session was an interactive discussion with leading experts such as, Sujay Nair (Editor-in-Chief & CEO, Enigma Interactive), Dr. Arvind Shaligram (Professor & Head, Dept. of Electronic Science, University of Pune), Dr. D. K. Abhyankar (Chair Professor – S.L. Kirloskar Chair & Member BCUD, and Senior Advisor to Science & Technology Park, University of Pune), Dr. Nikhil Agarwal (Prof. & Director, Europe Asia Business School - Pune) and Samir Karande (Founder & CEO of MobiPrimo). They answered many queries from the audience and shared their views on topics like innovation, company regulations, funding, and so on.

Registrations are now open for the next UNIKEN session, dates for which will be announced shortly. Do take a look