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A Dialog with the Director on “IITM Strategic Plan 2020” & Introducing a Related Initiative– IITM Entrepreneurship Forum

Dear Alumnus/Alumna,

IIT Madras has just published its “Strategic Plan 2020”. It will be distributed to all alumni over the coming weeks. In the meantime, I engaged our Director, Prof. BhaskarRamamurthi, in a related conversation, and you can listen in on: http://youtu.be/3w-5uwmfZ4o

Building a robust ecosystem on campus for innovation and entrepreneurship is one key element of this Plan. “Vishy” Viswnathan, an alumnus who has been active in this regard, provides the following write-up on a key alum initiative, the “”IITM Entrepreneurship Forum—IIITMEF”:

IITMEF is an informal group of alumni volunteers committed to working with IITM campus entities, across a broad range of entrepreneurship development activities, involving faculty, students, research scholars, staff and alumni. Established in June 2012 in response to Director’s visit to the US, its mission is “To bring together people, resources and insights to help create a culture of entrepreneurship at IITM, and accelerate the development of a start-up ecosystem”.

IITMEF works closely with the Incubation Cell (IITMIC) at IITM. The forum brings entrepreneurial experience, knowledge of best practices, connections, resources of the alumni volunteers and also from other groups like TiE, Angel investor networks, etc. for nurturing the entrepreneurship eco-system in IITM. The initial thrust areas have been: Mentoring of IITMIC incubatees, Seed Funding through the alumni-funded Incubation Fund and Evangelisation through helping students organise e-week and other activities. The forum conducts regular Mentoring Clinics and has assigned Mentors for about a dozen start-ups. About 12 start-ups have received seed funding so far from the Incubation Fund. The annual e-weeks in the past two years have been very successful in increasing the interest level on entrepreneurship among students and faculty.

IITMEF has two chapters – India and USA. If you are interested in more details about IITMEF and/or want to contribute to entrepreneurship development at IITM, you can reach out to RajanSrikanth (srikanth@smartkapital.com) or Seshan Ram Mohan (seshan_rammohan@yahoo.com)