Overview of GDC’s ‘I-NDUCT program

Startups are emerging as an exciting career option for university students and researchers. Several students, enamored by the glamour and excitement associated with startups, jump into building one without fully understanding or thinking through the implications of their decision. STEM faculty and researchers have a good command of their respective technologies, but they fall into the trap of thinking that their technical prowess is enough to create a successful startup. There are big differences between an invention in the lab, an innovation in the marketplace, and an enterprise that can scale, but they cannot be perceived without formal training and expert guidance.

Such training and guidance should aim to develop specific capabilities in academics and students, including concepts such as, “what is an entrepreneurial mindset”, “how to acquire business acumen”, and “how do I develop organisational building skills in a competitive environment”. Unfortunately, the startup ecosystem in India today lacks an institutional mechanism to build such entrepreneurial capabilities in the scientific research community.

The I-NDUCT program of GDC is specifically designed to plug this deficiency.

Building a scalable business (particularly by way of a deep-tech startup) is a serious life commitment for a researcher/student involving implications for one’s professional career, financial security, family commitments, and personal development. I-NDUCT is a 4-week long experiential learning program that helps a STEM researcher/student appreciate the demands and rigors of becoming an entrepreneur. The program is designed to kindle the entrepreneurial instincts of a participant and eggs him/her to think deeply about their personal motivations, anxieties, and emotions with regards to becoming an entrepreneur. A second area where I-NDUCT focusses on is to improve a participant’s business acumen – that is, understanding how a business really works and what is to be done to make a startup viable.

The I-NDUCT program helps participant teams delve deeper into pursuing entrepreneurship more intensively or to simply move on to other career choices.

A typical team that gets admitted to the I-NDUCT program would have some of the following attributes:

  •  A faculty member at a STEM university desirous of embarking on his/her first startup by commercializing technology developed in the lab, which could be at TRL-2 or TRL-3 stage.
  • At least one or two researchers/students who, along with the faculty member, wants to build this startup.
  • Participant team members have little exposure to entrepreneurship or business concepts. In all likelihood, the team members have not given serious thought to questions like – “Do I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Why do I want to do a startup?”
  • Team members are serious about understanding what it takes to commercialize their technology by way of a startup.In essence, the I-NDUCT program prepares the participants to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, appreciate the need for improving their business acumen, and be introduced to some key techniques that can potentially transform their managerial capabilities. For those who wish to continue their entrepreneurship journey with their innovation and startup beyond I-NDUCT, GDC’s I-NCUBATE program provides the opportunity of a seamless learning experience.

Impact of I-NDUCT Program

5
Cohorts
37
Teams trained
92
Participants
42
Faculties
15
STEM Colleges
39
Percentage of Women Participants