Volume 11      Issue 11     10 Jan 2012
Happy New Year 2012

Demo Day

Nine Indian startups and one from Germany have been selected to be part of iAccelerator 2011. These Internet & Mobile domain startups came on board with prototype/product ready and raw plan for business. Founders of iAccelerator startups are hackers and star coders - working on developing useful products, many of them targeting global market.

Since the start of iAccelerator boot camp on 1st November, iAccelerator team and angel investors have been helping these startups in refining business plan and devising execution strategies. In its first two months, the program has already conducted workshops in sales, marketing, user experience design, intellectual property management, product management, software security and much more. Moreover, the program is helping startups with incorporation and other related tasks.

iAccelerator startups interacted with star entrepreneurs such as Deep Kalra (makemytrip), Sanjeev Bikhchandani (naukri), Vishal Mehta (infibeam), Alok Kejriwal (2win group) and Mukund Mohan (Jivity). Managing Director of Google India, Rajan Anandan spent time listening to iAccelerator startup ideas and appreciated the work that CIIE and iAccelerator team is putting together.

iAccelerator thanks its mentors and guests, whose comments and suggestions in some cases have changed course of our startups for better.

As part of its ongoing initiative to encourage innovation in India, Tata communication has partnered with iAccelerator program. The startups have access to the company’s leading cloud, connectivity and collaboration tools necessary to succeed in a global business community. Moreover, program startups will get mentoring support from the company’s senior executive.
Month of January will focus on mentoring around angel and VC investment, Internet & mobile industry trends, financial modeling, entrepreneurial accounting, negotiation, understanding the term sheet and more. The program will end in demo day on 28th January, 2012. The demo day will be attended by investors, entrepreneurs and media where iAccelerator startups will present their business plans.

For updates follow us: @iA_india, www.FB.com/iaccelerator

Link : www.iaccelerator.org

CIIE visit by the team of CBID, John Hopkins University

Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID) at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MA is one of the leading centers of multidisciplinary research on tackling healthcare challenges using technology. CBID researchers and innovators have been instrumental in creating and commercializing transformational medical innovations that can solve some of the biggest healthcare challenges in the world.

Dr. Youseph Yazdi, Executive Director of CBID and Dr. Soumyadipta Acharya, director of graduate program at CBID visited CIIE on 9th December and talked about the latest program launched by CBID in collaboration with Jhpiego ( a global health non-profit organization)- Accelovate, which is aimed towards identifying and promoting inexpensive medical technologies to address today's health challenges.

Mentor edge

Mentor Edge conducts Mentor Rendezvous every two months, in each of these cities, so as to introduce the mentors to local entrepreneurs in a one - to - one setting.

Mentor Rendezvous’ are a common platform where the Mentors and entrepreneurs come together. The aim is to facilitate and connect Entrepreneurs with the Mentors over a 45 minute slot, which is allotted before the event. Prior to the event the mentees are instructed to view the mentor profiles on the website and select which mentors they want to connect with. To ensure that right people, with similar work domains and interests meet each other, there is a rigorous curation process carried out at the backend by MentorEdge team once the selections are confirmed. The event lasts about half a day, where dedicated slots are assigned for mentees and mentors to meet. The mentees are sent preparatory material to ensure they come prepared with the project / ideas and make optimum use of the 45 minute slots allotted to them with their chosen mentor. We intend to organize the event such that the mentee is benefited by meeting at 3 - 4 mentors on the day.

The event is meant to be first hand interactions where we introduce the 2 parties and encourage them to carry this relationship forward as per mutual agreement. The intention is to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem across the country, where participants are benefited by the collective pool of intelligence.

Entrepreneurs interested in being a part of the event can visit our website [http://mentoredge.com] and register as a Mentee, marking the city where you wish to attend as your preference.

Please feel free to mail us on mentoredge@ciieindia.org if you would like to connect with the team. Please use the following format as subject for the mail: Interested in Mentor Rendezvous {city}

Next Rendezvous Dates

Jan 21st     Hyderabad
Jan 21st     Kolkata
Jan 21st     Mumbai
Feb 4th      Delhi
Feb 11th    Pune
Feb 11th    Bangalore
Feb 18th   Ahmedabad

Mentoregde Case Study

“...throughout our journey, if there was one question we found very challenging to answer, it is: "So, what do you do exactly?"

The Venture

Spark n’ Beyond is a wholesome and unique creative agency, which is much different from an ad agency as defined by common perception.

The idea is to build a business on several applications of creativity. Spark n’ Beyond chose three of them - marketing communications, theatre and creativity-stimulation workshops. In their language, they CREATE, CO-CREATE and COACH TO CREATE. CREATE stands for the theatre troupe they are building right now. The team is eager to create and present to the world their first play, which will be a refreshingly new interactive theatre experience for the audience. CO-CREATE is the branding stream where they co-create brand images and marketing campaigns with their clients, offering their creative talent and customer insights to the clients; and the third stream COACH TO CREATE is a workshop module, inspired by the Edward de Bono types.

They have improvised a lot and built workshop modules on stimulation of creative thinking to schools, colleges and B-schools and corporate. They are functioning in full-swing in the branding domain currently. Their workshop modules are ready to be launched after a year of careful research and development; while the theatre domain is waiting on the wings to fly out soon enough.

The People and the Beginning

Meet Gomathi Shankar, an MBA (Marketing) graduate from SIBM Bangalore (2011 batch) and an engineer by graduation. He comes from a middle-class family in Tamil Nadu, and has set up a creative agency - Spark n' Beyond along with four other friends in Chennai. Besides entrepreneurship, he also happens to be an aspiring writer and a passionate creator.

When Gomathi entered MBA, he had ideas of setting up his own business afew years down the line. He was also partly inspired by Rashmi Bansal's 'Stay Hungry Stay Foolish', which was gifted to him by a professor. One fine evening, when he was casually gulping down the mess tea, he got a call from a senior friend (from his Undergraduate times), working then in DE Shaw. He was bugged with the idea of starting up a creative agency and he wanted to check if Gomathi would be interested. It was naturally a tempting offer for a creatively oriented guy like him.

One thing led to the other, they formed a team, pooled in some money, made some tough decisions and there they were. As Gomathi puts it, “If not for that call, I would have jumped into the pool after a few years."

…On Mentoring and MentorEdge

The Spark n’ beyond team attended the MentorEdge sessions in Chennai last year when they were all set for the plunge and making last minute decisions of starting up. A few days after the session, they had actually started servicing clients from an office in Chennai.

Gomathi says that the most valuable mentorship they received was from Mr. GD Sharma, a veteran HR professional and a very encouraging person. He particularly liked the idea of their workshops and promised to help them further in developing it. Even after the MentorEdge session, the team was in constant touch with him. They sought his opinions and help about customizing the workshops for the corporate and his views helped them a lot in understanding how the corporate people approach such workshops and what they expect out of them. Even now they continuously seek his support on that front.

The entire team is also grateful to Mr. Arvind Ahuja, who was very encouraging for their idea. They claim that his support provided a welcome moral upliftment for all of them.

He further adds that mentoring has helped them in formulating their product offering to suit the target customers and in understanding the nitty-gritties of conducting professional workshops for professionals. As he puts it, “Mentorship sessions have also helped us immensely in presenting our business idea, which is quite a different one, in an acceptable manner to a variety of audience. Throughout our journey, if there was one question we found very challenging to answer, it is "So.. what do you do exactly?". It has been hard to quickly explain what we do, but after making the effort, most people have appreciated our idea so far. We even went on to present our idea to an esteemed jury in 2010 Economic Times 'Power of Ideas' Challenge in the penultimate round and the initial mentorship sessions helped us a lot in finding the right way to present us to the world."

Goals for the Spark n’ beyond team

The short term goals for the Spark n’ Beyond team are: 1)To strengthen the clientele portfolio of our branding domain by adding brands from more sectors and geographies in India. 2) To launch our workshop programs successfully to educational and corporate institutions in customized versions.

At the same time, their long term goal is to integrate the three exciting domains and thereby becoming an integral part of people's lives in satiating their creative appetite. In Gomathi’s words, “The world in the near future will witness a huge demand for original content in a variety of mediums and for a variety of applications and Spark n' Beyond should stand in the forefront addressing that demand."

The Learning

When asked about the three major takeaways from the Mentoring process, Gomathi accounts the following:

  1. Practical wisdom in running a business hands-on in terms of planning, financing, marketing etc.
  2. An opportunity to associate with an industry veteran and to be able to develop the idea with his inputs and support.
  3. A sense of reassurance and self-confidencedeveloped in presentingthe business idea to an elite audience and draw their interest."

The Spark n’ Beyond team believes that mentorship is an extremely essential ingredient in any start-up mixture. Though not always accomplished in a structured manner, every aspiring entrepreneur would search for mentorship in his own way informally by interacting with peers and fellow entrepreneurs. Structured mentorship offers him a chance to rub shoulders with people who have experience in mentoring others to success. They further mention that every idea gets shaped or fine-tuned to another step towards perfection with each meaningful mentorship session. It also opens doors to a network of veterans, and in future it could be a great asset just to know some of them.

Gomathi remarks that upon being successful, they would themselves definitely mentor an aspiring entrepreneur someday. At the same time he also adds that, “To reach that level, I would give myself a period of minimum 2-3 years to explore and imbibe entrepreneurship. I would like to offer mentorship in terms of marketing the business idea, starting up in teams & its practical pros and cons and in product design/new product ideas etc."


Aspiration Energy

Our installation for Telecom Tower

  • Under the new JV Telesolar solutions, they have signed a contract with a major Telecom Tower company for executing 200 sites and work is already completed for 3 sites in rural Bihar. Systems running successfully of 4.68 KWp capacities with batteries, remote monitoring performance and DG auto Switch ON & OFF mechanism.
  • On Thermal side, they have been shortlisted under MNRE UNDP/GEF program for large scale solar water heating systems under ESCO model.
  • Signed 2 contracts under UNDP program
  • Secured an order for implementing 210 KW Thermal System for Sona Koyo Steering Ltd., Sriperumpudur. System consists of ETC modules with heat transfer fluid circulatory system capable of delivering the required heat energy for their process heating

Brief notes on our offering:

PAY PER UNIT (PPU) Model: Grid tied Roof top PV solution without batteries.

Customer makes 10-25% of total investment as nett payment and the balance collected as energy charges @ Rs.6-8/- per unit for 10 years with Maintenance guarantee for 10 years

Target customers:
Large companies with own urban commercial offices paying Tariff - Rs. 7.50 and above with reliable supply: Example: Mumbai


PAY AS YOU SAVE (PAYS) Model: High temperature upto 120 deg C achieved using ETC & ETHP thermal collectors Customer makes 10-25% of total investment as nett payment and the balance as energy charges of 50- 75% of their monthly energy costs for 5 yrs with maintenance guarantee

Target customers:
For process heat applications in industries like Diary, Sugars, refineries, pharmaceuticals


PAY PER MONTH (PPM) Model: Innovative and optimized Solar PV solution that stops running DG set for maximum hrs for Telecom Towers.

Customer pays a monthly fixed sum that covers all energy costs

Target customers:
All Telecom Tower owners - operators or tower lease companies


Spardin has launched its mobile app solutions for Retail, Malls, Education and social Communities.The solutions are based on Spardin’s Platform for interactive advertising, engagement & Entertainment. It provides an instant response path to users while consuming content.

The mobile apps are fuelled by spardin’s content management system and are integrated with SMS, IVRS, Phone call, web response and facebook response. Spardin solutions help clients Reach out to their prospects, connect with them and Engage with them on ongoing basis. The solutions are available on Java, Android, i OS & Blackberry platforms.

Spardin has also launched the Android 2.0 version of its mobile Application Touch Voter.
Touch Voter is a breakthrough application for viewing and participating in ongoing promotional campaigns, contests, favourite reality shows, voting contests, opinion polls, Facebook campaigns, Deals, VAS based Contests & related content. Touch Voter provides an instant Response path to the users. Using Touch Voter you will never need to remember all those voting numbers, contestant codes, phone numbers, timelines etc., to participate in your favourite contests, polls, reality show voting. Instead Touch Voter will bring you all that content along with a hassle free interface, which allows user to participate at a touch of the mobile screen.

Touch Voter 2.0 comes with web and facebook response in addition to the SMS, Phone and IVRS response path. You can now access and participate in SMS, IVRS, Web and Facebook campaigns from a single app. Touch Voter 2.0 comes with push notifications. Touch Voter 2.0 consists of various brand zones. Users can visit various Brand Zones and get access to their campaigns, Deals and
Multimedia content.

The Java version of Touch Voter has clocked 40K+ downloads. Touch Voter India Lite is available for free download on android app market, Nokia Ovi store, Samsung, Airtel, Aircel, Tata & other leading

App stores.


Visit : www.spardin.com,

Aspiration Energy shortlisted under MNRE UNDP/GEF program for large scale solar water heating systems under ESCO model.

Incubatee News
Spardin launched the Android 2.0 version of its mobile Application Touch Voter
Aspiration Energy
Aspiration Energy Signed 2 contracts under UNDP program.
In the Spotlight
CIIE and Tata Communications partners for iAccelerator 2011.
CIIE visit by CBID team, John Hopkins University

CIIE   India

Contact us at:

Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship
Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Vastrapur, Ahmedabad - 380015 Gujarat, INDIA
E-mail: ciie@iimahd.ernet.in  Phone: 079 6632 4203  Fax: 079 6632 4207
Web: http://www.ciieindia.org/

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