Caspian Debt has partnered with the Center for Innovation Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), the incubator of IIM-Ahmedabad to launch the Innocity startup school. The Innocity Startup School is 14 weeks, non-residential program to support and enhance the skills of startups in their early stages. It will serve students and aspiring entrepreneurs across various geographies and sectors that have limited access to High-Quality Entrepreneurship training and knowledge. Applications are open from November 18, 2020 till December 20, 2020; and the program will commence in January 2021.
Caspian Debt is a multi-sector debt funding company, providing customized debt to professionally managed small and mid-market companies, startups and enterprises that create a positive social and environmental impact. The year 2020 marks the seventh year, since Caspian Debt’s first loan. Over these seven years, the firm’s balance sheet has grown 9x. Caspian Debt has deployed over INR 1.6 bn in capital to 137 companies through 327 loans, and their portfolio companies have impacted 13 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In our experience of interacting with over 300 founding teams we found that companies at different stages of growth require different capacity building inputs. If the entrepreneurs are given some basic knowledge about different aspects of running business right at the start they can avoid several pitfalls on their way to scale and sustainability. We also learnt from our entrepreneurs that they learn most from the lived realities of their fellow entrepreneurs. Keeping all this mind Innocity has developed a holistic programme on entrepreneurship which not only helps aspiring entrepreneurs in knowing themselves but also ability to evaluate their busines model objectively, understand funding sources, appreciate importance of good governance and incorporate gender lens in their thinking.
Innocity is built at CIIE.CO to enable and activate the startup ecosystem in multiple regions of India. The Innocity Startup school initiative aims to support and nurture early stage startups in multiple regions by developing the startup ecosystem through partnerships and collaborations. The aim is to provide the right platform to startups locally, which would help them to access more resources for their ventures, and scale rapidly. Startups in the region can also become part of the training and knowledge sessions. Innocity is best placed to deliver this programme as they have experience of nurturing several entrepreneurs in a hands on manner.
Speaking about the partnership, Mr. S Viswanatha Prasad, Founder and Managing Director of Caspian Debt said, “As a scale up stage growth capital provider, Caspian Debt’s partnership with CIIE will meaningfully enhance our efforts towards helping first generation entrepreneurs really get a head start, sustain, and grow their businesses in a professional manner. Through this initiative we will be able to provide them with the much-needed skills, training and mentoring that can make exponentially increase the chances of their success. Between success and failure. We look forward to putting in the work to build this innovative and mutually rewarding partnership with CIIE.”
Chintan Bakshi, Partner Incubation, CIIE.CO said “We are really enthusiastic to launch Innocity Startup School with Caspian Debt. As part of CIIE.CO’s on-going programs, we always take a deep dive with startups discussing some of the most crucial methodologies and practices such as lean startup model, prototyping, unit economics, etc. to ensure they start the right way and build a good foundation. The startup school is frankly an accumulation of these practices put into a structure which can help any founder and thus become a critical difference between startup success and failure. It has been designed to be experiential, since most of the workshops and sessions would be conducted or facilitated by startup founders from who have themselves implemented them.”
The Innocity Startup School sessions will be conducted online every week on Friday and Saturday for 2 hours. These online sessions will be led live by seasoned entrepreneurs, experts and industry leaders. The speakers for the sessions are a varied mix of successful startup founders, industry experts and startup mentors from various walks of life.