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IIT-Madras students' 'Nirmaan' to power ideas of entrepreneurial success

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IIT-Madras students' 'Nirmaan' to power ideas of entrepreneurial success

By Sindhu Hariharan, TNN | 5 Jan, 2015

CHENNAI: Centre for Innovation (CFI), a student-run innovation lab at IIT-Madras, is running an initiative called Nirmaan, a mock incubator to support students with entrepreneurial interests by providing them a riskfree environment to develop their ideas and shielding them from financial pressures through seed funding. Mahesh Panchagnula, adviser of co-curricular at IIT Madras, said that though CFI's motto is "Walk in with an idea, walk out with a product", right now the students build a prototype and leave it at that. Through Nirmaan, they aim to make students work on improving their prototype so that at the end of their college stint they are ready with a marketable product.

Twenty-nine teams and projects are now part of Nirmaan after a registration and selection process in September. The seed funding of 2 lakh per team is being provided as per requirement and the progress of ideas is being reviewed by a faculty team. The funds come from alumni grants
corporate sponsors and institute funds.

Sai Gole, a student manager at CFI and also a member of Nirmaan, said the idea is to make it easier for student ventures to enter the startup ecosystem outside the college by reducing a few steps in the process. "With a relatively mature product and a network of mentors already with them, it is easier for the student entrepreneurs to approach incubators and investors," Gole said.
She added that almost six startup teams that were part of CFI were able to get incubation at IIT Madras' incubation cell.

The 29 teams which are part of Nirmaan are working on a variety of in novative products ranging from a lightbased wearable that is an alternative to alarm clocks to portable paper strip tests to detect milk adulteration.

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