3rd Deshpande-Gopalakrishnan Symposium





ABOUT THE SYMPOSIUM

 

The Deshpande-Gopalakrishnan Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship is an annual gathering of academicians, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, investors and policy-makers who are focused on promoting and accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship across the academic environment. The symposium provides a venue for attendees to learn from each other’s experiences; to gain wider exposure for their ideas, successes and start-ups; and to collaborate on activities that increase innovation and entrepreneurship in academic communities.

 

The 3rd Deshpande-Gopalakrishnan Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship will be held on March 27-28, 2020 at the Seminar Hall, IIT Delhi campus located in Hauz Khas, New Delhi. The event is being organised by GDC with the support of IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, and the Deshpande Foundation. 

 

This symposium provides a forum for attendees to reflect and to learn from professionals and academicians from the best institutions around the world on creating vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems in campuses across India. It also provides institutions an opportunity to explore approaches to accelerate the economic and societal benefits of their research projects through lab-to-market initiatives like GDC's flagship I-NCUBATE program. The symposium will feature keynote talks and topical panel discussions in an informal and interactive forum and provide ample opportunities for networking. Participation is by invitation only.


 

PROGRAM SCHEDULE

 

(Tentative schedule; subject to change)

 

Friday, March 27, 2020

05:30 pm

06:15 pm

Registration & Networking

06:15 pm

06:45 pm

Welcome

06:45 pm

07:30 pm

Keynote 1

07:30 pm

08:15 pm

Fireside Chat

08:15 pm

08:30 pm

Closing Remarks

08:30 pm

10:30 pm

Networking Dinner

 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

08:45 am

09:15 am

Registration & Networking

09:15 am

09:30 am

Opening Remarks

09:30 am

10:45 am

Panel 1:

Commercialising Scientific Research in India - What Can Academic Institutions Do to Become More Prolific and Proficient?

10:45 am

11:30 am

Keynote 2

11:30 am

11:45 am

Coffee Break

11:45 am

01:00 pm

Panel 2:

Enabling Deep-tech Startups to Create Impact at Scale - Role of Policy and Financing

01:00 pm

02:00 pm

Lunch

02:00 pm

03:30 pm

Panel 3:

Making the Leap from Lab to Market - Learnings from the I-NCUBATE Journey

03:30 pm

03:45 pm

Coffee Break

03:45 pm

04:30 pm

Keynote 3

04:30 pm

05:00 pm

Closing Session

 

 

PANEL THEMES

 

PANEL 1 : Commercialising Scientific Research in India - What Can Academic Institutions Do to Become More Prolific and Proficient?

India’s start-up ecosystem has been in the making for over a decade, but most of the initial investments have been in ideas that are business model innovations or those ventures that replicate successful business models from other parts of the world (with not much intrinsic technological capabilities). However, to solve the problems that are germane to India’s socio-economic context in a variety of areas like energy, water, agriculture, health, education, and transportation, India needs deep science and high-tech innovations. Western technologies and solutions are unlikely to address these issues. The solutions to India’s challenges require indigenous technologies and approaches that address India’s unique problems at price points that affordable to its consumers and that account for local cultural and behavioural requirements.

Leveraging the deep technology and science innovations to address these issues provide opportunities to disrupt markets and establish defensible markets more so than just business model innovation. While academic institutions in the developed world have a track record of spawning such deep tech-based ventures, developing countries like India are lagging behind.

Indian research and academic institutions are awakening to this opportunity and are equipping themselves to deliver solutions to address these challenges. GDC’s I-NCUBATE program in three short years has worked with over 100 startups from leading academic institutions that represent a sampling of contextually relevant technology that can achieve impact at scale in India.

How can the process of taking deep technology and science from the labs to target significant national challenges by developing scalable, robust startups be replicated across STEM institutions in India? We have put together an eminent panel of senior academicians who have successfully shepherded deep tech ventures and entrepreneurs. They will share their experiences in transforming ideas from the lab into vibrant start-ups and provide perspectives on how India can leverage the scientific knowledge resident in her universities to build start-ups that can create impact at scale and in a financially sustainable manner. 

 

PANEL 2 : Enabling Deep-tech Startups to Create Impact at Scale - Role of Policy and Financing

Over two-thirds of the India’s population earns less that ₹ 75,000 (~USD 1000) per annum. They cannot afford the innovations based on the latest science and technology research, developed in rich countries for people with income levels that are almost 30-40 times higher. Given the scale of India and its resource constraints, low-cost, high-impact solutions are required. The government, recognising start-ups as important engines for economic growth, has provided a strong fillip in the form of policy initiatives.

India has one of the largest start-up ecosystems in the world with over 14,600 start-ups, and about 270 incubators and accelerators, 200 global and domestic venture capital firms, and more than 230 angel investors. While these statistics sit well with the size of India’s overall economy, that is the fifth largest economy in the world, they hide the point that the impact of the start-ups is not adequate to solve India’s complex socio-economic problems. While some of the home-grown start-ups in India have innovative business models, most of them do not have deep science or technology at their core. Consequently, they lack sustained competitiveness or the ability to be technologically innovative to stand up to more robustly designed ventures offering similar products/services. Thus, most of high-tech innovations in India across various disciplines are based on technology from developed countries (usually imported, made under license in India or cloned). The innovation ecosystem in India has significant gaps, such as, a low level of translational research in universities, a small base of experienced entrepreneurs, inadequate tech-transfer from universities to industry, and a lack of local venture capital that is willing to bet on home-grown innovation. Given this scenario, how can policy formulation and/or signals from seasons investors help in building start-ups that achieve economic and social impact at scale?

This panel, which has seasoned start-up investors and policy experts from the Government, will discuss the challenges faced by founders in balancing financial sustainability with mission delivery and the issues around devising a strategy for sustainable growth.

 

PANEL 3 : Making the Leap from Lab to Market – Learnings from the I-NCUBATE Journey

I-NCUBATE is GDC’s flagship program, designed to help faculty, researchers, and entrepreneurs in STEM universities across India commercialise their deep-tech ideas by way of start-ups. I-NCUBATE has a practice-oriented and experience-based approach that enables a lab-to-market transformation of technology ideas with a view to creating positive impact at scale. During the 8-week program, teams gain a deep understanding of customer needs by conducting 100 customer interviews and derive inputs to formulate a minimum viable product and a sustainable business model. Furthermore, faculty, researchers, and students significantly improve their entrepreneurial capabilities and learn how to commercialise their research ideas with a view to solving real-life problems relevant to India.

Over the past two years, nearly 100 start-up teams and 500+ participants from 10 institutions, have benefitted from the I-NCUBATE program. In this panel, researchers and students who had a desire to commercialise their technologies and who have gone through the I-NCUBATE program, will share their transformational experiences. They will talk about how the program changed their perception of what a start-up is and how it helped bring clarity and focus to their approach. The objective of this panel is to provide some insights to faculty, researchers and students on how to think about commercialising their research, thereby accelerating the economic and societal benefits of their innovation.


View our Symposium Archives - 2nd Deshpande-Gopalakrishnan Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, January 2019.


Contact us:

Gopalakrishnan-Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

IC & SR Building, II Floor - Annexe, IIT Madras, Chennai - 600 036

Ms.SHEEBA GRACE

+91 44 2257 8433

enquiry.gdc@iitm.ac.in