Saturday, November 7, 2009

TiE ISB Connect, slide 2

I then showed this slide and asked people what it represented. it was pretty much as i expected. no one knew. i would have been really surprised if someone had said i was talking about an incubator. and with that i rest my case.

no more validation is necessary that incubators in india me the three most important components of an incubator are mentorship, seed/pre seed capital and real estate. and necessarily in that order.many educational institutions comply on the real estate bit. they give work stations, computers with internet and telephone. many of them charge a rental for it.

no one provides capital. many entrepreneurs need some money even at the product development stage. not everyone is able to bootstrap. a good incubator should provide this. In Bangalore, we have set up incubators at PES School of Engineering and New Horizon College of Engineering  and the respective managements have committed funds for this purpose.

many of them provide some form of mentorship but it's way below what's actually required. mentorship is about bridging the experience gap. today more and more youngsters are becoming entrepreneurs right out of engineering and management schools. they have no exposure to how organizations function, so obviously they have no clue how to build organizations that function effectively. this is where mentorship plays a crucial role.

mentorship is also about networking. as a young entrepreneur, the only thing he has going for him is the twinkle in his eye, the passion in his heart and the song on his lips. he needs someone who can open doors for him. he needs someone to play interference that he needs to be taken seriously.

mentorship is about knowledge. ask any entrepreneur whether he knows how to build the biz around his idea. and the answer will be no. right from writing the biz plan, incorporating the company, filing for patent, hiring the right team, going to the market, fully armed - doing all the right things at the right time,- mentors are a must have. not just good to have.

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