Oct 16, 2020|4 minutes
The Foundation for Technology and Business Incubation (FTBI) centre, housed under the Centre for Technology Innovation and Industry Relations (TIIR), at NIT Rourkela has selected two start-ups under the Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program to provide support as a fellowship, for pursuing a promising technology business idea. The in-house start-ups, Yarev Technology Pvt. Ltd., and Clavictor Academy Pvt. Ltd. will be availing the opportunities under the program to realize their entrepreneurship goals. The program encourages enterprising individuals to venture out and pursue daring entrepreneurial ideas as well as enhances the quantity and quality of startups. It is thus a step towards achieving the Prime Minister's vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat. Team MM brings you an insight into the enterprises that are steadily steering their course:
The National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) is an umbrella program of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) for nurturing ideas and innovations into successful startups. The EIR Programme is one of the programs introduced under NIDHI to inspire the S&T (Science and Technology) qualified youth to be entrepreneurs, to minimize the risk involved in pursuing start-ups, and to partially set off their opportunity costs of high paying jobs. It provides them with the opportunity to expand their networks and get critical feedback on their ventures.
Vision- To provide efficient solutions for the day-to-day problems at the best prices making the customer's life easier. Preventing them from health issues due to bad quality of water by providing them with the monitoring of the quality of water in the tank and solutions for it.
Objective- To manufacture disruptive solutions in the field of home automation, water quality monitoring and water conservation, automated submersible starters, IoT enabled Automatic Hand Sanitizer Dispenser (Drop and Mist), and Automatic Soap Dispenser. Ensure customer satisfaction with strong technical expertise through investment in technical research and development.
Inception- The start-up, incorporated on 07 February 2019 is founded by Mr Avinash Kumar, Founder and CEO, and Ms Reeya Chaurasia, Co-Founder, and COO. Both of them completed their B.Tech from NIT Rourkela.
Talking about the incubation process, Mr Avinash said,
I pitched my idea in the FTBI office whereby I was asked to fill up a pre-incubation form. During the six months of the pre-incubation period, we developed our prototype and worked on the market R&D. The incubation was based on the presentation of our improvised proposal. Then we were evaluated based on our business plan, working model, product prototype and company culture.
(Mr Avinash Kumar with ASAR product )
Status quo- The company's lead product- YOPO (70+ units sold) aims at solving several problems faced by the people and the environment like from wastage of water and electricity, to wastage of time and physical effort. Their latest product is Automatic Sanitizer Dispenser (ASAR) (200+ units sold) which will be a frontline defence in the fight against the pandemic. This is a zero-touch dispenser for soap or hand sanitizer.
The startup currently has 12 employees. As remarked by Mr Avinash on the performance of the products in the market,
When we approach people as startups founded under FTBI, there is an instant sense of trust to the quality of our products and willingness to invest in it as they are assured of it by our technical foundation.
( The product flyer)
Challenges faced- The major problem faced at the dawn was to organize a group of people genuinely interested to work towards achieving the vision of the startup. As stated by Mr Avinash, it took him almost a year to find the perfect guide and team which could help transform his idea into reality.
Future goals- Reflecting on the ongoing projects, Mr Avinash said,
We have been given Rs. 7 lakhs under the ‘Product/Prototyping’ grant by FTBI which will be used to fund the development of the new product, R&D of the product, and procurement of machines and components. We are presently building automatic building switches with IoT applications and water quality monitoring to provide home automation based solutions for households and industries.
The link to their website- https://yarevtechnology.com/
Vision- To improve the quality of education for the State Board students who are unable to attend the physical lectures and, develop an affordable as well as a complete study guide system so that students can stay assured about getting success in their careers.
Objective- Develop a personalized, technically enriched, learning platform (mobile application and website) for the Class-11 and Class-12 students.
The motivation behind the startup as noted by Mr Suraj Kumar Nayak, Founder, and CEO, Clavictor Academy Pvt. Ltd.,
It is inspired by the difficulties faced by me in my study career owing to my origin from a low-income farmer family and a village with no school or any communication facility. I realized that many students suffer from a lack of adequate facilities due to their remote location or monetary constraints. On the other hand, some students get all the required facilities but lack personal guidance and self-discipline. So, I decided to develop a study solution system that can both provide good study facilities to the needy students and can guide and mentor the students who are already getting good services but do not know how to make the best use of it.
Inception- Assisting in the development of the startup, FTBI provided with the infrastructure and guidance for refining the plan of execution. It further helped find solutions to various problems, by providing exposure to a startup community and mentors.
Status quo- Mr Suraj gave a brief description of their learning platform,
We provide animated video classes as well as live classes and their notes so that students can visualize and learn the concepts. We have an Online doubt clearing facility. Then the students are encouraged to appear for the regular assessments so that they can check their performance and put more effort into their weak areas. The performance report, as well as the subject matter studied by the student, can be checked by the guardian through a separate platform so that they can get a real-time update of their children's effort and performance. As most of the state board students belong to the rural areas having low internet speed, we have planned an offline mode of study in our app so they can enjoy all the facilities even without the internet by downloading them into the offline server.
The uniqueness lies in the fact that we provide personal mentoring and self-study quality review daily apart from providing good educational content. Our strength is our ability to improve the performance of each student from his/her existing level. Once a student joins us we first take 7 days to understand the student's current situation and then plan personalized techniques for improving them apart from providing subject content related services.
( Schematic representation of the services provided by Clavimate (Mobile Application) )
The startup currently employs 18 people (excluding the teaching staff). The non-teaching staff was recruited from Naukri.com, Quikr Jobs, and Olx. The teachers include alumni from NIT Rourkela and teachers from some renowned colleges of Odisha. The experienced teachers are invited to give demo classes to students and based on the quality of the class and feedback of the students the teachers are hired.
(The team pic: Clavictor Academy)
It has more than 1500+ registered users. They publicise their startup via social media platforms, awareness programs, and wherever possible visit students' residence or school for explaining the services to them.
Challenges Faced- The biggest challenge was reaching interested students in rural areas because of poor network coverage. Secondly, it was very hard to put together a group of skilled individuals as a skilled professional usually prefers a stable job overworking at a startup. Incurring funds was another problem. A total investment of 25 lakhs went into the project before we could go live. Hence, it demanded a lot of patience.
Future Goals- The grant of Rs. 4 lakhs received from FTBI will be used for upgrading their learning platform by adding more features like offline mode of access, live test facility, developing more animated content, and to promote the services developed. The startup plans to expand massively, by adding more courses for Odisha as well as other state board students. They feel the need to employ aggressive marketing and market penetration strategies and hence, are looking for potential investors to successfully implement their plan of action.
The link to their website- https://www.clavimate.com/
Expressing his delight in the successful incubation of around 34 startups, Dr Debayan Sarkar, Professor-in-Charge, FTBI, NIT Rourkela, said,
Emerging as one of the fastest incubation centres in western Odisha, FTBI aspires to become a hub of entrepreneurial activities. Since its inception in 2016, it has nurtured several start-ups, mostly founded and run by students and alumni, some of the notable ones being Phoenix Robotix, Estinno Energy, Awalk Innovations, Fastech Fashions, Clavictor Academy and Yarev Technology. They employ 150+ employees and are expanding their footprint all over the country.
The EIR program would certainly boost entrepreneur ideas. A task force committee which comprises representatives from each department, a steering committee and a panel of four experts from PSUs and government offices have been set up for selection. Apart from the funding program, seven other start-ups have been selected for induction at FTBI, NIT Rourkela. The selected start-ups will be provided with office space, manufacturing units, and other amenities including IT systems and access to laboratories. FTBI will act as a bridge in connecting them with NIT Rourkela faculty mentors, eminent business professionals, funding agencies, and forums. The start-ups will also be provided with training in business management and business communication, and tie-ups with chartered accountants and other professional organizations for accounting, IP, legal, and management expertise. They will also be eligible for further rounds of funding under various other schemes and programs running at the FTBI, NIT Rourkela.
Team MM congratulates the startups on their accomplishment and wishes for the entrepreneur ecosystem to expand with successful incubation of such startups in the future as well.
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