A recent report by the Lemelson Foundation highlights financing, technical assistance, mentoring that offers concrete solutions to help invention based businesses thrive. World’s leading funder of invention in service of social and economic change, Lemelson Foundation examines India’s impact ecosystem that caters to the broad network of businesses, funders, and intermediaries that enable social enterprise and inventors potential to grow.
India is a country of glaring contrasts with 400 million people living in extreme poverty alongside a growing middle class, and persistent and prevalent challenges like unsafe water, air and sanitation in a nation that just sent a mission to Mars.
Philip Varnum, chief financial and administrative officer, Lemelson Foundation said, “We hope this research will encourage dialogue and collaboration among entrepreneurs and investors in India and beyond.”
Catalyzing capital for invention presents detailed observations and data collected from interviews with more than 60 investors, entrepreneurs and intermediaries, along with actionable solutions for addressing the challenges.
The report identifies three specific challenges faced by invention based enterprises in India that includes ecosystem gaps, financial gaps and capacity gaps.
It is hard for science and engineering based enterprises to find the technical assistance and mentoring to guide their businesses to viability.
The report presents five recommendations to address these challenges and strengthen India’s impact ecosystem, which includes development of an early stage grant facility that funds enterprises to develop prototypes or core technologies, and prepares them to attract non grant investments, pilot a proof of concept fund that provides the capital to invention based businesses and lastly to create an affordable working capital fund that helps start-up businesses with costs such as salaries, office space, manufacturing facilities, technical equipment.
This report builds on study by ‘Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for Innovative Global Transformative Technologies’ which highlighted global development challenges that can be solved through innovation in science and technology.