Hyderabad, September 12, 2020.
FICCI FLO Hyderabad Chapter has partnered with CIE IIITH to establish the FLOIncubator@CIE IIITHin an effort to empower women entrepreneurs and women-led startups.
The virtual inauguration was attended by FLO Hyderabad Chairperson UsharaniManne, Ramesh Loganathan, Professor Co-Innovation/Outreach at IIIT Hyderabad, Sanjay Jesrani, Founder, Go North Venturesand Member, IIITH Foundation GB, members of FLO Hyderabad and CIE@IIITH.
Addressing the gathering, Chairperson of FLO Hyderabad, UsharaniManne said, “The mandate of FLO being the economic empowerment of women at all levels,enabling entrepreneurship is at the heart of everything that we do. The FLO Incubation Cell is a national-level initiative that was launched by all 17 chapters during the current year, that is, 2020-21.”
Declaring the FLO Incubator open, she said, “We expect that FLO Incubator @ CIE IIITH will empower our member-entrepreneurs with startup intelligence, mentorship, networking and bespoke guidance. The Centre will offermentorship programs such as FLO Talks on emerging business models andIdea/Opportunity Validation Boot Camps that help understand models for assessing business & market strategies. Microaccelerator programs have also been designed to help entrepreneurs in developing sustainable strategies and biz models to accelerate their startups”.
FLO Incubator will assist in enabling FLO members and women-led startups at early stages through Talks/Roundtables on emerging business models, strategies for scaling up, differentiating a start-up from conventional businesses, types of funding etc., workshop and case studies, and one-on-one mentoring and guidance sessions with expert mentors.
The FLO Incubator@CIE aims at facilitating 20+ women entrepreneurs with each cohort structured to run for 1 month. The team built for the Incubator comprises of members from both FICCI FLO Hyderabad and CIE, IIIT Hyderabad.
Sanjay Jesrani, a TedX speaker and a specialist in startups and financing for women entrepreneurs, in the FLO Talk titled: “Understanding the salient features of Startups & funding sources" shared his understanding and experiencesin the angel investment sector. He said it is proven that women make better entrepreneurs and have better financial acumen. Talking about solopreneurship, he said that a team of founders is any day preferable assolopreneurs get stretched physically, financially and emotionally. Emphasizing on enough prep before embarking on any new venture, he said knowledge of the particular business and industry is non-negotiable. It is imperative to find a must-solve problem and not start with a solution torch. The customer base must be clearly identified. He shared a startling statistic of 95% mortality rate in the startup sector.
Breaking the myth that a great idea coupled with a great fund guarantees a great exit, he said that, unless the Founder and his team have industry sapience, clarity of purpose and unrelenting passion, long-term sustainability can become out of reach. Typically, it is a lack of market reach, validation and absence of financial discipline that will lead to failure. He spoke to length on the importance of a go-to-market plan, bootstrapping vs. VC funding, working capital and other aspects.
Ramesh Loganathan shared about the programs on the anvil from FLO Incubator viz Idea Validation Bootcamp, Micro Accelerator and Monthly FLO Talks and urged participation by FLO members from across the country.
FLO (FICCI Ladies Organization) is the women’s wing of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). An all-India forum, FLO is headquartered at New Delhi and operates through 17 chapters across the country. FLO believes that it is important to encourage and facilitate the inclusion and application of women’s skills, talents, experience and energies across all levels of economic activity. Towards this, FLO has been promoting entrepreneurship and professional excellence through various initiatives, activities and by providing opportunities for learning, skilling and sharing. The Hyderabad Chapter of FLO is the largest, with 800+ members, most of who are entrepreneurs and professionals hailing from a diverse range of industries and sectors.
IIIT Hyderabad manages its innovation, entrepreneurial and technology outreach efforts through Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE), the largest academic Incubator in the country established to accelerate Deeptech startups. The Centre houses90+ startups, runs several microaccelerator programs to support tech startups, two structured accelerators (DeeptechandMedtech) and is actively engaged in Hyderabad city’s startup ecosystem.
“I believe FLO Incubator at CIE, IIIT Hyderabad will help us leverage and take advantage of the FLO & IIIT-H ecosystems to build a resilient entrepreneurial culture in women.The two organizations are committed to work towards creating Women Entrepreneurs and facilitate an appropriate platform for women to think, learn, create, adapt and achieve true financial freedom as also gain the power to produce wealth.This is another momentous step in the direction of our vision to ‘Live Empowered.’ It is also a way of keeping the #oneflo mission flying high with cross-chapter collaborations,” UsharaniManneadded.
The FLO Incubation team of SarithaChilakapati, ManishaTibrewal, Neha Reddy, led by Social Outreach EC Lead, Radha Rani Sunkara were specially mentioned for their incessant efforts in the area of creating incubation and mentorship opportunities for FLO members.