GDC (Gopalkrishna Deshpande Center) at IIT Madras offered an opportunity to CIE for PES University students to be part of their Cohort6 program and this was readily taken up by CIE.
PES University was one of two institutions to be selected for the inaugural offering of this program in Bangalore and is based on the ‘Customer Development’ manifesto, which is taught widely in the US including top universities such as University of California Berkeley and Stanford University.
GDC is a center instituted under IIT Madras, established by IIT alumni Kris Gopalakrishnan (Infosys founder) & Desh Deshpande (serial startup founder and philanthropist).
The goal is to help further the concept of taking innovative ideas in universities beyond the lab and into the market (‘Lab-to-Market’) and increase the commercialization potential of innovative ideas from universities.
The I-NCUBATE program is an 8-week program where several teams, each comprising of a Faculty Lead, an Entrepreneur Lead, Entrepreneur Team and a Business Mentor, come together as a cohort under the GDC umbrella and go through a customer discovery exercise for their respective business ideas.
5 teams with 17 students from multiple engineering disciplines, from PES participated in this program which spanned from August to October. The student teams had a target to complete 100 customer interviews, almost 15 interviews every week.
One of the central mottos of this program is ‘Get out of the building’ which challenges the participants to gain real-world insights about all aspects of their venture – the problem or challenge statement, potential customers, business viability of their solution, etc.
On the PES University side, the student entrepreneurs were supported by CIE & 5 faculty: Prof. Prasad Honnavalli/CS, Prof. Chandar/ECE, Prof. Jayashree/CS, Prof Chitra/CS and Prof. Divyadarshan/Design
There was good learning and fun as the PES University teams rubbed shoulders with IISc teams and were ably mentored by very experienced business honchos and tech mentors with startup and corporate entrepreneurship background. The GDC team lead by Raghuttama Rao organized and executed a rigorous and high-quality program, which fostered a safe environment for rapid experimentation and learning.
CIE continues to explore opportunities to collaborate and partner with world-class institutions and program which provide exposure to our students to take their ideas and transform them into reality. We hope that these young minds will go out and change the world to make it a better place.