InEnCy – The Energy Efficiency Business Plan Contest

IndiaCo Advisors, a Pune-based investment management firm has announced InEnCy, a business plan competition focusing on energy efficiency.

Here is the pitch:

Energy efficiency, a prime factor in India’s economic growth and sustenance, requires innovative ideas converging into practice. For the purpose of promoting Energy Efficiency ideas into viable business, IndiaCo Advisors Pvt. Ltd. is proud to present InEnCy: The Business Plan Competition.

InEnCy is a first of its kind business plan competition in India, launched by IndiaCo in January 2011. It aims at identifying potential relevant innovations that could lead to viable businesses with technological and or scientific breakthroughs to improve or revolutionize Energy Efficiency. With this focus InEnCy has been able to create a support network of industry experts, VCs & investors operating in Energy Efficiency space. The InEnCy team has made a confidant foray into the competitive field of mentoring and Guidance and plans on making InEnCy Business plan competition an annual event to be held in May each year.

Laser focused on the energy efficiency sector, this competition would give a platform to budding entrepreneurs to present their innovative business plans. Mentored by a panel of industry experts, these entrepreneurs will have the further opportunity to shape and fine tune their concepts and hence turn them into successful and thriving businesses.

One winner will be proclaimed, but many more ideas to change the world will get exposure through the competition process. At the Grand Finale on May 14th InEnCy will be showcasing the final 10 business plans/ideas; best three of which will receive exciting awards!

Fast facts:

  • Shortlisted candidates will be assigned mentors from a panel of experts.
  • Online mentoring is available if required
  • Structured and transparent mentoring process.
  • Prizes worth Rs. 5,00,000.
  • A chance to pitch for Investments from IndiaCo Energy Efficiency Fund.
  • Network access to investors, mentors and potential partners.
  • Access to technology incubators.

The last date for registering is 27th Feb, 2011. Check out the InEnCy website and get started.

Grass to Electricity: Talk by Santosh Gondhalekar

Next PuneCleanTech event is a talk by Mr. Santosh Gondhalekar, Director of Gangotri Eco Technologies, based in Pune.  Gangotri has developed a technology to get energy from elephant grass, which they believe is the answer to India’s energy needs.

As always, the talk will be interesting and informative.  We will meet on 29th Jan at 11am at the NCL Venture Center.  For some reason, I cannot upload the poster yet.  Will do so shortly.



Meet the BIG VC: Dr. Ajit Nazre from Kleiner Perkins

Hello Friends,

I am very excited to invite you to a very rare opportunity to listen
to Dr. Ajit Nazre, Partner at the most respected VC firm in the world:
Kleiner Perkins Caufeld Byers (or KPCB for short).  This legendary VC
firm has funded the likes of Google and boast of people such as
General Colin Powell, Vice President Al Gore etc as partners.

Dr. Nazre has happily agreed to devote 2-3 hours of his time on 22nd
December, 2010 between 2-5pm at the NCL Venture Center.  He will
address us during the first hour including QA and then will have time
for about 5-6 meetings with individual entrepreneurs or companies in
Pune.  The event is free for everyone but please understand that the
Venture Center hall can seat only 60 people and the accommodation is
strictly on ‘first come, first served’ basis.  No RSVPs accepted.

For those who want to schedule a 1:1 meeting with Dr. Nazre between
3-5pm on that day, please send me a mail with a one-page synopsis of
your company containing what you do, who you are (including other mgmt
team) etc.  Simple text is preferred.

Dr. Nazre is KPCB’s partner looking after their India portfolio but he
invests globally.  He’s based in Palo Alto, CA.  Originally from Pune,
Dr. Nazre did his schooling in St. Vincents Highschool and then
graduated with a BE in Mechanical Engineering from COEP in 1986 where
he was the University Gold Medalist.  After completing his MS degree
in Biomechanics from Michigan Technological University, he completed
his Doctorate in Biomechanics from the Hannover Medical Center in
Germany.  After a few years of working in engineering, product
management and business development first at Zimmer Inc and later at
Synthese, Dr. Nazre completed his MBA from the Harvard Business
School.  From HBS, he joined SAP as the Technical Assistant to Dr.
Hasso Plattner, the CEO of SAP.  At SAP, Dr. Nazre spearheaded SAP’s
internet strategy, spinning off and managing SapMarkets and later
SAP’s business incubator.  The importance of Dr. Nazre’s contributions
to SAP are evident from the fact that he was promoted to Sr. VP
position within 4 years of joining SAP.  In 2002, Dr. Nazre was
invited to join KPCB as a partner, where he continues to work,
focusing on Healthcare, Enterprise Software, and Cleantech sectors.

Dr. Nazre has made all of KPCB’s India investments so far: Cleartrip,
Naukri, Futurbazaar, Paymate, InMobi to name a few.

I have requested Dr. Nazre to talk beyond a typical VC talk.  The
specific topic of his talk will be announced later.

Please understand that I will not be able to field a whole bunch of
questions, requests for meetings etc on his behalf.  I am not a part
of KPCB.  This is the next event in a series of Investor talks that I
have self-volunteered to arrange for Pune entrepreneurs and Dr. Nazre
was happy to accept my request despite this being his vacation.

Anil Paranjape
Director, Fusiontech Ventures

Unique Biodiversity Walk with Dr. Erach Bharucha

Signups are now open for this event.  Only 30 people can be accommodated.  You need to pre-pay to be able to attend.  The details are in the form.  Payment deadline is 28 October.  Signup Form is here.



I assure you this is an opportunity of a lifetime!

Dr. Erach Bharucha, the phenomenal conservationist, has graciously agreed to lead PuneCleanTech members on a bio-diversity walk in the Western Ghats, a UN-recognized bio-diversity hotspot!  As I had said in the very first event, PuneCleanTech’s focus is CleanTech but its backdrop is Sustainability.  Biodiversity and its preservation is of utmost importance from that viewpoint.

The full logistical details of this trip have not been finalized yet but we have a date: October 31st!!  Yes, it’s a Sunday but hey, the beautiful (until recently) monsoon is almost over, the Western Ghats are at their best, and we get to understand their unique flora (and possibly fauna) from the Grand-daddy of Indian Biodiversity!  This is a Sunday you will cherish forever.

I have been fortunate enough to go on an impromptu walk with Dr. Bharucha.  For two hours, he explained almost every blade of grass as to what it is, why it grows where it does (and not 5 feet away from there!), what part it plays in the ecosystem, and how it helps other flora-fauna in its value chain!  At the end of that walk, munching on the wild berries that grew in the ghats, I felt an exhilaration that I’d never forget, and that was not just because of the wild berries)

Dr. Erach Bharucha is one of those best-kept secrets that Pune has.  A disciple of Dr. Salim Ali, he is an accomplished surgeon, educator, wild-life photographer, author and conservationist.  In his 45 years of conservation work, he has extensively photographed the biodiversity of ALL of India’s National Parks.  You can google him to get to know his published work on this topic which is the definitive account of Indian Biodiversity and its challenges from historical times to present day.  He continues to spread this message of conservation as the indefatigable Director of Bharati Vidyapeeth’s Institute of Environment Education and Research.

Although the walk itself is free of cost, we will all share the logistical costs: transport, meals etc.  The walk is also limited to a few people since we don’t want to trample the flora while understanding it (!) and so that everyone can cluster around Dr. Bharucha and get to hear him.  I will consult with him to decide the number.  The walk may also be somewhat strenuous, so you need to be physically fit.

I can use help with the logistics: transport, first-aid, meals (we will decide if we do common meal or people bring their own).  Those who can help with the logistics, please contact me at amparanjape  at my address.  I’d also like to float the idea of all of us pitching money (beyond the logistics).  Although Dr. Bharucha will not charge us anything, we can express our gratitude by donating the money to a conservation effort of his choice (this is my idea, Dr. Bharucha is unaware of it, and this is not final yet)

Please stand by for more details that will be shared at our October 16 event and at this forum later.

Please do not bombard me with RSVPs until I post sign-up instructions later.



New Talk: Solar Thermal Technologies: October 16th

PuneCleanTech Event: A Talk on Solar Thermal Technologies and Their Applications

Talk on Mine Restoration on July 31, 2010

An estimated 500,000 mines dot the US landscape, most of them abandoned.  Indian statistics are equally bad, if you also include the quarries etc.  Symbols of our incessant hunger for consumption, these abandoned mines are not just an ugly eyesore but continue to pose significant hazard to communities around them:  physical hazards due to accidents and environmental hazards because of the leaching of contaminants into ground water.

Although most mine owners do not care about the abandoned mines, a few want to do the right thing by restoring these mines back to nature.  It’s, however, easier said than done.  Mountainous chunks of earth have been gouged out.  All of it cannot be replaced.  Then how is it done?  How is the site restored to nature?  How is biodiversity ensured?

Although this is not classic CleanTech, it provides an important backdrop to the need for CleanTech.  Besides there’s a science behind restoration.  To tell us all about this, Mr. Kaustubh Moghe, a Conservation Biologist and a professional mine restorer will talk to us on July 31st at 11:00 am at the NCL Venture Center.

Be there!!  We don’t know where dead people go, but this is a rare chance to learn where the dead mines go!

Mine Restoration Poster

Mine Restoration Talk Organized by PuneCleanTech

Cleaning Muck with Mozart

I wish I had gotten this before or around the Probiotics talk.  We could have asked Dr. Pillai about it.  A tongue-in-cheek look at how we can help Probiotics do their work better.  Who said CleanTech is all serious? :-)

Probiotics in CleanTech

Dr. Pillai, a highly renowned authority on Probiotics, has graciously agreed to enlighten us on ‘Probiotics in Cleantech’.  We all know Probiotics: these are helpful micro-organisms that help various animal processes.  Our knowledge and awareness (OK, mine!  Let me just speak for myself here) of probiotics has been limited to the supplements and other health food that helps our digestive systems!  But it’s enlightening to extrapolate that and see how it applies to Cleantech, especially in Waste Management.

Dr. Pillai will do precisely that.  During his upcoming visit to Pune, he will talk about it at 4:00 pm at the NCL Venture Center.  Please note that this is on a work-day (Monday) due to Dr. Pillai’s availability.  But we sure will be hard-pressed to get such an eminent authority to talk about this subject, so it’d be unwise (to put it mildly :-) ) to pass up this opportunity.

As always, admission is free but seating is limited and on a strict ‘first come first served’ basis.  No RSVP required and accepted.

A poster is attached below.



Probiotics in Cleantech - Details of PuneCleanTech event on July 5

PuneCleanTech Workshop: Pune Mirror Coverage

Shweta Kapur, a Pune Mirror reporter, was gracious enough to attend the recently concluded PuneCleanTech workshop on June 25th and wrote an interesting piece on it.  And yes, Prashant Savardekar from Cleantech systems has really developed a cow-washing machine! :-)

Solar House Decathlon in Europe

A bunch of universities and other organizations across the globe participated in 2010 Solar Decathlon in Europe, coming up with some stunning designs for solar-powered houses.  For all you architecture buffs (and the CleanTechies, of course), check out the innovative designs, shapes etc.  I remember that some team(s) from India had also participated but don’t see their entry in the slide show at least.

Now, whether these houses are really designed/built sustainably or not, is a different issue.  I guess the focus was Solar, not really Sustainable.  Still, a good step in the right direction, i’d say.