One of the highlights of the Day-2 of the ongoing IITBAA Global Alumni Business Summit at Goa was the announcement of the launch of an Entrepreneurship Forum. A partnership between IITBAA and SINE (Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship), the Entrepreneurship Forum is aimed to be a structured Forum to strengthen the existing SINE and IITB alumni linkages and provide support to the larger IITB Student, Faculty and Alumni entrepreneur community. It is visualized as a platform with programs that enable collaboration among all stakeholders.
IITBAA has worked to serve IITB alumni and their alma mater as well as a host of related constituencies. Today with 24 chapters spread across the globe, it has close to 35,000 alumni in its database. Top of the agenda for the Association is to increase service and support to alumni, with special attention to networking support and career enhancement for members and affiliate groups.
Recently conducted alumni e-survey, which probed with questions like 'what do alumni expect from their alumni network', led to the following ideas to emerge:
To create an alumni network which has willing and accessible people who understand, appreciate and are willing to support ideas. The system has to be responsive so that when someone reaches out there are fellow alumni to respond to the request. Finally the network should also act as a safety net for people to fall back on.
A platform with supportive IITB Alumni in a client (customer, potential employer, funding source) organisation with the means to contact them further. This is primarily to further the personal alumni agendas which spans across looking for job opportunities, industry contacts career advancement, expansion of business, sales leads, advice, introductions, activism etc.
A means to get expert, trustworthy advice on professional & personal matters from relevant alumni.
IITBAA's partnership with SINE to launch the Entrepreneurship Forum is in response to these key suggestion.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Bakul Desai, Chairman, IITBAA said: 'SINE has established itself as a role model for other business incubators in academia across the country. The Society plays a significant role in promoting and fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship, facilitating knowledge and innovation. Through the Association, we bring a wealth of a vast alumni network across demographies and geographies. While the younger, recently graduated alumni, seek mentoring and funding, the successful and already established ones can offer the same by sharing their experiences. It's a win-win partnership for both of us and we hope to new benchmarks for many such future collaborations.'
SINE, hosted by IIT Bombay is an umbrella for promotion of entrepreneurship at IIT Bombay. The Society since its inception in 2004 has administered and accelerated the growth of entrepreneurship at the institute. Apart from successfully incubating a number of companies, the presence of the Information Technology incubator has also created an environment conducive to entrepreneurship. Over the years, students and faculty members have been setting up ventures based on their own technologies and ideas.
SINE, however, operates on a larger vision of providing an environment to translate knowledge and innovation into creation of successful entrepreneurs.
Commenting on the partnership, Prof. Milind Atrey, Professor-in-Charge, SINE said: 'Alumni as a group have been involved in the incubation process from the beginning. It is now the right time for SINE to grow its client base and reach out to a more diverse target audience.
Having alumni as a client base is a perfect fit for the Society as this is a target audience whose immediate agenda is career enhancement. The Society aims to offer a platform where start-ups can benefit from and contribute to a global network of mentors, entrepreneurs, technology innovators and investors. Giving alumni an option of entrepreneurship and facilitating this process for them will multiply collaborations opportunities for us.'