While startups are the creators of radically innovative products, they need significant support to get to the market. Several corporates and investors have engaged with us and our startups to support innovations that are strategically aligned to their goals. There are several models to achieve this.
Spin-off or Co-create ventures
Co-creating may involve co-developing ideas from scratch or leveraging an existing one which may be shelved in the corporate and spin it off as an independent venture. Alternatively, co-incubation involves developing a new idea and nurturing it within an incubator. We work closely with corporates in co-creating ideas and supporting existing ones around us to help them get to the market. For example, CIIE and Piramal Foundation identified and funded Forus Health and Biosense – through the Piramal Prize. We have joined hands with Intel to create innovations for digital India which can scale-up on Intel’s platforms.
CIIE works closely with corporates and VCs to co-invest or provide follow-on investments into ventures supported by us – giving them preferential access and insights into the emerging trends of innovations. CIIE has set up India’s first cleantech focused incubation and fund partnership, INFUSE, with active participation from the private sector – including BP, Godrej Industries and ICICI Bank. Infuse provides its partners with the commercial upside apart from other strategic benefits. We are in the process of launching similar interventions in impact areas and ICT and would love to engage with corporates desirous of association with us.
CIIE closely partners with corporates to create sector specific interventions and programs to support entrepreneurs. Corporates like Tata Communications, Verisign, Nokia and Microsoft have been closely involved as a partner for our ICT-programs, while others like BP and Livpure for our work in impact areas.
Corporates have been supporting CIIE’s startups through CSR donations and grants. As per new CSR rules, you can deploy your CSR funds towards supporting an innovative idea through CIIE. Mahindra Finance has supported Sickle Innovations – that has developed a cotton picking machine – and Take Solutions has supported Bodhi Healthcare – a startup in the healthcare education space.