Writing in Tech Review, Venkatesh Hariharan shows how “IIT Bombay is using its technology incubator to counter the exodus of its brightest graduates to the West.”
Despite the challenges, R. K. Lagu, the IIT Bombay electrical engineering professor who is in charge of the incubator, says that there is great interest. The incubator started as an IT incubator but now faculty and students from other disciplines have also become interested, says Lagu. He adds that initially, most business plans were from final year undergraduate students but in the last two cases it has been a faculty-student combination.
Powai Labs Tikoo sums up the attitude of IIT Bombays entrepreneurs when he says, There was a time when India did exports through cheap labor, but that time has gone. You cannot build an Infosys today with any amount of capital. The next ten years will belong to technology R&D based product companies out of India.
Tikoo adds that 20 years ago, the United States was the place to be for technological entrepreneurs. But now, he says, growth and investments are happening in India. This is where the action is. It would be foolish to miss this opportunity by being out of India.”
A missing element in the Indian entrepreneurship ecosystem is angel and start-up funding and assistance/mentoring.