… but aren’t sure who to ask….

Here are 12 questions, that will get you to see why you should sign up with EcoPreneur, this exciting Program at the Alt Tech Hub. 

  1. What are the specific product/service offerings for the target market?

Service offerings of EcoPreneur could include both location-based physical services as well as business-oriented services.

Location-based physical services include:

  • A premier location in the MG Road area of Bangalore, with well-furnished spaces in a centrally air-conditioned office.
  • Co-sharing work space with shared office infrastructure such as telephone, internet and server back-up’s, printer facilities, discussion room, a cafeteria.
  • Library and information centre
  • Training and meeting facilities for start-ups to run their meetings and focus groups as part of their customer discovery etc.

Business oriented services include:

  • Business planning and training workshops
  • One-on-one mentoring and coaching on regular or need-basis
  • Market survey and marketing assistance
  • Info dissemination on product ideas/technologies
  • Connecting with potential investors and funders and helping prepare for the meetings
  1. Is the design informed by on-ground survey (actual numbers) in at least some target markets, or based on management perception?

The Centre for Internet and Society conducted a study of ‘technical business incubators’ in India and concluded that business incubators have been successful over the last decade, with over 500 companies and organisations successfully graduating from their incubators to create tangible home-grown impact on the local and national economy.

  1. Is there a step-wise process (that can cater to different entrepreneurs) at various stages of the entrepreneurial growth cycle that every EcoPreneur can be taken through to sharpen his/her idea and/or accelerate their entrepreneurial journey?

Indeed there is a step-wise process that every ecopreneur is taken through; this is fundamental to accelerate their ecopreneurial journey.

This step-wise process is covered in one-day workshops, in a group setting where each ecopreneur learns how to apply the tools we mentor them into using for their idea. The step-wise process consists of —

  • Problem Validation
  • Problem-Solution Fit
  • Solution-Market Fit
  • Revenue Model
  1. Will there be a one-time fee for the mentoring and facilitating you offer, or a profit-sharing arrangement or equity investment component?

The financial arrangement is on a case-by-case basis arrived at by mutual consultation and depending on how long you need the support for development of your venture. Remember, the AltechHub is a non-profit. We are conducting these to see that our Mission Goal of a softer eco-footprint for India 2030 is achieved. Beyond all costs, all revenues are ploughed back for such mission objectives of the Foundation.

  • For short term support there is fee-based mentoring session and workshops done in group setting
  • For those involved in the 4-month long incubator/accelerator program, we will reach agreement on profit-sharing or equity investment in the business once it starts to have an annual turnover exceeding a certain threshold amount. This is on a case-by-case basis obviously.
  1. I enjoy learning through informal discussions with friends. Do you have any peer-to-peer learning methods?

EcoPreneur will be organizing —

  • Regular peer-to-peer learning and sharing circles on a regular basis (fortnightly or monthly basis)
  • Regular fireside chats with an expert or a successful eco-venturist where all ecopreneurs will have the opportunity to ask and resolve questions and issues … in small group settings which make the interactions personal and informal.
  1. As a green entrepreneur, can this help me immediately launch my product/service?

Launching a product/service traditionally has involved designing some marketing materials, publishing a website and doing some press releases and nursing the hope that the product launch is noticed by your customers.

However the EcoPreneur uses the lean start-up approach which takes a very different view of the launch of  new products and services. As per the approach, product launch is a strategic initiative and is planned and prepared for, to derive the most value out of it. Therefore, an EcoPreneur-trained start-up will need to be prepared to go and interview customers and stakeholders, validate the problem and the problem-solution fit in a short span of 3 to 6 weeks as part of and in preparation of product/service launch. ‘Lean start-up’ is a very well proven and tested approach. When an ecopreneur launches his/her product/service using the lean start-up approach, s/he tends to get more traction and value out of the launching exercise.

  1. Can you help me get resources  which are not readily available on the internet such as —
  • funding
  • access to mentors in my field
  • local legal support
  • help conduct a small survey in my local area
  • access to big customers

Short answer is Yes to all of the listed items. The whole purpose of EcoPreneur services to Ecopreneurs is to prepare them in a way that makes it easy for them to get obtain funding. EcoPreneur mentoring seeks to do this by providing access to the best in the industry sector, best mentors as well as business customers along with access to legal support, guide the ecopreneur through the process where she can confidently conduct a survey to help inform her about her customers and their preferences.

  1. My product is focused on local markets but not sure if it is related to sustainable development? Can you help?

At EcoPreneur, we consider your venture to be contributing to sustainable development if your product or service helps —

  • save energy and/or water and/or reduces or eliminates the need for waste going to landfill site, or offers building materials that are lower on embodied energy or on resource use
  • in solving an environmental problem that India is currently facing
  • in solving a social problem
  1. How much will I have to pay?
  • Rs 20,000 for 10 workshops on fundamentals of new venture development conducted over 5 months
  • One-on-one hourly coaching sessions Rs 5000 (if participating in Fundamentals workshops)
  • One-on-one hourly coaching sessions at Rs. 20,000 (if you cannot participate in the Fundamentals workshops)
  1. I don’t have money to pay you. Is there a way that I can pay for your services by giving my time, product/service for free or a part of my office for your work space?
  • May be we can work out a temporary arrangement whereby you can work out a non-financial means of paying for the benefit you receive.
  1. Can you tell me the government schemes applicable to my product/service/region?

Along with information about several other sources of funding that we will share with Ecopreneurs, information on relevant government schemes applicable to your venture will be one of the many things we will offer you as part of our mentoring program.

  1. I am interested in starting a school in my village. Can you help me teach this course there?

Why not? We can teach the course to any individual and also students of a school. We can customize the training for school student audience.

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