Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), the technology business incubation centre of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay), celebrated its 10th Anniversary today with the launch of I-ASCEND, a joint flagship entrepreneurship forum formed with IIT Bombay Alumni Association (IITBAA). Speaking at the occasion, Prof. Devang V. Khakhar, Director, IIT Bombay, said, “SINE at IIT Bombay provides a great interface where an idea can be converted into a product and taken into the market. In last ten years, around 50 companies have incubated at SINE and our success rate is very good. I hope I-ASCEND, alongwith SINE, will play a big role in further promoting entrepreneurship on campus and in serving the society.” I-ASCEND (IITB Alumni & SINE Committee for Entrepreneurship Development) aims to create a structured platform that strengthens the entrepreneurial ecosystem in technology business incubation by providing support to the larger IITB student, faculty and alumni entrepreneur community. The forum focuses on inviting on board experienced industry leaders, successful entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers, who can be made available to the registered entrepreneurs for mentoring, advice, pitch proposals and more. “The objective of I-ASCEND is to increase the number as well as success of enterprises initiated by students, faculty and alumni of IIT Bombay, through multiplying collaboration and support platform, providing strong communication channel and helping SINE/ IITBAA to support incubation of ventures at multiple locations by utilizing the IITBAA/Heritage Foundation global network and relationships,” informed Mr. Paresh Vora, Director, IITBAA. Day long activities, to mark the 10th anniversary celebrations, included mentoring sessions, Industry-Academia-Entrepreneurs interactions, Entrepreneur’s Product Showcase, Venture- Entrepreneur Network interactions, one-on one business interactions etc. with the objective of creating immediate and long term value additions for the attending entrepreneurs. In his keynote address, Mr. Deepak Satwalekar, Former MD of HDFC Standard Life, HDFC Ltd. said, “In order to create successful companies, you need to create great value systems. Honesty, trust, dignity and respect are some of the key ingredients in developing organizational values... Getting a customer is just a part of job, retaining a customer is a bigger challenge. Employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction are inter-linked. It is important to take care of your employees as well. Leaders who believe in their employees and have high expectations from them can get great results.” The other key speaker for the day was Mr. Anupam Mittal, CEO, Shaadi.com.
The 'Entrepreneur’s Experience Sharing Session' saw entrepreneurs like Mr. Bhavish Agarwal the Co- Founder and CEO of Olacabs, Dr. Girish Saraph, CEO of Vegayan Systems Private Limited, Mr. Ankit Mehta, Co-Founder and Managing Director of ideaForge Technology Pvt. Ltd., which has developed an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Ms. Aditi Avasthi, Founder and CEO at Indiavidual Learning (embibe.com), a company in the E- learning space, come together and share their experiences with the budding entrepreneurs. The Industry academia Interaction session saw eight presentations from IITB start-ups as well as industry representation from high technology domains such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Biochem Process Control Instrumentation & Automation, Manufacturing , Clean Tech, Information Technology and IT infrastructure etc. Several products/ ideas/ plans were showcased by budding entrepreneurs (including students, faculty, alumni) to mentors, investors and others, on the occasion. Some of the showcased products included 'Gaona Karaoke', 'Express Bike Wash' – automated motorcycle wash in two minutes, 'Digital Hot Gold Foil Stamping Embossing Machine', and 'C-Tech – electric trike', to mention some. SINE was born in 1990s, when a pilot Information Technology incubator was set up at IIT Bombay with financial and mentoring support of two distinguished Alumni Kanwal Rekhi and Nandan Nilekeni. The idea was to encourage graduating students to choose entrepreneurship over corporate jobs.
Today, SINE is one of the leaders in this domain. Some of the innovative products like unmanned aerial surveillance system, solar energy products, science, robotics, and computer education content, Electronic governor for engine fuel efficiency, computation fluid dynamics simulator, Audio entertainment platform etc. have been developed by the companies incubated at SINE. “We now intend to help other educational institutions in the country to set-up similar facility to encourage entrepreneurship in the Country. We are also coming up with a new building for SINE that will be able to house 50 companies at a time,” added Prof. Milind Atrey, Professor-In-Charge, SINE.