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Power of Ideas Bootcamp at IIM Ahmedabad

The journey of entrepreneurship is often lonely since most people do not understand the need for such risk-taking and often discourage those with business ideas. For a budding entrepreneur, the process of preparing a business proposal with a financial plan is extremely daunting, and pitching for funding requires lots of hard work and effort. Even so much hard work and effort may fail to get your business off the ground. In a such a case, boot camps could come to your rescue. Boot camps for startups help budding entrepreneurs in understanding the nuances of entrepreneurship, acquiring necessary skills to write a business proposal and skills to effectively pitch. Boot camp is a space for budding entrepreneurs to meet others who are in the same boat as they are and learn from each other’s experiences. It serves as a platform to learn, interact and get direct feedback from industry experts, startup gurus, mentors and top-notch academicians. It offers a great opportunity for networking. It is no doubt a challenging space, and you can expect tough questions and endless hours of preparation and activities. But at the end of it, you will have gained clarity, learnt necessary skills, received critical inputs and become stronger.

As part of the Economic Times’ Power of Ideas initiative, a Bootcamp workshop was organized between February 20th -26th, 2018 at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) in partnership with Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) as a forum to groom and nurture entrepreneurs and foster a culture of innovation. CIIE was set up by IIMA, runs through an autonomous not-for-profit entity and comprises of IIMA faculty, alumni and other individuals and partners with like-minded organizations to foster entrepreneurship through incubation, ecosystem development and academic initiatives.


From among thousands of applicants, teams with compelling business ideas were shortlisted through the two-stage selection process by the Economic Times’ Power of Ideas initiative, India’s largest entrepreneurship development program, to participate in the 7-day residential workshop. 59 such teams participated in this Bootcamp.

Workshop Design

The workshop had two parts: from February 20–24, 2018, training sessions, guest lectures and practice pitching were conducted and on February 25 & 26, the final business pitches were made by the teams to the investment committee for adjudication on the recipients of seed money for their startup. Here, we look at the happenings of the first part of the workshop.

Classroom Sessions

Classroom sessions handled by the eminent members of IIM-A faculty wherein they covered topics such as:

  • Basics of designing and building business models

  • Goal setting

  • Leadership

  • Negotiation skills

  • Effective and persuasive communication

  • Awareness of self and others

  • Financial modelling

  • Assessing the health of a new venture

  • Scaling up and growth strategies for disruptive innovations

  • Sales strategies

  • Entrepreneur’s dilemma- to continue or sell: sources of value

  • Managing performance

  • Effectuation

  • Pricing

  • Financing of entrepreneurial firms

  • Valuation of early-stage firms

These sessions were aimed at providing a sound theoretical understanding of important startup concepts and components.

Guest Lectures

Guest lectures were given by prominent industry insiders, sharing their valuable insights on effective pitching, taking an investor’s standpoint, legal aspects of startups and building strategic tie-ups These lectures structured in an interactive manner providing participants with the opportunity to ask questions and get inputs. The Guest Speakers were:

  • Mr. Praveen Sinha is the Managing Director of PinCap, an NBFC that offers technology-driven and custom financial solutions and services to help small and medium enterprises create economies of scale. He is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor with years of experience in supporting business ventures and backing budding entrepreneurs in their startup journey.

  • Ms. Diya Misra is a leadership advisor and coach, and a Partner with The River Group, a global boutique firm headquartered in Boston. She is a top-notch consultant who has been passionately working with to create successful and scalable organizations.

  • Ms. Anisha Patnaik is the Co-Founder of Lexstart, a web-based platform that offers much-need legal and compliance services to startups. She actively advises startups and investors on legal issues and passionately mentors startups.

  • Mr. VC Karthic is the founder-director of Buzzworks, an Indian staffing firm with over 10,000 employees. He is an active angel investor and volunteers as a mentor and advisor for startup communities and ecosystems. He teaches the nuances of pitching and other skills.

One-on-one Mentoring Sessions

One-on-one mentoring sessions with 32 industry experts as mentors and CIIE Senior staff were conducted with the aim of helping the participants individually engage with mentors and get valuable feedback and critical insights.

Practice Pitching

Scheduled for participants who requested for it, practice pitching sessions and walk-in pitch practice sessions were held. These sessions provided a structured environment with a friendly panel to provide constructive feedback for participants to practice and refine their pitches.

Two-minute pitch videos of those who agreed to it were shot, edited and shared with the participants.

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