Journey of an innovator to a successful startup
Nowadays, we see innovations of all sorts around us in the fields of agriculture, education, health care, biotech, cleantech, robotics, AI and so on, to resolve identified problem statements, improve the quality of life and protect the future. However, the life of an innovator who works towards the betterment of the society, is full of adventures and challenges.
The journey of an Innovator doesn’t just stop when he/she comes up with a grand idea. In fact, it’s the starting point of an arduous journey toward creating a feasible and working prototype with an end goal to create a commercially or socially acceptable product and then to establish a successful start-up. Some innovations do not even reach a prototype stage due to the unavailability of resources or mentorship, while some reach the final product stage only to realize that the product has no acceptability with the target user base or there are better alternatives available.
For an innovation to be successful, the innovator needs handholding and mentorship at every stage. Extensive research is required to understand and work on an idea before reaching the proof of prototype stage. Thus, understanding the concept of design thinking is important for an every innovator. Design thinking is an iterative process in which you seek to understand your users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions which you can prototype and test.
Funding is also a very critical in the entire journey of an innovator and so also a successful start-up. The early stage of innovations or start-ups to some extent, can be funded internally, but one needs external seed or advance stage funding support to survive & thrive. Multiple sources of external funding, be it equity or debt, from government, financial institutions, crowdfunding, angel investors, private equity, venture capitalists, corporate incubation centres, and even non-profit organizations. However, access to these funding sources as well as counselling on the right mode or size of funding is important.
IPR support is also a requisite. It safeguards your idea from piracy. Getting the copyrights and trademark will allow you to have complete ownership over your innovation and helps you to steer clear from any counterfeits.
In this journey, there are multiple institutions, government agencies, not for profit organisations and corporates, who provide a platform to exhibit and seek mentorship as well as funding support. One such free exhibition cum investor pitch session has been organised by BCOC (not for profit company) in Mumbai on December 3rd & 4th, which is called The Big Idea Summit (TBIS). The key objective of this platform is to promote innovations, start-ups, and entrepreneurship. To register for this free event and claim prizes/funding support, one can register on www.bcoc.in.