IIT Madras

Team Theevanam was an ideal team – almost tailored for the I-NCUBATE program. They had two faculty leads, an industry mentor, and an enthusiastic entrepreneurial team that was technically knowledgeable. Through research in Biotechnology, Theevanam had developed a food additive that boosted the immunity characteristics of animal and human health products. The team thought that their innovation had wide application in aquaculture, poultry and human health products.

Early in the program, the team realized the value of focus and targeted the shrimp industry, which was booming given India’s long coastline with brackish backwaters. The team felt that the Indian shrimp industry relied on non-scientific farming practices, making the farmers vulnerable to outbreak of diseases. Theevanam went about their customer discovery exercise with tremendous enthusiasm and completed 120 interviews –

a record in I-NCUBATE’s history! To add to this, their analysis of data and communication of findings was of top-notch quality. Their interviews spanning farmers, distributors, competitors, regulators, and consumers gave the team great insights into the problems and diseases afflicting the shrimp industry, the gaps in the practices of farmers, and the nuanced demands of sophisticated customers from Europe and US. As India had a large aquaculture industry targeting exports, the team was able to size its target market accurately.

As a participant in the I-NCUBATE program, Team Theevanam followed the Lean Start-up concepts to the T and took away maximum learnings from the program. Post GDC, Theevanam has been incubated at the bio-incubator at IIT Madras.