Climbing The Incubation Bandwagon

B-schools are adapting to the emergence of digital education and an indigenous start-up culture

Photograph by Mayur Bhatt

Jayabrata Bhaduri is a start-up founder in the process of steering his venture from the incubation stage to an independent company. His company Capacloud works on technology that enables vertical landscaping i.e. growing plants on walls and has mostly corporate clients including Kalaari Capital, Haldiram, and Lemon Tree Hotels among others. His start-up was invited by IIM Calcutta’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) after he won a competition organised jointly by CEI and the government of West Bengal. 

Today, it’s been around ten months since he signed a two-year contract with CEI in return for a minority stake in his company as observer and board member. He has access to ‘world-class facilities’ including fully furnished office space, conference rooms and other business infrastructure in IIM Calcutta Innovation Park. He recently raised an undisclosed amount from SIDBI and says CEI helped him a lot in clinching the deal. “We received a lot of guidance in the preparation of a business plan, presentation, discussion and negotiation with investors, as well as final due diligence before the funding,” he says. 

On the mentorship front, Abhinav Girdhar, founder, Bodhi Health, says IIM Calcutta assigns a faculty member as an academic mentor and an experienced industry figure as an industry mentor.

While the industry mentor helps them expand their business by introducing them to potential customers, the academic mentor helps them fine-tune their business model. “As a result of their guidance, we have expanded our potential customer base from one segment to three segments. Initially, we were focused on government hospitals since the scale was huge. We made some inroads in some states, but progress was slow. Our mentor recommended we expand our focus to the private sector, and IIM Calcutta soon helped us land our first customer: an eye care chain in the North East. Soon, we went a step further and are now also catering to academic institutions. The change in focus really helped us sustain the business, considerably shortening our working capital requirement and sales cycle,” says Girdhar. 

Interestingly, Girdhar’s start-up has received early-stage funding from IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), indicating healthy collaboration from incubators across B-schools. They also have funding from a couple of an


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