Tamil Nadu Student Innovators 2017

In a quest to catalyse technology oriented innovation and innovation led entrepreneurship among the young minds of Tamil Nadu, the Entrepreneurship Development & Innovation Institute, Tamil Nadu (EDII), in collaboration with Forge Innovation Accelerator, Coimbatore has launched the Tamil Nadu Student Innovators 2017 program. The main goal of this program is to discover, nurture, and fund innovative ideas from students and young graduates that have the potential to become innovative products and successful enterprises.

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Big Picture, Why?

The prototyping imperative for fostering technology
oriented innovation and entrepreneurship among students

“If you want to build a Billion dollar business then solve a Billion dollar problem”.

This timeless wisdom from Warren Buffett for the next generation of entrepreneurs, has inspired us in Forge and has reinforced our firm belief that the pursuit of enterprise creation is a structured and scientific process. And why? Because the very genesis of entrepreneurship is problem-solving — the imagined possibility of bringing to life a solution to a problem. Problem solving is logical, rational, systematic, and methodical. So too is technology oriented innovation and innovation led entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs that build innovation powered enterprises, are at their core ingenious problem-solvers. Their success with innovation and enterprise creation pursuits lies both in their ability to identify problems that are worth solving, and to bring that idea (an imagined solution to solve the problem) to life by rapidly building prototypes.

Prototype is not POC (Proof-of-Concept), which is a basic working version to show that the solution works. Prototype is that which the end-user uses to test the solution and provide feedback to the Innovator/Designer. A Prototype proves beyond doubt the possibility of an efficient and cost-effective solution to the target problem, thereby creating a compelling case for this solution to be launched in the market as a product paving way for business building and enterprise creation.

Prototyping As An End In Itself!

Going from Idea to Enterprise is about solving everyday problems, and in doing so profitably results in a business thereby seeding an enterprise. For students even such a simplified version of the journey aimed at motivating them to kickstart their enterprise building journeys has led to undesirable outcomes ridden with confusions, misconceptions, and failures. By catalysing prototyping activity among students we can build a stronger pipeline of highly skilled problem-solvers and jumpstart their journey as innovators and entrepreneurs.

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Program Overview, What?

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The Tamil Nadu Student Innovators 2017 program aims to discover, recognise and support the Top 100 most innovative ideas among students, and to jumpstart the innovation and entrepreneurship pursuits of these student teams/individuals. Over 300+ students are expected to benefit through this program every year. These students will receive substantial skills and competencies development in the areas of ideation, problem validation, customer discovery, prototyping tools and techniques, design thinking, innovation, business idea/model generation, business plan/pitch preparation and presentation etc.

The selected innovative ideas are expected to be at different stages viz. ideation, pre-prototyping, prototyping, trials, early-revenue etc. and for each stage their needs are entirely different - needs in terms of equipment & tools, skills training, tech/business mentoring, domain expertise, access to early adopters, funds etc. to raise the odds of success.

Forge with the support and guidance of EDII-TN will facilitate support and assistance to the student innovators specifically catering to their needs aimed at enhancing their innovation outcomes including the bringing together of other empowered stakeholders in the ecosystem across institutions, incubators, banks, VCs, industry, industry associations etc. A roadmap document from Forge will be offered identifying the recommended next steps for each of the Top 100 Ideas.

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Program Structure, How?

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A 1-day orientation seminar for up to 100 students to create actionable awareness of how to define, refine, develop and document their innovative ideas to solve real-world problems. Using real world examples, students will learn that a startup is the journey from Idea to Enterprise going through the 4Ps - Problem, Prototype, Product and Profit.

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Top 3 ideas are selected for the 3-6 month residential program in FORGE.FACTORY, Coimbatore to catalyse prototyping activity through a managed innovation process for creating a pipeline of problem-solvers who can be nurtured into enterprise builders. The Program offers tech infra & resources,a prototyping grant upto Rs. 5 Lakhs and mentoring to enhance the odds of successful innovative problem-solving pursuits.

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IdeaCamps are 1-day workshops where 60 selected students learn to apply problem-validation and customer-discovery techniques to further shape their ideas. With the mantra “Right PROTOTYPE and Prototype RIGHT’, 30 selected students attending the 2-day IdeaCamp+ apply Design Thinking techniques with expert guidance to further develop their prototype concept covering features/functionality, technology choices, UI/UX etc.

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Top 25-30 ideas from Tamil Nadu attend the 3-day BootCamp where students are guided by mentors through technology selection, relevant sector/domain expertise, business model, market/commercial & financial aspects of their ideas. Top 10-12 ideas selected for Demo-Day go through an intensive 12-hour Pitch training from top business communications/advertising experts, and pitch to a jury of top experts.

Curriculum & Workshop Tracks

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Program Agenda

Startup101

Startup101 Seminar

2 Hours

A seminar aimed at helping participants understand the step-by-step process of converting ideas into business ideas with the potential for market launch, commercial success, profits and growth.

Hacking Prototype Brief

3 Hours

A guided session for Faculty project guides and Student teams/individuals to learn to use the Prototype Brief tool and get started with their Ideation process, facilitated by Team FORGE

Student Orientation Q&A

1 Hour

IdeaCamp

‘RIGHT Prototype - Prototype RIGHT’ (Seminar)

2 Hours

A seminar to help students and faculty guides understand a few tools and techniques used in problem validation and customer discovery.

‘RIGHT Prototype - Prototype RIGHT’ (Workshop)

2 Hours

A workshop guided by Team FORGE to help Students use the tools and further refine their ideas.

Interviews: Prototype Concept Assessment

2 Hour

A 1-on-1 interaction with each student team/individual to assess their ideas/prototype concepts and provide feedback

IdeaCamp+ Day 1

Design Thinking (Seminar & Workshop)

6 Hours

A Workshop to learn the tools of a Human-centered process that can lead to new forms of value. It encourages the creation of new opportunities through practice.

Design Thinking (Mentoring)

3 Hours

A 1-on-1 interaction with each student team/individual to help them Design Thinking concepts and tools more effectively

IdeaCamp+ Day 2

Hacking Business Idea Canvas (Seminar & Workshop)

3 Hour

A guided session by Team FORGE to develop the ideas into a Business IDEA using the Business Idea Canvas Tool developed by Forge.

3 minute Pitch & Challenge

3 Hour

Student teams/individuals in the cohort pitch to their peers and are challenged by them

Hacking the 3 minute Pitch Canvas (Seminar & Workshop)

3 Hours

BootCamp Day 1

Design Thinking (Seminar & Workshop)

6 Hours

A Workshop to learn the tools of a Human-centered process that can lead to new forms of value. It encourages the creation of new opportunities through practice.

Design Thinking (Mentoring)

3 Hours

A 1-on-1 interaction with each student team/individual to help them Design Thinking concepts and tools more effectively

Innovator's DNA (Seminar & Workshop)

3 Hours

BootCamp Day 2

BASEcamp 101 (Seminar & Workshop)

4 Hour

A guided session by Team FORGE to develop the ideas into a Business IDEA using the Business Idea Canvas Tool developed by Forge.

Mentor Hours

4 Hours

1-on-1 sessions between Mentors and Mentees to deep-dive into the ideas.

MovieNite & Dinner

BootCamp Day 3

PitchClinic (Seminar & Workshop)

6 Hours

A workshop on the tools and techniques of pitch creation and presentation.

Pitch-Interviews to select Top 10

3 Hours

Pitch Interviews with mentors to select the Top 10 ideas/prototypes for DemoDay from among the bootcamp attendees.

PitchClinic (Mentoring)

4 Hours

Mentoring session with experts who will work with each of the Top 10 teams to help them prepare for their DemoDay pitch to Jury.

DemoDay

Prototypes Demo

3 Hour

Student Innovators will demo their working prototypes

Jury Pitch

3 Hours

A pitch session for the Top 10 teams to present their Product/Business ideas to a Jury of experts.

Awards & Valediction

1 Hour

BASEcamp Day 1

MVB101 (Seminar & Workshop)

4 Hours

A seminar to understand the systematic approach of converting innovative ideas into enterprises with potential for profit & growth;

Business Model Generation (Seminar & Workshop)

4 Hours

Student teams/individuals learn the nuances of the Business Model Canvas and design their Business Model with the assumptions to be validated to build proof.

BASEcamp Day 2

Business Plan Generation (Seminar & Workshop)

4 Hour

A guided session by Team FORGE to understand and learn the numbers underlying the business idea proposed.

Mentor Hours - Business Planning

4 Hours

1-on-1 sessions between Mentors and Mentees to deep-dive into the business model and business plan.

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Fellowship approach to prototyping & startup activation

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FORGE.FELLOWS is a startup activator program offered in the form of a 3-6 month fellowship. A fellowship program to catalyse broad based prototyping activity among students and graduates, aimed at creating a strong pipeline of problem-solvers, from which we aim to discover and nurture innovators and potential enterprise builders of tomorrow. Our primary objective during the program is to enable rapid design and development of prototypes to test utility, usability and adoption among early adopters. The program offers access to tech infra & resources, apart from a prototyping grant (upto Rs. 5 Lakhs of cash/in-kind support for company & stipend for innovator/founder) but more importantly training & mentoring to enhance the odds of success of the aspiring innovators.

Based on the performance of the student teams/individuals in the FORGE.FELLOWS program and their progress achieved, they will be offered entry into the FORGE.FIRST pre-acceleration and FORGE.FAST startup acceleration programs.

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Resources

Resources for Participants

View a sample of how your application for TNSI, 2017 should look

TNSI Application (Sample)

View to understand what is Startup 101

Startup 101 Transcript

Watch the Startup 101 Seminar by Vish, get the insights of Startup 101

Startup 101 Seminar

View and learn how to deliver a good startup pitch to investors

Startup Investor Pitch (Bonus Read)

Examples of Ideas we prefer (Startup Ideas) & we don't prefer (Small Business Ideas)

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Resourcess for EDC Co-ordinators

View a sample of how your application for TNSI, 2017 should look

TNSI Poster

View to understand what is Startup 101

Guide for Co-ordinators

Watch the Startup 101 Seminar by Vish, get the insights of Startup 101

Startup 101 Seminar

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Fellowship approach to prototyping & startup activation

A major factor that deters students and young graduates from pursuing a career in innovation and entrepreneurship is the perceived loss of financial stability and independence. In many fields fellowship programs have been instituted with the primary objective to encourage youth with strong interests and passion to actively pursue a professional career in these areas and to overcome the barriers and risks. In Forge we have adopted the Fellowship approach for activating more number of startups from among students and young graduates from different streams of higher education.

FORGE.FELLOWS is a startup activator program offered in the form of a 3-6 month fellowship. A fellowship program to catalyse broad based prototyping activity among students and graduates, aimed at creating a strong pipeline of problem-solvers, from which we aim to discover and nurture innovators and potential enterprise builders of tomorrow. Our primary objective during the program is to enable rapid design and development of prototypes to test utility, usability and adoption among early adopters.

The program offers access to tech infra & resources, apart from a prototyping grant (upto Rs. 5 Lakhs of cash/in-kind support for company & stipend for innovator/founder) but more importantly training & mentoring to enhance the odds of success of the aspiring innovators. Based on the performance of the student teams/individuals in the FORGE.FELLOWS program and their progress achieved, they will be offered entry into the Forge.First product acceleration and Forge.Fast business acceleration programs. Top 5 teams from the ProtoSem shall be offered admission to the Forge.

Fellows program. By duly completing their prototype work during the ProtoSem, these students earn the additional 12 credits that will compensate for the Keystone Project in their final semester. This gives them the opportunity to convert their 8th semester into StartupSem (a full-fledged Startup Semester that can potentially earn them a Minor degree in Entrepreneurship, offered on the basis of provisions in the Student Startup Policy of AICTE).

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STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

FORGE.FACTORY, G Floor, KCT Tech Park,
#3 Athipalayam Road, Chinnavedampatti,Coimbatore 641049.

Yogi ( Technology Manager )

+91 94433 54315