IIGP 2.0 — U.S. visit of Innovators’ Delegation

Program Partners

Department of Science and Technology, India ; Lockheed Martin ; TATA TRUSTS ; FICCI and Indo US Science and Technology Forum

Companies represented by Innovators as part of the delegation

Airpix , Azooka Life , Freespace Tech , Innovision Tech , Linksmart DNA , Module Innovations , Next Big Innovation Labs , NoPo Technologies & Taral Tec

Day 1 — Delegation arrives in Washington D.C

Day 2 — Visits to Lockheed Martin and Indian Embassy

Delegates received a tour around Lockheed’s Global Vision Center, presented their innovations to Lockheed’s senior management team. The delegates attended a reception at the Indian Embassy, hosted by the Indian Ambassador to the US, H.E. Navtej Sarna, Deputy Chief of Mission Mr. Santosh Jha and Counsellor Defence Technology Dr. Sumit Goswami. The delegates received valuable feedback around bringing their inventions to the US.

Day 3 — Exploring the multiple museums in the nation capital

Did you know?

Smithsonian Museums in Washington D.C are all free to visit thanks to a fund initially set up by British scientist James Smithson

Day 4 — Delegation arrives in Boston, attends MIT Delta V Demo Day

Delegates arrived in Boston and made their way to the demo day of the most recent batch of Delta V startups, funded and mentored by Martin Trust Center. Top 30 startups who were part of the latest cohort after having beaten 1,00,000+ other competing ideas gave short 5–10 minute presentations which was followed by a product display opportunity for the companies in the post event reception area.

Day 5 — Exploring the history behind the nation’s intellectual capital

Did you know?

The first subway train system in the US was set up in Boston!

Day 6 — Visits to Harvard i-Lab and GreenTown Labs

Delegates started their day with a visit to Harvard i-Lab, an initiative by Harvard University to provide an entrepreneurial environment for their students to work on their ideas and effectively take it to market. An invention which stood out and is currently being piloted in India, was a handheld low cost eye testing device, which was also previously funded using a Indo — US IUSSTF grant.

The delegates also visited Greentown Labs, the largest Clean Tech incubator and accelerator in the US. A noticeable Indian origin invention at the centre was Promethean’s chiller units, currently being deployed in rural India to help farmers store and transport their milk and vegetables without the need for chillers running on electricity or diesel generators.

Day 7 — Workshop on Disciplined Entrepreneurship & VC pitching session

Bill Aulet, author of Disciplined Entrepreneurship and Managing Director of Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship; conducted an entrepreneurship workshop for the delegates. Bill also shared deep insights into how he built technology in the VR medical space, identified target markets, acquired customers and sold his company to 3D Systems. Delegates also got to work in groups on various exercises and case studies made popular by Bill in his book, 24 steps to a Successful Startup.

The delegates also pitched to a panel of experts in the field of Business, Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital and received feedback for their presentations.

Day 8 — MIT — Tata Center Annual Symposium

Keynote Speech By Mr. Nandan Nilekani on his work with EkStep foundation.

The first Day of the 2-day conference involved key note speakers and panellists such as Nandan Nilekani, Desh Deshpande of Despande Foundation, Harish Hande of Selco and many others. A day well spent hearing stories of struggle from now successful social entrepreneurs in India and the joy of creating impactful companies in the social sector, was followed by a dinner reception attended by the guests, which included Professors from IIT’s , Tata Trusts, Social Alpha, MIT, Lockheed Martin and others.

Day 9— MIT — Tata Center Annual Symposium

Panel Discussion from Day 1

MIT — TATA Center funded companies, working on building technology assisted solutions to help solve local community level problems affecting primarily those at the bottom of the pyramid; presented their innovations and the success they have had by launching and gathering feedback from their pilot programs in India. Inventions ranged from improvements to the Jaipur Foot to low cost water filtration systems to provide clean drinking water.

Day 10 — Visit to Sun Catalytix, a renewable energy storage company

Image Credits — Nature.com

Sun Catalytix — A solar energy storage company, building a disruptive company in the renewable energy space and recently acquired by Lockheed Martin.

Delegates spent time with senior management and discussed challenges involved in building and growing a technology company.

Disclaimer — Views expressed here are the author’s own and this content may be reproduced with the author’s permission.