Editorial Team

Pearl Academy announced that it has entered into an academic collaboration with ‘Runway’, an incubator initiative by UPES Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (UCIE). ‘Runway’, is an intense, mentor-driven incubation program designed for those who are keen to build their businesses. It will work with start-ups within and outside of the academy on their ideas and help them transition into strong, scalable, and successful businesses. The program aims to help brilliant innovators get through the early stages of setting a start-up and reach the point where they have made a product/service impressive enough to raise money. This will be done through a mix of mentorship, grants and investments, legal and incorporation support, and allocation of space to work.

Throughout the program, start-ups will refine ideas and business models, develop prototypes, and identify key customers & investors. Since its inception, Runway has worked with several start-ups across sectors that went on to create compelling products that have made a difference to the society.

Speaking at the formal launch of ‘Runway’ at the institute’s Delhi West campus, Ms. Aditi Srivastava, President, Pearl Academy said, “Innovation and creativity is core to Pearl Academy’s values. Here we motivate aspirants to drive their innovative streak and encourage them to develop into the entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow. Runway is our most ambitious initiative in this direction. We are fully committed to the ideas, passion and dreams of our students, faculty members and individuals outside of Pearl Academy who are gearing up for their entrepreneurial journeys. ‘Runway’ is our endeavor to fuel the startup ecosystem of our country and be an ally in the nation’s progress.”

The launch event was held in Bangalore and Delhi Campus of Pearl Academy and was led by Rahul Nainwal, CEO, ‘Runway’ and attended by Shivam Ahuja, Founder & Director – SkillCircle, DelhiAngels, Rahul Narveker, Founder – NDTV Ethnic Retail Limited, Pearl Alumna Sheel Dwivedi, founding member of Innov8 Coworking and Kanika Singal, Co-founder Jadooz, India Advisor Startup Genome, Ex-McKinsey, Nikhil Malhotra, Chief Innovation Officer, WEF AI Fellow, TEDx Speaker, Tech Mahindra; Ganesh Subhramanian, Founder-Stylumia; Prasad Bidapa Fashion Stylist and Advisory Board Member of Pearl Academy Bangalore

The panelists focused on the skills which are essential to become a successful entrepreneur in today’s high-tech world. According to them, combining tech with design and knowledge to raise capital are essential to the success of any startup.

On ‘Runway’, start-ups will refine ideas and business models, develop prototypes, and identify key customers and investors. ‘Runway’ will also provide financial support through grants and funding. The process involves:

  • Selection: Idea-stage and early-stage start-ups will be selected through an open application process. ‘Runway’ is sector and location agnostic, implying that start-ups can be from any field and located anywhere in India.
  • Incubation: The shortlisted start-ups will go through a hybrid (online and offline) 8-week incubation program. This will include refining of business ideas and getting them ready for market and investors. Other important peripheral support will also be provided to the selected start-ups such as incorporation services, logo design etc. 
  • Mentoring: Each selected start-up will be aligned with a mentor to handhold them during and after the incubation process. They will also be provided necessary infrastructure support such as labs and office space.
  • Pitching: The incubation program will culminate into the demo day when the stat-ups will pitch to a carefully selected audience including investors, advisors, and others. 
  • Nurturing: The ‘Runway’ team will continue nurture and support the start-ups even after they have completed the incubation program and taken off.
  • Networking: Through ‘Runway’, start-ups will meet the best in the industry through online and offline events and workshops.

Despite being a highly selective cohort, Runway looks forward to onboard 20-30 start-ups this year that are innovative and have the possibility of scale and will provide the start-ups the benefit of expert advice. In addition, eligible start-ups will also receive grants up to INR 1 lakh.

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