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Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 Year of Unknown Innovators Part 3

This is story of Kiran Kranti Vistakula.

From my childhood I was interested in science and technology. In my schooling days I was active doing experiments at my house. I even caused fire while creating an electromagnet and blew up a box creating oxy acetylene flame. This interest in science has always leaded me to explore new ideas.

I have explored many ideas and took them to success all through my life. One such example is in my masters at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), I had come up with an idea of generating electrical energy using proteins as transducers. NASA funded this idea with me as a principle investigator (PI) and this PI status is rarely given to students. The project was successfully completed. Additionally, this experience moved my interest to running my own projects and this lead to my interest in entrepreneurship.

One day at MIT, I had a class in half hour and it was snowing out. I put on three layers of clothing to attend the class. I had to walk inside and outside buildings to reach my class. This was a very uncomfortable walk and I was late to the class. While I was inside in building, the temperature was maintained and it got hot inside with three layers and had to remove them. While outside I had put on the layers and I was delayed for the class. Being frustrated I decided to get some thermal regulating apparel but I could not find any in the market. Then I decided to solve this problem and devise a garment for my self. From the next day I started working on it and hoped to finish in a week being over confident. But this turned out to be a very complex thermodynamic problem. So my first prototype (PT1) was very heavy and was not very aesthetic.

Over a period of next one year still at school I worked on developing and perfecting the technology. In Aug 2007 the technology needed more development and additional funding, I approached Dr AS Rao of TePP with my proposal and returned back to India. TePP funded the project and I was offered incubation at IIT Delhi and NID Ahmedabad. Dr AS Rao and his team were very supporting from the beginning and their moral support was incredible. After careful consideration I chose NID, which provided me more freedom and facilities. The project was proposed to couple of students at NID. Prasenjit, a Post Graduated student in Apparel designs and merchandising was interested in the project. Mahesh Krovidi, COO of National Design Business Incubator at NID was extremely helpful in starting up my operations at NID and hiring Prasenjit to start working with me.

We initiated prototype development in January 2008. I took the technology to Lockheed Martin India Innovation Growth Program. I won a gold medal in the competition they organized. During that process the IC2 institute of UT Austin along with FICCI helped in acquiring business contacts. FICCI was instrumental in providing entrepreneurial training. I also won the first place in India innovation pioneers challenge, champions of champion category organized by Intel, Indo US STF, and DST. My technology represented India at Intel Berkeley Business Entrepreneur Competition (IBTEC). The technology was the finalist there. Dr Smirit Trikha, Arbinada Mitra, Manav Subodh and Neel Bhatia of Indousstf and Intel were extremely helpful. They provided contacts and guidance to participate in IBTEC. In the past one-year we have developed seven jacket prototypes, ten neck cooler prototype and three helmet prototypes.

Overall the Indian ecosystem is ripe for entrepreneurship. Until now my experience as a entrepreneur is extraordinary and every success has been supported by the mentors like Dr AS Rao, Mr HK Mittal and others. I feel this is the golden era for entrepreneurship in India.


1 comment:

Apparel Berets said...

Wow.. All I have to say isssss bravvvvoooo! Honestly, most people look @ life and really see that there is just sooo much to accomplish that they don't even know where to begin. And then, years down the line they end up regretting not taking the first steps to help them excel in their career. But you, you are the definition of true efforts and really, I think you got to where you want to be by 'planning'
Planning is something that sounds so simple, but while in Oxford, we learned that if you want to make it big in life just like those wealthy people, you have to A) Start Young (and) B) Plan ahead
And literally planning ahead got me to where I want to be in life with a six figure income and I bless every day that I live, really. All I have to say is kudos to another individual that lives his life successfully like I do :)