Taught by Srikant Sastri
A revised & enhanced version of the Spring 2023 course, Startup Incubation Lab (SIL).
The booming startup eco-system in India reflects the surge in entrepreneurship, but bigger companies in corporate sector are also embracing innovation and intrapreneurship to succeed in a fast-changing world. For students who are considering becoming entrepreneurs in the very near-future, this course would be like a ‘finishing school’. Whereas, students who want to work in the corporate sector or at startups, will acquire the foundational skills to be successful intrapreneurs driving innovation in these companies.
It would be a fast-paced and immersive experience of the entire entrepreneurial journey from Idea to MVP. Besides the product and commercial aspects that are important while creating new ventures, several classes will be devoted to helping students become ‘Contemplative Entrepreneurs’ and ‘Doing it Right’. ‘Contemplative entrepreneurs’ are trained to ask critical questions on a timely basis, rather than take decisions on the fly. This ensures that they make fewer mistakes. ‘Doing it Right’ means not giving a short shrift to the ethics and governance aspects of business leadership. The world around is replete with examples of high-profile entrepreneurs who have gone astray on this count.
I will begin by helping students sharpen their ‘Problem Statement’, and then do disruptive ideation that will be validated through ‘Voice of the Customer’. Thereafter, developing a product strategy (incl. designing and executing a MVP) will be a big part of the learning. Students will also learn key business concepts (e.g. business models, moats, go-to-market frameworks & performance metrics) and incorporate them into their own venture. At a mid-point of the course, students will do field visits to meet a set of startup founders in NCR, and also meet some domain mentors.
Finally, students will develop their investor pitches using structured frameworks as well as compelling storytelling techniques. The culmination of this Startup Grand Challenge will be a ‘Demo Day’ where students will pitch to a panel of investors and mentors.
This hands-on bootcamp-style course intertwines theory & practice so that students learn key concepts of new venture creation while simultaneously putting them in practice. It also aims to prepare students with the right balance of hard & soft skills.