Getting seed fund for a TBI is important for its success.
Is a TBI worthy of receiving SEED fund from DST?
This is a question the Secretary and Board of DST ask before sanctioning SEED FUND to a TBI.
The primary message which has to be emanating from the TBI is that the Host Institution is serious about startups and is keenly interested to get the students involved and avail all the benefits a TBI can offer.
And the HI should be able to provide proof of its intention and interest.
After proof is created, the TBI has to be given a name. Select a name which rolls of the tongue. Today’s youth are very particular about names and a good and catchy name goes a long way in popularising the TBI.
Continuing on popularising TBI, we have to recognise the fact that a successful TBI needs marketing effort. The future startup requirements have to be taken into account, and based on this the success strategy has to be designed and built.
Popularising the TBI and initiating interaction with other institutions is an important factor for building a vibrant startup culture.
The next big factor for creating a vibrant startup culture is the involvement of students. Multiple channels can be used to encourage students to work on startups.
Networking of TBI with other TBIs is a critical factor for increasing seed funding raising capability of the TBI. To do this the TBI head should be self confident and invite key people without hesitation. And, also participate in exchange events.
The next key factor is infrastructure.
TBI’s should be geared to train students (of HI) in the latest technologies. The most important is the ATL. This training will ensure that students understand how they should design and position their startup ideas.
A subsequent addition to ATL is setting up a STIC.
By setting up an STIC, new avenues in Space startups can be opened.
All these activities further add up to getting TBI Seed Fund.
Selecting a TBI head is critical for seed funding. Why so??
The DST is looking at whether the TBI can attract startups mainly student startups for it to grant seed funds.
In this equation, the host institution, its reputation, the recent news, the infrastructure, the documentation, and calibre of students, the number of startups estimated in the next six months, and the TBI Head, his experience, entrepreneurial experience, the areas he has worked in and an informal meeting and interview are all going to play an important part of the Grant of Seed fund for the TBI.
In this context, it will be important if the TBI Head is seen as a person who can mentor startups in surrounding areas also.
For instance, TBI head of NIT-K should be able to mentor the startup ideas in fisheries college and agri college in Goa, just as TBI Head in SEC Vijayawada should be able to mentor startups in the architectural engineering college in Vijayawada.
If one were to interact with DST you will realise that the Govt. of the day has been very liberal as far as granting of seed fund goes. But, credibility of TBI is of vital importance. Replenishment of TBI is also possible for credible TBIs.
The last but not the least is the deployment of seed funds.
The TBI and the executive committee should be able show credibly that the seed funds will be given to deserving startups, how the fund deployment will be monitored, how the startup progress will be monitored. All these will contribute to DST granting and evaluation process.
The Good news is adhering to all these guidelines and parameters will attract Venture Capital Funds also !!