This post is written by Sagar Sarbhai and Luv Sayal.
If Day 1 was about enthusiasm, ideation and team formation, Days 2 and 3 were all about execution and channelizing energies at iWeekend Impact. Once the teams were formed, the enthusiasts did not even wait for the next day to begin. Participants started working on the ideas from Friday night itself. The dorms and cafeterias at IIM were full of vibrancy and enthusiasm of the participants. The brain storming sessions went on till the wee hours of Saturday morning.
Participants assembled at the CIIE hall late in the morning (still suffering from the hangover of previous night’s session) and started working on their ideas. The day started off with the iWeekend organizers giving a brief session to all participants on business model generation. This was followed by a brief round of introduction of the mentors who were invited to guide the entrepreneurs and help them clarify their business model, work on their business plan and create a presentation/demo. Needless to say, the participants were asked a few tough questions by the mentors, which made some of them rethink their business models and go back to the drawing board.The energy and vibrancy was for everyone to experience. The varied group of participants which ranged from housewives to ICICI fellows, from full time entrepreneurs to students, from bankers to social activists, all worked together in their respective groups to come out with a solid business plan, revenue model, marketing strategy, value proposition, customer engagement strategy, etc.
“Its an experience of a lifetime” exclaimed a second year student who is an aspiring social entrepreneur and hopes to set up power plants in Maharashtra to generate electricity utilizing rice husk and other bio waste. If the passion of the participants was not enticing enough, the aura of the CIIE and the IIM Ahmedabad campus added magic to the experience.
Saturday night ended on a lighter note, with a few participants choosing to visit Ahmadabad’s iconic Seva Café. For the various out-station party hoppers, it was time to taste Ahmadabad’s night life, as they headed off to “Manek Chowk”. Once again, it was then time for the “nocturnals” to come together and brain storm about their projects. Some chose to take IIM Ahmedabad students’ help on financial analysis of their plans while some entered into a discussion about tackling India’s social problems.
Day 3 was about giving finishing touches and by evening, teams were ready with the final presentations. Each project presented their plan and talked about what they had worked on during the weekend. All of them took home valuable feedback from mentors and investors apart from some great connections.
The “Impactful” weekend concluded with the participants bidding adieu to the awe-inspiring IIM Campus. It sure will take some doing for the entrepreneurs to get over the overwhelming experience. We can only hope that the torch bearers of tomorrow will take the passion and the learning home and continue on their journey to create lasting change around them. As one of the participants aptly concluded “I came, I saw, I networked, I learnt, I executed and I blew the wind of change at iWeekend Impact!!”