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CIIE: Seeding a Cleantech Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

Based on the journey of INFUSE - IIMA Ventures' cleantech fund, this case study highlights the role of academic incubators and the public sector in fostering high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship.

In 2010, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India, had been working for several months on an initiative to catalyze cleantech start-ups in India. This required multi-point intervention, including mentoring, acceleration, and funding. Substantially funded by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), this policy experiment aimed to address both market and government failures in developing countries like India by unlocking venture capital to clean-energy start-ups. As the project required CIIE to raise additional funding from other sources and there had so far been no venture capital funding of clean energy projects in India, the CEO wondered who he could approach for such funding, how to approach them, and how to structure the resulting fund to ensure the greatest potential support for innovative cleantech solutions.


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