ISB Updates

Startup First: An initiative towards nurturing an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Till a decade ago, the business landscape in India was characterised by the towering presence of the Indian business families. But in recent years, the blooming business opportunities have resulted in many more first generation entrepreneurs riding the wave with a good number of them making great success stories of their ventures.

ISB is committed to entrepreneurship as a transformational vehicle for the broad-based growth of India and other developing economies and aims to enable creation and growth of sustainable and competitive enterprises through innovative research, outreach and pilot initiatives. The school has always played a pivotal role in nurturing the growth of new and emerging businesses and in encouraging and fostering entrepreneurial ambitions of its students. “Startup First” is an initiative designed to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem by connecting top talent with promising start-up ventures. An initiative of the ISB’s Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (WCED) and the students from the PGP Class of 2013, “Start-up First” harnesses the strong entrepreneurship aspiration among the students to fuel entrepreneurial activity in the country.

This year, the school decided to expand the scope of this initiative and strengthen its relationship with all stakeholders in the budding entrepreneurial ecosystem and contribute to startup success by addressing key challenges for early and growth-stage startups. The school organised its first session in Bangalore which addressed two important areas: Product Innovation and Marketing and Startup Hiring. The event saw Professor Siddharth Singh of the ISB engage with co-founders and other senior members of startups on various aspects related to Product Value, Consumer Needs and Product Positioning. This was followed by a panel discussion on Startup Hiring by renowned Venture Capitalists in the country – TC Meenakshisundaram, Founder and Managing Director, IDG Ventures India, Prashanth Prakash, Partner, Accel Partners, and Rajesh Raju, Managing Director, Kalaari Capital Advisors. Over the course of the discussion, they answered several pertinent questions ranging from the importance of sharing the entrepreneur’s vision with prospective hires, compensation structuring, role and value of Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOPs), etc.

With 26 students from the PGP Class of 2013 taking up roles with startups and more than 200 of its alumni turning entrepreneurs running successful ventures; the school encourages and nurtures the spirit and culture of entrepreneurship and promotes entrepreneurship as a viable career option.