once you have successfully built the biz, it may sound romantic to say that you could do a lot of things because you didn't have money, but the truth is having money, if not all of it, atleast some of it, particularly in the early stages, either during product development stage or going-to-get-your-first-customer stage, ensures two things, one that you don't abandon the thought of becoming an entrepreneur and two that you do direct constructive energy on task at hand.
a good incubator should provide pre-seed/seed capital. unfortunately no incubator does this and even in international conferences, i have heard engineering professors from ivy league schools lament that they are not able to encourage entrepreneurship because the institution does not have funding. what use is an incubator without seed funding ?
in the incubators that i have set up at PES School of Engineering and New Horizon College of Engineering, the respective managements have committed a fund ear-marked for this purpose. This is a good way to start. going forward, the fund can be made into a sizeable one by leveraging alumni networks, international agencies that are interested in a foot print in india for encouraging entrepreneurship, international agencies specifically interested in the clean-tech space, funds that are set up only to encourage enterprises which have high and deep impact across the fabric of indian society, government grants, etc.
Nandini is a traveling teacher who teaches entrepreneurship in several ivy-league business schools around the world including Princeton, LSE and NUS overseas and in India in IIM–A, IIM–B, IIM–L and ISB. From being just a word in the dictionary six years ago, it has now consumed her whole being.
In July 2010, she founded CARMa (Creating Access to Resources & Markets), (www.carmaconnect.in) with a lofty ambition: to change the karma of entrepreneurs in India.
She writes a regular monthly column for the magazine, Entrepreneur. It delights her no end that it is from smaller towns that aspiring and practicing entrepreneurs reach out to her after reading it.
She is a TED speaker.
Her best-selling book Entrepedia – a Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming an Entrepreneur in India, has touched the lives of many a start-up entrepreneur in India as evidenced by the no.of mails she receives every month. She cherishes them all but her favourite is from a 77-year old retired business man, who wrote to her saying ‘I’m angry with you that you didn’t write this book 40 years ago when I started my business.