Startup Culture – 8th Sept


The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell, IISER Pune is hosting ‘Startup Culture’, the third annual entrepreneurial gathering since it’s conception. The Cell aims to inspire innovation and to build a successful and well connected entrepreneurial community in Pune and in IISER.

This year’s Startup Culture event will be held on Saturday, 8th September, 2018 and will feature entrepreneurs working, innovating and empowering development in a very special field, Science. The details about the speakers and the schedule for Startup Culture is as follows,

8th September –

10:15 am- 10:30 am : Tea/Coffee 

Pre-Event networking, alongside refreshment stalls.

10:30 am- 11:00 am : Mr. Sachin Dubey

As the CoFounder and CEO of Module Innovations, he has led the development of affordable and innovative diagnostic devices for rapid microbial detection and envisions to bring healthcare parity by making systems which can detect diseases at the point of care, without needing laboratories.

11:00 am- 11:30 am : Ms. Jilma Peruvangat

Founder and CEO of Kozhnosys, a startup developing biomedical devices with the aim of building cost-effective and easy to use medical diagnostic devices using cutting-edge technology. Ms. Jilma is a trained biomedical engineer and has worked for big firms like Larsen&Toubro and Fortis hospitals in wide ranging roles.

The talks by Jilma and Sachin will share the journeys of their startups.

11:30 am- 12:00 pm : Dr. V. Premnath 

Founder and Director of the Venture Centre, a technology business incubator, and the head of NCL innovations, charged with the responsibility of championing the cause of technology Innovation within NCL. He is a scientist in the Polymer Science and Engineering division, and actively supports technology development for biomedical products.

The talk by Dr. Premnath will highlight how scientists can perceive entrepreneurship as a possible career path and the facilities in place for them to develop and succeed.

12:00 pm- 12:15 pm : EIC review presentation

A showcase of the work of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell, along with a preview of the upcoming events.

12:15 pm- 12:30 pm : Dr. Sanjeev Galande

The Dean of Research and Development at IISER Pune, and the leading faculty member of the EIC, Dr. Sanjeev will share his vision for entrepreneurship at IISER and announce future development plans at the institute.

Registration for the event can be done using this link –

The event will be hosted in the CV Raman Auditorium at IISER Pune. We hope to see you all gather in large numbers for this year’s Startup Culture. The event is free and open to all.


Industry Lecture Series


The University of Goettingen and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell of IISER Pune are hosting the ‘Industry Lecture Series’ on 31st August, 2018. The event will host entrepreneurs with enormous experience and expertise in the Indian market space.

The descriptions of the speakers and their talks for the first ‘Industry Lecture Series’ is given below.

1. Gwenda Schobert – Managing Director at Enspireco Services Pvt. Ltd, a global marketing agency based in Mumbai. She is also the founder and CEO of Gwenda Glocalista and She’s a citizen of Germany, residing in India. Her talk will highlight how Indian markets differ from the international markets, and will include insights on MVP testing, marketing, branding and startegy positioning for each market space.

2. Madhur Jawhar – Director at Pristine Surface, an industrial plant set up by him that provides surface coating solutions for automobile parts.  Previously, he has worked in Greenway Grameen Infra for 6 years. He carries valuable experience in strategizing the marketing and sales in India’s rural market, effective project management and planning. In this talk, the insights from his journey as an industrial entrepreneur will be shared.

The lectures are scheduled from 6 pm – 7 pm, at LHC 101, IISER Pune, on 31st August 2018. You can register for the event on .

In addition to her talk, Ms. Gwenda Schobert will hold one to one mentoring sessions with selected start ups from Pune, and guide them with their requirements and shortcomings as needed. The startups will be shortlisted by Gwenda, based on which startup she can assist the best. Registration for the mentorship can be done with the same link by selecting the appropriate options. We hope to see you in for this learning and networking event.

Thank You
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell

Should research institutes emphasize on Innovation?

March 19th- 21st, Rashtrapati Bhawan| Ameya Pore


I recently returned from a delegation of Innovation clubs which took place at the Rashtrapati Bhawan from March 19th– 21st. The occasion was a part of the Festival of innovation and entrepreneurship (FINE), an initiative of President’s Secretariat, jointly organized by the National Innovation Foundation and Department of Science and Technology.


FINE inauguration by the Hon’ President of India, DST minister, Secretary to the President and various dignitaries

The goal of FINE was to showcase and celebrate country’s innovative potential, recognize grassroots innovators and reflect children’s creativity. It was an expression of governmental intervention in examining and resolving challenges faced by ground-level innovators from various sectors- Agriculture, Food, information technology, healthcare and others and hence various round-table sessions were held by stakeholders to address these provocations and describe existing policies that could be helpful. It is quite impressive to note various governmental initiatives that are being undertaken to promote commercialization, but despite an extensive publicly funded education base and Research and Development infrastructure, which comprise of academic knowledge producers, like IISERs, IITs and other deemed universities, we have not been able to recognize our potential yet.

Thereby, proceeding on similar channels, innovation clubs from universities across the country were requested to send their respective achievements to be part of the event, out of which top ten were selected and asked to present to the President’s Secretariat (Mr Sanjay Kothari). Fortunately, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation club (EIC) of IISER Pune was one of the selected clubs, which lend me an opportunity to head to the President’s house. Although, only two years down the line, it is an excellent attainment to display our deliverable at the national level, at the same time, are the other well-established innovation clubs in India so poorly exhibited that they cannot compete with the mediocre procurement of EIC, which even people from IISER are not aware of? Perhaps, The Secretariat and the committee were interested in the number of ideas developed by the institute, the test data used and whether it has been pursued anywhere else. We did not have an answer to that.


Presentations meeting by various innovation clubs, chaired by the President’s Secretariat (RBCC hall)

Here, I attempt to put forth some points from an institutional perspective and summon why it is important to focus on innovation spanning out from scientific temper.

The Indian Innovation system is partitioned into two distinct but largely separated economies. One is the knowledge producers (as previously mentioned) and other one Knowledge users which comprise of individual entrepreneurs, Venture capitals, corporate funding mechanism, Intellectual property rights, and so on. Ideally, both these structures should work hand-in-hand to produce innovation, but it is not the case in the current scenario. With extremely weak linkages between industries, enterprises, and academic institutions, the situation is even worse by intense rivalry between the two segments. E.g., Recently, There have been various workshops/seminars being held at the IISER on Intellectual property rights, which consist of knowledge of academic and industrial collaboration. The audience turn-over was less than twenty. Eg. 2- There have been various events organized by EIC, naming one of them, Coffee with a startup, where leading innovators from the city are called upon to share their innovation and share their journey and the challenges faced. Not more than fifteen IISER staff (including students) has turned up yet.

Secondly, a non-conducive education system- From a student context, the current academic system is too focused on grade-based learning and is less oriented towards Innovation and entrepreneurship. A large proportion of students apply to graduate schools in peer pressure without reasoning whether it suits them at this point in time. What is the solution? – A curriculum should be designed which tests based on real-world problems. If electronic gadgets could be used to tackle tangible research problems, then why not in exams! More success stories through inviting accomplished young achievers should be told. I could provide instances where such creativity is highly discouraged. Recently, while applying for my fifth-year project, I wished to work in a Startup on autonomous drones. Now, the academic rules are evidently against such projects and are not motivated by the graduate committee. Needlessly, I had to look for other options which might not be exciting enough.

I shall also mention that the presentations by other innovation clubs were as well not exceptionally amusing with only handful projects to demonstrate with statistical data. Doubtlessly, a common conclusion arrived after talking to various representatives that these innovation clubs are not given enough incentives and student credits for being appropriately functional. What could be the solutions- Various ideathons, hackathons should be organized to promote brain-storming activities and to enable one to think about problems. Topics emphasizing recent technological advances like Blockchain, Quantum computing etc. should be described intellectually so that one could know its disruptive implications.

Exhibition stalls

FINE was also associated with an exhibition which was open to everyone. The exhibition showcased various innovators spanning from Farmers, children, graduate students and various entrepreneurs. To end the day, a dinner was hosted at CSIR, Lodi garden, which was inaugurated by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, union minister of DST.

In a packed agenda, we did not get to see the immense Presidential estate campus, Senator’s place but the royal suite in the house was mesmerizing. Indeed, the security arrangements were extraordinary with various inspection points, I was assessing possibilities to breach the heavy enforcement which I didn’t find until the end. Quite appreciable!

There were few lapses in the organisation, which might have led to an undiplomatic apprehension to some attendees, but I think one should ignore such glitches when considering the colossal magnitude of the event.


Prior to closing ceremony- The President’s address

Coming back to the institutional policy, I agree with the point that it is unrealistic to expect revolutionary breakthroughs from undergraduate students, but at the same time, it is essential to teach them entrepreneurship and give them opportunities to build on ideas. Faculties should manoeuvre the implication of their research at the national and economic forum. They should publicize their work through various means, one of them could be social media so that spectators outside the community could understand the importance of research funding and could justify the taxes paid to the government. Eg- Twitter handles of MIT Media Lab, Tech reviews, Harvard Biz has got more than eight lakh followers with feed posts addressed to the general audience. Additionally, faculties should look for corporate collaborations which could provide world-class research facilities and not accuse the curtailment in the research funding by public organizations.

All in all, FINE was a great learning experience to interact with innovators from different cultures and backgrounds speak for a single cause of Innovation. Although the government is initiating reforms through various channels like Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, Indian Innovation Growth Program, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Innovation Complexes, and so forth, it is our liability to disseminate improved access to knowledge and support regarding resources, mentorship, and outreach.


TECH 2017: an exciting 3 days with the best minds in education technology from around the world

December 16 – 18, 2017 | Novotel Varun Beach, Visakhapatnam, INDIA


The three-day Transforming Education Conference for Humanity (TECH) 2017 organised by UNESCO MGIEP was held at Novotel Varun Beach, Visakhapatnam from December 16 – 18, 2017, focused on digital pedagogies for building peaceful and sustainable societies – through 21st century skills, schools and policies. The conference was attended by over 1,700 registered participants (including teachers, educators, learners, technology and gaming experts, amongst others) from more than 75 countries and witnessed highly engaging deliberations on the future of education, particularly on the innovative methods of teaching using technology. Over the 3 days, TECH comprised of 2 Headline Sessions, including that of award-winning Prof. Sugata Mitra, over 50 catalytic speakers, 100+ presenter sessions and a dedicated Learning and Startup Zone. TECH 2017 was supported by the State Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.26733730_1722209671142904_7102905501690061168_n

The first day of the Conference witnessed an exciting opening ceremony, graced by the Honourable Chief Minister of the State of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Honourable Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Government of India and Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO (on video). Addressing a full house at the TECH 2017, Sri Naidu expressed that “education is a key factor for any development” and added that “nothing can be achieved without education”. He further articulated the importance of technology in education and voiced his commitment to the future of education through digital pedagogies. Post his talk, Sri Naidu officially inaugurated the Learning & Startup Zone of TECH, which comprised immersive technologies by startups and other leading organisations in the field of education and technology such as Microsoft India, Samsung and Veative.


The Opening Ceremony also witnessed the signing of two key Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs); the first MOU was signed between UNESCO MGIEP and the Economic Development Board of Andhra Pradesh to establish a “Games and Digital Learning Hub” while the second MOU was for the establishment of a strategic partnership between Samsung India and UNESCO MGIEP to launch Virtual Reality (VR) content and 360 films on two Indian Heritage Sites, the Sun Temple in Konark and the Taj Mahal in India. Additionally in a long term strategic partnership with the State Government of Andhra Pradesh, UNESCO MGIEP will work towards setting up a school for Difference Learning in Andhra Pradesh by 2018.

The Ceremony was followed by a highly engaging 15 minute TECH talk by Dr. Anantha Duraiappah, Director, UNESCO MGIEP who spoke of the concept of flipping education and of embracing technology as a pedagogy. Dr. Duraiappah expressed that “technology should not be seen just as a delivery platform but as a pedagogical tool.”

Following the TECH talk was a highly disruptive panel titled ‘We don’t need no Education’, with a diverse set of panellists including Prof. Sugata MitraMs. Vera El Khoury Lacoeuilhe, Diplomat and Jordan Shapiro, world-renowned thought leader on global education – all of who debated their thought-provoking views on the goal of education. In addition, various breakout sessions were held by presenters during the day on varying themes from “The use of Artificial Intelligence in Distributed Co-Learning” to “Teaching History through Digital Fabrication”.

Day 2 of TECH commenced with an exciting debate through UNESCO MGIEP’s flagship event, Talking Across Generations of Education (TAGe) that provided a platform to youth and policy-makers to exchange views on whether “technology increase or decrease the inequality gap in education”. TAGe was followed by a captivating talk by Prof. Sugata Mitra on “The Future of Learning” during which Prof. Mitra expressed the requirement of “learner-centric education”. Further, day 2 of TECH witnessed various engaging catalytic sessions as well as breakout sessions, debates and keynote sessions on digital pedagogies and neural learning as well as design thinking as a strategy for innovation. Eminent speakers included Kaushik Bellani, Managing Director – McGraw Hill Education India Pvt. Ltd., Vinnie Jauhari, Director – Education Advocacy, Microsoft and Sylvia Martinez, Co-author of Invent to Learn, Making, Tinkering and Engineering the Classroom.

The last day of the Conference witnessed a talk by Heather Knight, Assistant Professor of Robotics at Oregon State University on ‘Developing Charismatic Robots for the Real World’. During her presentation, Prof. Knight presented by her Robot, Ginger, who kept the audience highly engaged.

The Valedictory Ceremony, held on Day 3 to close the Conference, was graced by the Honourable Minister of Human Resource Development, State of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Ganta Srinivasa Rao as well as Y.S. Chowdary, Honourable Minister of State for Ministry of Science & Technology & Earth Sciences. Sri Ganta Rao expressed his commitment to the future of education through digital pedagogies and declared the state Government’s support to institutionalise the TECH as an annual event. He expressed that he would be “keen to see the various methods that UNESCO MGIEP will bring up in the future to advance its efforts”.

TECH was sponsored by Microsoft India (Education Technology Partner)Samsung IndiaDassault SystemsVeative (Immersive Learning Partner) and McGraw Hill (Learning Science Partner). The Knowledge Partners of the Conference included NMIMS, Ubisoft, Quebec Government, ISTE, Social Alpha, EDB and IYC.



Techstars Global Startup Weekend’17, Pune

TGSW Pune ‘17 started at 7:00 pm on Friday, 10th November It was anchored throughout by our Facilitator from Techstars, Mr Arun Philips. The event got off to a fantastic beginning by our Speaker, Mr Kapil Shelke; the CEO of Tork Motorcycles ( Creator of India’s first electric motorbike! ); who narrated his startup story.

47 people attended the event and pitched a whopping total of 31 ideas! A variety of products like news services, travelling apps and smart wardrobes were pitched. Then the voting commenced; The top 9 ideas went on to form teams and build their prototypes.

The  work started on Friday night itself, each team went home of a solid idea of what to build upon. From Saturday onwards, we had Mentors interacting with teams. The Mentors were themselves Founders and CEOs of successful startups, from fields such as Digital Media to Agritech.

The participants thoroughly enjoyed these fruitful discussions as their ideas were moulded and refined. The whole of Saturday was spent building up their prototypes for the final pitch on Sunday. This was done with the help of various online platforms such as Canva, Ionic Creator and WordPress.

Saturday night the participants and our Facilitator had a game of football to relax after a gruelling day. It was followed by unpacking our Startup Weekend stickers from StickerGiant. The work resumed then and went on late into the night, some of the participants even chose to stay back at IISER.


Sunday morning the participants arrived fresh and early. After a few hours of feverish activity, it was time for the final presentations.

Our judges were Mr. Akash Sureka, Mr. Amol Chaphekar and Mr. Satyendra Gupta. After 2 hrs of pitching by the 9 finalists, the top 4 teams were announced. They were:

MeTime, U, News for Me and iDresser. iDresser: the Smart Wardrobe bagged the first prize. They will go on to compete at the next round of Techstars Global Startup Weekend.

Startup Weekend Pune ‘17 was indeed a great experience. At the end of 54 hrs, everyone felt more like family than friends. The energy, the excitement, was intoxicating.


*Highlights of the event: The entire Startup Weekend Pune family celebrated the birthday of Neharika Bayas on Saturday night who chose startup weekend over her friends for celebrating her birthday. There were also 2 participants who drove all the way from Bombay to attend the SW Pune.

All in all, this event gave every person involved lots of memories to cherish!



Help Solve Design Our Next Challenges


Date- 2nd Week of March

Solve was born out of MIT in 2015, a natural offshoot of MIT’s commitment to open technological innovation, and its long commitment to actionable thought leadership in the public sphere.


  • Identifying the best solutions to specific, actionable challenges through open innovation.
  • Building and convening a community of leaders and changemakers committed to partnering together to pilot and implement these solutions.

Development Dialogue, Deshpande Foundations, Hubali


Date-January 28th & 29th, 2017

Venue– Deshpande center for Social Entrepreneurship, Vidyanagar, Hubali, Karnataka

Attendees– Representatives of about 200 organizations across the country and 70+ international delegates, global visionaries, impact investors as well as local communities to share proven models, innovations, and transforming perspective.

 ‘Development Dialogue’ is a concept which brings together numerous social entrepreneurs as well as those who believe in and are involved in creating ecosystems to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship. The Dialogue is held by Deshpande Foundation, a non-governmental organization founded in 1996 by Dr. Desh Deshpande and Jaishree Deshpande.

This year, 2017, it was the 10th Development dialogue with the theme ‘Scaling effectively’. Various panel discussions of leaders from non-profit and for-profit organizations, Government officials, grassroots practitioners and impact investors took place highlighting points to deliver an outcome in a resource efficient manner, in the least possible time to a maximum number of people. According to the speakers- four things come together to create an impact: innovations that are relevant and co-created with the people who need it; execution capacity- ability to absorb innovation and having the human resources to roll out the solution; right infrastructure; government’s involvement, right policies and support. Also, current challenges faced by India’s innovation and ecosystem and entrepreneurship were discussed which includes- Fragmented policy and policy implementation, Inadequate funding of R&D, Difficult and lengthy funding procedures, Angel, venture capital, and seed funding, Weak linkages between stakeholder, Non-conducive education system, Poor infrastructure facilities in villages, Risk aversion among entrepreneurs and Inadequate protection of intellectual property rights.


As a broad outcome of the event, we got to know about the functioning of Hubali Sandbox, a business incubator. It works to create an effective ecosystem where resources are put to use through local entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainability. We also developed networks in industrial sectors and got to interact with eminent personalities (Notably- Dr. Subhash Chandra Khuntia (Chief Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka), Priyank M. Kharge (Minister of IT, BT & Tourism, Govt. of Karnataka), Dr. Robert Stoner (Deputy Director for Science and Technology, MIT Energy Initiative), Sri. Chanchalapathi Dasa -Senior Vice-President of ISKCON, Bangalore & Vice-Chairman of the Akshaya Patra Foundation), Himanshu Patel –Sarpanch, Punsari.

TechStars Startup Weekend Ideation Workshop

Ideation Workshop Poster.jpg

Planning for a Startup? Wish to learn how to capture opportunities that keep you class apart?

Presenting to you: TechStars Startup Weekend Design Thinking and Ideation Workshop by Prof Kaustubh Dhargalkar. Join us to show your Creative Skills!!!

Venue: IISER Pune
Date: October 14, 2017

Embark on the journey with Prof. Kaustubh Dhargalkar, mentor of Innovation and Management at CIIE- IIM Ahmedabad; to apply Design thinking to arrive at effective, innovative solutions for the market.​

What is Design Thinking and Why is it essential for Startups?
Design Thinking is a systematic process of thinking which empowers even the most traditional thinker to develop new, innovative solutions to the problem at hand. Everybody can be creative by following this process – it is human-centred creativity with purpose.
A successful company needs to have a unique product that adds value to the market. Utilizing elements from the designer’s toolkit, such a product can be created.

About the Facilitator

Prof Kaustubh Dhargalkar is a serial entrepreneur, has co-founded five companies till date, is currently a mentor at CIIE-IIM Ahmedabad and is also active on startup forums like Weekend Ventures, Economic Times- Power of Ideas etc.
Visualising unique & sustainable Business Models is his forte. He specialises in bringing out the creative force in organisations. Prof Dhargalkar is associated with corporates like Mercedes Benz, Daimler, Citibank, HP, Deloitte, Mahindra Group, Yes Bank, Accenture, RPG Group, L&T and many others as a Design Thinking Trainer and an ‘Innovation & Strategy Consultant’.
He also has been the invited speaker at two TEDx events till date.

Register at: