Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK) announced a programme – ‘Stayin’ Alive Entrepreneurship Fellowships’ which is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship on campus by providing alumni-funded monthly fellowship grants of up to Rs. 50,000/- per month, for a year to graduates who decide to launch their own start-up. This is a joint initiative by IIMK LIVE (Laboratory for Innovation, Venturing and Entrepreneurship) business incubator and Entrepreneurship Development Center of IIMK along with the IIMKAA (IIM Kozhikode Alumni Association).
Over the last 20 years, IIMK has enjoyed a stellar campus placement record and its alumni have gone on to attain senior leadership positions across sectors. A large number of IIMK alumni have also become successful entrepreneurs, moved from established corporates into leadership roles in growing start-ups, become leading venture capital investors and technology investment bankers.
The well-connected alumni entrepreneur network serves as a rich source of connections, advice and angel investment. This year, under the aegis of the IIMKAA, a several successful alumni have come together to fund a significant fellowship initiative which provide grants to students who decide to set-up their own enterprises after they graduate. The Indian start-up ecosystem is thriving with exciting opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs, and these fellowships are meant to provide student entrepreneurs a platform to launch startups in this exciting time.
Director, IIMK, Prof. Debashis Chatterjee admired this initiative and invited alumni to continue to actively engage with their alma-mater. “IIMK now has close to 5000 alumni and many of them are making a noteworthy impact. I am sure, as the Institute approaches its silver jubilee in 2021, our alumni will engage more actively and contribute significantly in multiple ways,” he said.
IIMK second year students with viable business plans are eligible to apply for this program. Applications undergo a selection process including a business plan presentation which is evaluated by the expert panel consisting of alumni and IIMK LIVE. The entire process is driven by IIMK Live. Students securing this fellowship still have the opportunity to be part of on-campus placement program within 2-3 years of graduating, if they decide to transition to a corporate job from their startup. Stayin’ Alive cannot and does not compete with the on-campus job placements.
Dr. Keyoor Purani, Executive Director of IIMK LIVE said, “We are very excited about this programme that will enable some of our brightest students to create their own ventures. In addition to the fellowship grants, selected students’ ventures will be incubated at IIMK LIVE with alumni providing mentorship.
He further added, “Offering such flexibility to our graduates equips them with the means to pursue their dream careers. In the last few years, we are witnessing more and more students getting attracted by a start-up career.”
Ronald Philip, IIMK alumnus of 2005 class who is also the President of IIMKAA said, “Entrepreneurship is one of the four focus areas of the IIMKAA along with diversity, social impact and leadership. We believe this is a high impact way for us to give back to IIMK with a very exciting startup opportunity that leverages the powerful and well-connected alumni entrepreneur network”
“We want to support the spirit of innovation and enterprise among the current students. The grant will help meet the needs of education loan expenses as well as living expenses, allowing the entrepreneurs to focus on building out their high potential ideas. The existing mentor pool in the form of successful alumni entrepreneurs will also help the fellows avoid the major pitfalls in this journey”, said Sheeba D’Mello, IIMK Alumna of 2007 class, and a leading early stage investor, who championed this initiative among the alumni community.
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