Incubation Manager – Atal Innovation Center, CATALYST-IFMR

Location: Jaipur

About Atal Innovation Center CATALYST-IFMR

Government of India, through the government think tank NITI Aayog, launched the Atal Innovation Mission to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship within the country. Under the aegis of AIM, NITI Aayog has set out to establish Atal Incubation centres, across India. The AICs will create world class incubation facilities across various parts of India with suitable physical infrastructure in terms of capital equipment and operating facilities, coupled with the av ailability of sectoral experts for mentoring the start-ups, business planning support, access to seed capital, industry partners, trainings and other relevant components required for encouraging innovative start-ups.

As a part of AIM’s larger vision of promoting sector-specific entrepreneurship within the country, IFMR has been approved as one of the institutes to set up an AIC, in Jaipur. The new AIC will take forward IFMR’s existing initiative in the fintech space – Catalyst.

Catalyst was set up in 2016 as a donor funded program focused on investigating coordination and market facilitation gaps to accelerate digital payment adoption and usage in micro merchant ecosystems as a steppingstone for access to broader financial services such as savings, credit, and insurance. It was set up in Jaipur under an anchor partnership with the Government of Rajasthan, and has advised the Ministry of Finance, National Digital Payment Mission and Niti Aayog. Since its inception, it has worked in the areas of (i) supply chain payments, (ii) digital payment acceptance by fixed store as well as roving businesses, and (iii) digital finance for the urban poor households. As part of these efforts, it also set up a product incubator ‘Fintech for the Last Mile’ to promote new solutions and entrepreneurs specifically addressing last mile pain points of traditionally underserved communities. It is now keen to extend its product innovation efforts to micro enterprises in peri-urban and rural geographies, linking these initiatives more tightly to ongoing programs to strengthen livelihoods and promote market linkages.

The newly established AIC will build on Catalyst’s previous efforts and scale its successful initiatives. It will also tap into synergies with the broader IFMR university ecosystem. Over a five-year horizon, the scope of the program may also extend beyond fintech to other priority inclusive technology domains such as education, health, agriculture, etc. Catalyst intends to leverage strategic partnerships to enable additional sponsorships to support & grow the program, tap venture funding for participating and promising startups, drive new industry relevance, and support policy advocacy for innovative business models to emerge and scale.

About IFMR

Catalyst’s parent organization, IFMR, under new and dynamic leadership is undergoing a transformation with the launch of KREA University to set up a new paradigm in immersive education. Organizationally, the Catalyst incubator will fall under the ambit of the IFMR Graduate School of Business at KREA University, which will contribute resources to advance its mission as well as enable synergies with its own curricula and student body.

Position Overview

The Incubation Manager will be an entrepreneurial candidate who can take ownership of the day-to-day activities and overall coordination at the incubator. She/he will be responsible for the general management of the incubator, coordination among different stakeholders and startups, partnerships, events, and other related activities for the incubator. The manager will also ensure implementation of the overall incubation structure that has been designed. The manager, along with general roles, is also expected to be involved with the larger startup ecosystem. She/he will engage with the broader innovation ecosystem and establish key partnerships across potential sponsors, VCs, other incubators, industry players, policymakers, and knowledge partners. She/he will be regularly taking necessary inputs & feedbacks from all stakeholders and ensure that they are delivered to the leadership team for further action.

The manager will be based in Jaipur and will closely work with the CEO and leadership team of the incubator. She/he will report directly to the CEO of the incubation center.

Roles and Responsibilities

Program Management and Execution

•     Work with startups in the program according to the frameworks and mechanisms as outlined by the Incubator leadership team. Monitor business performance of portfolio start-ups, interface with other stakeholders and provide industry connects
•     Regularly interact and coordinate with internal and external stakeholders to ensure program performance. Look for newer avenues of partnerships and bring the same to the leadership team for further action.
•     Work towards overall startup community mobilisation and reach out. Ensure that the program reaches out to relevant ecosystem stakeholders.
•     Study key sectors and generate insights, use-cases and industry analyses for internal and external usage.
•     Manage and support internal and external communication as needed for the program. This will also include maintaining communication with the media as and when required.
•     Interact and maintain relationships with portfolio companies, mentors and partners.
•     Ensure preparation of necessary portfolio reports for both internal and external purposes.
•     Ensure smooth day-to-day overall functioning of the incubator, by coordinating with Admin, Marketing, Design, HR and other relevant team members.
•     Active participation in events, seminars and workshops for building and sharing sectoral knowledge. Ensuring coordination with relevant team members within the organisation for event participation

Skills and Qualifications

•     A highly motivated individual looking to work for benefitting the semi-urban/rural livelihoods
•     Experience of working in startups or with an incubator/accelerator.
•     Prior experience as a startup founder or with a relevant VC/Angel investment firm is a bonus.
•     Overall understanding of the digital technology and product landscape
•     Strong execution skill set – including a focus on data-driven decision making, comfort with ambiguity, and ability to drive rapid “learn & implement” iterations, strong bias for action and outcomes-based orientation;
•     Good overall leadership and networking skills.
•     Flexibility to work with asymmetric demands and last-minute changes to programs
•     Fluent in written and spoken English, with the ability to speak in front of an audience as and when deemed necessary
•     Experience of running multi-functional teams.
•     Excellent skills in the entire Microsoft Office Suite (MS Word, Powerpoint, Excel etc.)
•     Educational Qualifications: Graduation (background in IT/Computer Science/Finance/Commerce is preferred)