Atal Catalysts @ISB: Nurturing the Gen Z entrepreneurs

By Team Marcomm Jun 02, 2022

I-Venture @ISB, which fosters entrepreneurship and nurtures start-ups at the Indian School of Business, has added yet another feather to its cap by successfully mentoring the top 100 business venture ideas that emerged from the Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) Tinkerpreneur bootcamp.

In December 2021, ISB entered a partnership with NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) to curate a special mentorship programme – Atal Catalysts @ISB – with the aim to scale, improve, and potentially take to market the digital ventures of ATL Tinkerpreneur’s top 100 student teams.   

Professor Bhagwan Chowdhry, Faculty Director, I-Venture @ISB, said that the School is now committed to developing a robust entrepreneurship eco-system in the country. “Atal Catalysts @ISB's partnership with the Atal Innovation Mission for mentoring the young entrepreneurs in India of Atal Tinkering Labs is a heartening step towards that goal,” he said.

The 9-week long Tinkerpreneur bootcamp was a first of its kind initiative by AIM to teach students entrepreneurship during their summer break. ATL Tinkerpreneur witnessed participation from over 9000 students and the involvement of over 650 Mentors of Change to build a complete digital business venture at the end of the bootcamp.

Mentoring at ISB

Once the bootcamp was over, the top 100 students/teams with the most promising ideas were mapped to I-Venture @ISB, which took over the charge of developing, designing, and executing the 2nd stage of the students’ journey towards becoming entrepreneurs.

The students/teams were taken through a variety of masterclasses and mentoring sessions at Atal Catalysts @ ISB with the customized mentoring experience that was curated for each of them. More than 65 alumni of ISB were part of the programme as mentors. Each of them came from different backgrounds and brought different capabilities with them.

The Atal Catalysts @ISB team carefully analysed the areas of improvement for every idea and mapped it to the expertise of the right mentor. This ensured that the students got the most appropriate guidance they needed to enhance their product and develop the necessary entrepreneurial/business skills.

 “It was a truly amazing experience to be mentored by an alumnus of Indian School of Business. During our course, I not only got to know about the fundamentals of design thinking skills, but I was also able to refine my product. It was eye-opening to see how much my product was enhanced over the course of a few months,” said one of the students.

The Big Pitch

Once the products and pitches were refined, The Big Pitch – an event where the teams showcased their ideas to a panel – was conducted over two weekends. The panellists shortlisted 10 out of the 20 ideas pitched for sponsorship.

S-Women, an Android application for girls and women who face problems during menstruation and puberty; Learner's Mate, an online student community platform where students of mutual interests gather and make meaningful connections; Adopt a Parent, which aims at providing a new family to elderly people staying in old age homes; and seven other innovative ideas were shortlisted for sponsorship.

With the sponsorships from I-Venture @ISB, PKF Sridhar & Santhanam, and ISB alumnus Prasad Medikonda, the selected students/teams will work on developing the app or website before taking them to market.

Saumya Kumar, Director, I-Venture @ ISB, said: “At I-Venture@ ISB, we are committed to delivering an impact. We’re delighted and reassured to see that the Digipreneurs have gained so much from the Atal Catalysts @ ISB Programme. We wish them good luck, and we promise to continue creating similar programmes in the future as well.”