Women Startup Program (WSP) Incubation Centre inaugurated at IIM Visakhapatnam

18th June 2018: The Women Startup Program 2018 that commenced early this year at the Institute in association with IIM Bangalore has progressed into its final stage, Incubation. The Centre, where the ideas of a total of 26 participants from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana will be incubated for a year, was inaugurated today IIM Visakhapatnam’s campus located at Andhra University. 50% of the participants are from Visakhapatnam.

The Incubation Centre was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Shri Prasad Dahapute, Managing Director, The Varhad Group & Member, Board of Governors, IIM Visakhapatnam, in the august presence of Shri. K. Rama Mohana Rao, Principal, College of Arts & Commerce, Andhra University, Shri. Bharathraj represented IIM Bangalore.

Shri. Dahapute inaugurated the incubation launch event and congratulated the women for making it to the final phase of the program. He said that IIM Visakhapatnam, apart from extending hand-holding and knowledge-support, will also help the aspiring entrepreneurs in finding investment opportunities. Relating his own experiences as an entrepreneur and investor, Shri Dahapute highlighted the contributory role of incubation in an idea converting from its seed stage to that of innovation. IIM Visakhapatnam is an institution of national importance and the incubatees would stand to gain a lot from that association, he exhorted.

Prof. Rao assured that Andhra University is always ready to extend all the support required for such initiatives, that empower the women in the society. He highlighted that the benefit of such a like-minded cohort is learning from one another in a spirit of cooperation and co-creation and not competition.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Chandrasekhar, Director, expressed that the Institute would stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the incubatees in helping them realize their aspirations and dreams. The Institute would help the cohort connect with investors and industry, he said. Interaction with faculty as well as policy-makers, professionals, practitioners and potential venture partners would be part of the knowledge-exchange and experience-sharing endeavour, he asserted. He added that there are several Policies and Programs of the Central Government that are focused on developing and assisting entrepreneurship and that the Institute would build the capacities of incubatees in their efforts to avail the benefit of such schemes and programs. The Institute would also bring greater visibility to the entrepreneurial endeavours of the cohort, he added. Theme-focused workshops and case studies would be especially arranged for the incubatees to learn the nuances of entrepreneurship, he assured. He thus urged the aspiring women entrepreneurs to leverage IIMV as a platform of resources in converting their ideas into enterprises.

Ms. Shikha Bhatt, Student representative of IIMV promised that the Entrepreneurial Passion and Innovation Club (EPIC) of the Institute will work in close coordination with the incubatees and assist them with management inputs and field work, as needed. It’s a great learning experience for the students too to work on live projects, she observed.

Shri Bharath from IIM Bangalore shared that the way IIM Visakhapatnam organizes the WSP events is unique among all the partnering IIMs and that it is emulation-worthy.

Prof. Shameem Jawed, Program Director expressed that the Institute is happy about the way WSP 2018 has progressed so far and that he is confident that the newly launched Incubation Centre will provide all the support for the participants.

Students, Faculty members and Staff of IIM Visakhapatnam were also present at the event.