Transcribe
Take us through your personal story, my friend. So J at hard, I think I'm an entrepreneur. I always look at opportunities to make a difference to create a change in the society. So even when I was studying in the school engineering school, I realize that too much is not happening to bring students together into a multidisciplinary center set up and we started this large event called pragyan. If you go back to my campus, I'm still sort of a star there. A lot of people have a fond remembrance of me my batchmates. To me, it's still think of me a treat me as if with respect. So I think and obviously I didn't start for any of that. It just happened because some something good happened through my hands. I don't think it was thought through in this manner, but the only objective was that it has to be grand. It has to be big and it has to really make a difference similarly when we started pragyan when we started Head Start, we had a similar experience. It has become very big with academic Ventures. Unfortunately didn't go very well, but the thought has stayed with me and hope to come back to it at some point in future. Awesome. So your score two out of three now, I think to in the real sense startup has only tied to make Ventures others were in a more or less risky setup also. Yeah, it's it is 0 1 1 right, right. So is it you are a rockstar obviously back in your college. So what is it? What is it? The pragyan is it like event you bring in other colleges together as well? It's truly so just to give you Background I this college is in a small town in the southern state called Tamilnadu in India. Not too many people care about this town called twitching. Otherwise it is it has been an industrial town from a long time but not but the kind of people who come there in this campus are one of the best in the country. Unfortunately the confidence that people showed when I reach their realized, although they were smart and they were the Toppers of their respective. States they did not show a confidence of being a world beater and I attempted to do some other things as well which was which were pointing in this direction. But pragyan was the biggest of them. Basically it was to bring all the Departments various departments come together to do a large techno management festival called pragyan and such a thing was not happening in our campus. It is no one really thought it was possible and you know, we We had a nice experience or converting 5,000 Skeptics into Believers like table on awesome. I read your story about how your new principal supported your idea. And then how you made it happen? Because the you do good research man. I I don't think even my colleagues would have cared about reading so much about me. I've left enough clues in public domain, but I don't think anyone cares to put the P story together, but you did a good job. Tell me. Thank you very much. So tell us how how did they academic Ventures happened? So Jai what happened back in April of 2009? I was inspired by the thought that our Indian institutes would actually ranked very low in terms of commercialization of technology, which practically means that whatever great work. Our institute's are doing is not getting translated into a common man's life. So in April of 2009 with we got together a bunch of students in IIT Bombay and did an event called techconnect. We thought that because a lot of Industry people don't get to see our technology. They don't get to take it. So we said, okay, let's bring them in a in a science exhibition kind of set up and we got 42 of Very good IIT Bombay Technologies participating. They were PhD students and their work and their posters and there's quite a bit of jazz around. However, we realize that after this event. Nothing came out of it because commercialization is a hard process translation of research is not Source easy, but that idea skate with me. I graduated in June and then I went to my job at the crl at Pune I came back but the idea had stayed with me. And I had to do something about it. So I jumped into it full time with this company called academic Ventures the idea continue to be the same that we will go to Indian institutes and we will tell them that we know some industry. We know what industry wants we will be able to take a technology to the industry and hoping that some of the technology that you are doing sees light of the day in hands of a common man. Unfortunately, we realized that at the Indian institutes were not ready for such a thing. They thought of themselves as research area research bodies, but they did not want to think of themselves as commercialized commercialization bodies and we failed miserably we couldn't do a single technology transfer in the in the one-and-a-half year that I was doing it. Wow, what did you learn from the failure? A lot of people had told me that this is not going to work wondering that I have today is that when people and people who you respect tell you this you please go back and double check your assumptions. Also, there was a some degree of exuberance that I had that I will be able to do what no one else has been able to do in the country. And to some extent that exuberance was checked and the third thing I learned was that I I spent far too longer time in coming to this conclusion while the writing was always on the wall in the first six months. Wow, when someone who you respect tells you to double-check, you should double-check. That's a great choice. Exactly. And I didn't I mean I was exuberant honestly. And then as I write in Hindi ye nahi hoga means it will not happen. Yeah, and you'll be like our prove you wrong. I will prove you wrong. Yeah, exactly. So yeah, I mean, but I think that's part of being an entrepreneur. Out there to make things are the challenges. We like to resolve right? We like to Absolute come. So yeah, that's a one of the trait of an entrepreneur. So coming back to today my Friend And how did you become an VC you are you called VC or are you call angel investor? So we called a VC in a definitive sense? Because we are a venture capital fund. However, we qualify internally as being a micro VC not really a VC and differentiating ourselves from who we call VC is as people who typically do series A investment. Okay. So tell us how did you become an investor? It happened as a The natural progression of things as it does not it was not planned. I don't think I was playing for it. It was always on my mind but was not something I was planning for. So, you know, a pair of fact that Venture Capital happens over a long time when Venture Capital happens to be a very small industry. So you can't plan to be a VC. So to say however the most important thing here is that I don't think of this as a as I think of this as a privilege that you get to work with exceptional entrepreneurs in their early stages of the journey and you get to make a difference to thousands of people on a every week basis, which I think is is what keeps me going. Awesome helping entrepreneurs. That is great.