Raj Mashruwala and Avi Nash Manudhane, two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and IIT Bombay alumni have chosen to sponsor a 'Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship' at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad.
The centre was launched on Thursday, by K.T. Rama Rao, the minister for IT & Panchayat Raj, government of Telangana at an event organised by IIT, Hyderabad and represented by BVR Mohan Reddy, the chairman, board of governors of IIT, Hyderabad, Manudhane, and UB Desai, Director, IIT Hyderabad.
The center is being pitched as an interdisciplinary center focused on making universal healthcare a reality.
Later, speaking to Business Today, Manudhane said: "A job is worth doing if it is done right, which means you bring it (the center in this case) to the path of self sustaining state and for that we think it will require costs that will run into several millions of dollars, just for the next several years and we stand committed to provide that and we stand committed to make it self-sustaining."
The centre, according to Desai of IIT, Hyderabad, will provide a mix of training and incubation, the exact contours of which are being worked out. The actual rollout of the programme is expected around August next year.
Earlier, speaking at the event and sharing his thoughts about the need for such as center and why in Hyderabad, Manudhane said, "we were looking for an institute with strong commitment to societal needs, technological excellence and critical mass to create impact in healthcare technology. IIT Hyderabad with its nearly 2,000 students, over 150 faculty, proximity to high tech city showed deep understanding, passion and capability to bring about innovative products and solutions. Hyderabad has a full ecosystem from healthcare facility, engineering, entrepreneurial talent and infrastructure to operate the center."
The center will operate with a physical office and research facilities within IIT Hyderabad's campus. Apart from being an incubator, the center intends to have a complete program for identifying and grooming entrepreneurs, and mentoring them all the way to "productization," scaling and eventual social adoption and impact.
The center will be headed by Renu John, professor and head of the department of biomedical engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad. Its objective is to catalyze 'bio innovation' with a unique focus of enabling creative solutions to pragmatically address some of the unmet healthcare needs of India's less advantaged.
The center hopes to jump-start an effort that trains entrepreneurs to deliver a pipeline of cost-efficient solutions, which are increasingly 'commercialized'.
According to a press release shared at the event, "the center will aim to develop 'out-of-the-box' solutions, nurture promising ideas through start-up phase, guide the best ones to access the full set of resources, financial, operational as well as organizational, to permit broad implementation."