July 23, 2009

Technopreneurship Promotion Programme (TePP) & Technology Business Incubators (TBI)

Posted in Business tagged , , , , , , , at 8:22 am by asprakash

I hope every body having its own dream. When I was entered into my engineering degree, I was dreaming about innovations, technologies in different areas, invention in many applications,.etc. But it was dismantled when I come to know about the industries [especially IT industries].

Think about the current situation in this recession period. Every degree holder is now like to work in IT field. But you are not interested to join as a costliest labour (?) (IT Employee) and you would like to do some inventions in your own core filed, How? (or) You have already prepared a very good unique novel product idea. But none of the ventures/companies ready to invest on your idea. Then how can you develop the prototype of your idea? Suppose, You dont have any inventions in your mind and you tired of thinking about the novel idea, job search and then finally come-up with your business plan to start-up your company, atlast. But you are from middle class family or not possible to invest huge amount at this stage. Then how you will execute your business plan or your product idea? Who will fund for you?.

Oh. Stop it. Enough to ask questions. What I want to do now?.

Ok. Surely I will tell you. Before that few words. Readers those who are already working in a company and only interested to earn money, than please close this page and do continue if you have any other work. The following paras are not for you. Rest of others please proceed.

TePP (Technopreneur Promotion Programme)

The Dept.of Scientific & Industrial Research [http://dsir.gov.in], through a public advertisement, has invited applications from budding entrepreneurs or innovators to seek funding from the government for converting their ideas into working prototypes/models. Called the Technopreneur Promotion Programme (TePP), this is for promoting individual innovators to become technology entrepreneurs (technopreneur).

The eligibility criteria for the programme are quite simple and uncomplicated. Any individual with an original idea/innovation, say- an engineer, scientist, farmer, artisan or even a housewife or a student can apply. Even companies can apply, provided their turnover does not exceed Rs. 10 lacs. The only requirement is that, the idea must have a commercial implication; it cannot be just for research or patenting purposes. The maximum amount of the sponsorship is 90% of the project cost or Rs 10 lacs, whichever is lower.

Industrial or scientific innovations in India are far more in need of funding than software startups; there is no dearth of funding for software entrepreneurs from VCs, seed funds, banks etc. Govt. programmes like STPI have mechanisms to nurture and incubate software startups. Besides, the IT industry anyway has a powerful godfather in NASSCOM, which has started influencing government policy quite significantly.The same is not true for industrial or scientific segments. A recent edition of the Business World has a lead story on how, some of the giants of Indian manufacturing like Larsen & Toubro are facing substantial exodus of their best manpower to the IT/software industry.

Procedure to apply for TePP

TePP categories

Tepp categorized different schemes with different formats for the people.

For example, if you are a student, then the category is different and the fund amount also varied. And if you are a independent person planing to start-up your own company, then you need to apply for separate category. I have given the available TePP categories below,

  1. Phase I – Micro Technopreneur – for students – Eligible upto 75,000/-. To know more about this phase, click here. The application form available in the same page.

  2. Phase I- Technopreneur project fund – For staffs and employees, start-up companies & independent persons – Eligible upto 15laks – Innovators should invest 10% of total project cost. To know more about this phase, click here. The application form available in the same page.

  3. Phase II – Seamless scale-up fund – Successful completion of students from phase-1. They are eligible to get more fund to start-up their company. To know more about this phase, click here. The application form available in the same page.

  4. Phase II – Supplementary fund – Successful completion innovators from Phase I Technopreneurs. They will provide upto 45laks this time. To know more about this phase, click here. The application form available in the same page.

Proposal preparation

You need more patient to prepare the proposal. Its not like just prepare a 5 pages of documentation. You need to prepare the following documentations to enclose along with your proposal. Its compulsory.

  • Signed copy of application
  • Proof of residence
  • Literature survey & patent search results
  • Targeted Product specification/ process performance
  • A one page description of potential user, why would he/she buy this new product and how would the innovator access the user
  • Documentary proof of prior work ( video, photo, test report, TUC site report, press coverage etc)
  • Cost justification
  • Bar chart with mile stones for project schedule and
  • Technology Angels evaluation form

There is no standard format for the above documentations. But search some sample templates from google and prepare the documentations.

Where to apply

Well, its time to apply your proposal. Where & How?.

Very simple. But before that I would like to introduce about one more new term for you. That is Technology Business Incubators (TBI). TBI will take care of your TePP applications. DSIR tied-up with most TBIs available in India and they will help you how to prepare TePP proposals and get fund from DSIR. So first I will provide more info about the TBI and then continue the TePP processes.

TBI (Technology Business Incubators)

Technology Business incubator (TBI) is an entity, which helps technology start-up businesses with, all the necessary resources / support that the start-up needs to evolve and grow as a mature business. Typically, TBIs provide incubatees, the start-up businesses supported by incubator, with necessary infrastructure support, technology/ prototype development support, research assistance, help in getting funding, business consulting assistance and do whatever is necessary to make the start-up a success.

Our government selected some institutions in every state and setup this TBI with different kind of resources based on the available facilities in that college/universities . For example, we have the following TBIs available in Tamilnadu. Note : All the states are having TBIs.

  • Anna University, Chennai for biotechnology field
  • VIT, Vellore for IT, Biotechnology and Mechanical
  • Kongu, Erode for Embedded systems and Electronics
  • PSG Tech, Coimbatore for IT
  • University of Madras, Chennai
  • IIT-Madras, Chennai.
  • Bannari Amman Institute of Technology, Coimbatore
  • Periyar Technology Business Incubators, Thanjavour –  for Biotechnologies

Fortunately, Tamilnadu has more TBIs. To know the list of available TBIs in other states click here.

So go through the above list. Then select the TBI which is near and suitable for you. Then immediately meet the Manager of that TBI. Discuss about your plan with him. He will provide you what are the facilities he have and what he can do for you. Please note that, even you dont like to apply for TBI but still you can approach TBI to get the TePP fund from DSIR. First they will ask you  to send your draft copy of all your documentations. They will get back to you if you have any corrections in your documentations. Later you need to take the hard copy of all your documents and submit it to them (to TBI). The process will take minimum 3 months to call for an review meeting for your proposal. You need to take an presentation in-front of the DSIR committee and its your responsibility to convince them to get funded. There is no final date to submit your proposal. You can take your own time. Prepare carefully and then submit. ITS OPEN FOR ALL 365 DAYS.

Why TBI?

Because, you need space to setup your working place, need resources like machines [CNC, Lathe, biotech,.etc], hardwares, components, computers, internet,.etc to implement your prototype, need technical guidance and non-technical help like Market survey, business analysis, Ventures to invest money on your prototype,.etc. The room rent in Metro cities like Chennai & Mumbai are huge cost. So its better to utilize the TBI’s space for very low cost and you can stay with them upto 3 years. After you successfully applied for TePP fund, then approach the same TBI to get resources for you. You no need to give any share for them.

Hey,..you! Are you a women entrepreneur? Oh…you are so lucky yaar!. Do not ignore the next section.

Facilities/benefits for women entrepreneurs

There are lots of extra benefits available for women entrepreneurs rather than the men entrepreneurs. For example, you got the loan from government through by the above schemes and suppose your business went in loss. Then you no need to return the full amount to them. There are some percentage of exceptions are available for womens. BUT THIS SCHEME IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR MEN ENTREPRENEUR. In Tamilnadu, Periyar Technology Business Incubators, Thanjavour encouraged women entrepreneurs and they provide first preference to them. So, Women entrepreneurs, try to utilize the available resources and create more job opportunities for womens and as well as mens. Till now I did not get any documented proof for this scheme. I discussed with some TBIs and I come to knew about it. Leave your comments if you have any links, reference,.etc.

What I can do for you?

I am also applying for this TePP through VIT TBI. The manager of VIT TBI, Mr.Balachandran provided more info reg the TePP and TBI and What are the things to be done before we start a company. Now I am preparing the draft copy of my TePP proposal and it is in the final stage. I will submit my final copy of the TePP proposal soon. I dont have any experience in getting fund from TePP project. But I can surely help you, how to prepare a proposal, other necessary documents, howto approach TBI,..etc. You can reach me by asprakash83_at_gmail_dot_com (or) you can leave your comments.

Quick reference to apply for TePP Project fund

  • Think about a unique novel innovation commercial product idea
  • Prepare the proposal and necessary documents for your idea
  • Select any one of TBI and approach them to apply for TePP fund
  • Apply for TePP
  • Meanwhile prepare a business plan for your company and apply for TBI to get working place
  • Implement your idea and create the prototype of your invention.
  • Approach Venture Capitalizer to invest money on your idea to make business.
  • Leave from TBI and create a own working place for you. Be a employer… 🙂

Useful links

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May 7, 2008

Howto get a embedded system job and what i want to do for that.

Posted in Embedded System, General tagged , , , at 10:20 am by asprakash

I think recently I am getting more queries related this topic.
I would like to share my suggestions with all the freshers in embedded system. We have already discussed about it. But still the freshers are not getting any clear idea about, howto get a job in embedded system. Hope this thread will helpful for them to understand first, what the industries are expecting from them. I request you to post all your comments here, if you have any. Please also note that, the given points are only my personal suggestion; There is no intention to force you to take any decision based on my inputs.

Dont do/think
===========

* Entry for freshers in embedded system is really easy…
* I will get a job immediately, coz I have an embedded system certification from the great -ABC- institution.
* I have fully fitted for embedded system field. Coz I have completed all the modules including, C,C++,Unix, Device drivers, Micro controllers and RTOS. Oh….I am great. What do you want more…. 😀
* If I cant get any job in this field, then I can just put an 1+ yr fake experience and apply for job. The recruiter will accept my CV. Then I will get a job easily. Oh…I am really so brilliant…. 😀
* If I add one or two projects [especially some rtos projects like vxworks ]in my resume then i can easily get an job.
* I have 80% marks in all the certificates. The interviewer will accept me for this embedded system field.
* I have done a embedded system project in a big MNC embedded systems company. So i am eligible for getting a job.

Then What I want to do/Think?
========================

* Whatever it may be, You should learn from in-depth. For hardware engineers, learn from flipflop, micro processor….etc. For software engineers, learn from compilers, linkers, OS concepts….etc.
* Do some real time projects from what you have learnt. For example, you have 6 modules in a course, try to do minimum one project for each module by your own and the project should be related with industries use or from latest technologies.
* Try to utilize your lab facilities. Especially your lab hardwares. Hack it, whatever you want. Or how much you are ready to spend for fun. Try to buy one cheap embedded development board. You can surely learn a lot from it.
* Learn the Linux OS for embedded system. Coz it has good future in embedded system and in India. Moreover,  Linux is exactly suitable for embedded system field rather than the M$ windows. Another reason is, you can hack the linux from top to bottom. Bcoz its open source and no need to depending on any proprietary softwares. So that you can learn more and get more real time experience.
* Plan to buy a hardware board like ARM 7/9/11/Cortex (if you are planing to learn OS level embedded systems) or Microcontroller boards like Arduino. You can get the hardware from Rs.2000/- to Rs.10,000 based on the configuration. Using this boards, you can feel the real time experience for porting, cross compilation, linux, emb linux, rtlinux and other rtos. If you got will these experience, you can surely cross the technical interview.
* You should sharp your language skills like C,C++,Java….etc. Language is very important for s/w embedded system engineers.
* Try to contribute to some international forums, mailing lists and magazines like www.linuxdevices.com, www.embedded.com. So that you can update your knowledge in this field and really understand whats happening in the current embedded field on industries side.
* Try to contribute some embedded system open source projects already available in internet. Go through the site, www.sourceforge.net and search for embedded system project. you will get thousands of project related embedded system. Definitely, you will get nice experience on this field. Beagleboard, Pandaboard, Arduino,.etc are some of the widely used embedded open source boards.

What are the available chances for getting a job in this field
===========================================

(1) Select an embedded system company in your college placements. Avoid the s/w companies like CTS, Infosys…etc, if you have a confident to get a job in embedded field/company.
(2) If you dont have the placements, send your resumes for selected embedded system companies, even you are an fresher. Insist your full of interest in embedded system along with an covering letter. DO NOT SEND YOUR CV AS AN JUNG/SPAM OR “CC” TO ALL THE COMPANIES. ITS AN BAD ATTITUDE.
(3) After 6 months you got finished your degree, you may join with some embedded system course. During this 6 months, you can try for freshers job. You may get some placements through your training institute. But this is not guarantee. Its depends the institution and your capability. Howevr, the course is not necessary for embedded system, if you have capable to learn by your own with full of self confident. My personal opinion is, I wont suggest you to do a course. Coz, in India most of the institutions are not teaching good in embedded systems. They are only targeting on you money. Or cross check the institutions capability and their facilities before you are going to join with them.
(4) If you have done some good projects followed by the “what to do” steps, you have more chance to get a job in this field.
(5) If your intention is only for getting a job in this field, then dont look big MNC companies & big salary. You have lots of small embedded companies are there. For entry level, small companies are best to learn a lot in this field rather than the big companes. so your first preference should be small/startup companies.
(6) Suppose you cant get a job in this field after one year, now you can put 1+ yr fake experience with reasonable projects. I did not suggest this idea in previous topic. But here I am suggesting you; Bcoz some time it will work. But its not guarantee and more risky. At the same time, you should have all capability to manage the technical stuffs equivalent to 1+ yr experience person. Interviewer can easily identify you; But he/she may prefer you, due to some reasons. First one is, you have the capability to manage the technical stuff without exp. Second, they are forced to recruit a person for emergency and ready to give an chance for you. Better, go to www.sourecforge.net or http://code.google.com/; search an embedded systems project which is suitable for you; If possible participate in that project, voluntarily. Or atleast download the source code; learn everything first and then put this project in your CV.
(7) Last but not least, keep on trying ,even you failed in many interviews.

I wish you all the best for your best career in Embedded Systems…. 🙂