Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has launched a ‘Centre for Research on Start-Ups and Risk Financing’ (CREST) to provide academic and thought leadership in innovation, entrepreneurship and risk capital. Along with this, the institute also plans to create a unique world-class data repository on Indian start-ups and ventures. The information resource would be made accessible for researchers and policymakers that can result in top-tier publications.

Delivering the inaugural lecture of CREST on ‘Cultivating societal trust can unlock India’s Entrepreneurial Potential,’ Prof. Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School, said, “Entrepreneurs with great ideas in developing countries cannot rely on the usual trust-building foundations – law, regulatory oversight, and government projects, as they might in the developed world. Assuming the existence of these phantom factors predisposes ventures not to succeed at scale. Instead, smart entrepreneurs in these countries need a mindset shift, focusing not only on creating but also the conditions to create these.”

Elaborating on the relationship between scientists and entrepreneurs, Prof. Tarun Khanna said, “There is a need to build trust between Scientists and business leaders. Amazing technology is coming out of the labs but the condition to get the maximum out of such innovations is not there.” The data repository is also being built keeping in mind the idea that the insights and evidence from the rigorous academic research would support policy-making. It would also increase the effectiveness of managerial and investment decision-making in entrepreneurship.

The Vision of CREST

  1. To be globally recognized as a leading centre of research engaged in scholarly research in the areas of creation, development, and financing of innovation, start-ups, and entrepreneurship
  2. Cross country collaborative research, resulting in the use of unique data sets on start-ups and venture capital that increases the chances of breakthrough findings
  3. Evidence synthesis on the start-up and innovation ecosystem to inform policymakers and practitioners

The key mission of CREST would be to engage in scholarly research. The creation of entrepreneurship specific language models will facilitate a better understanding of the entities in the ecosystem.



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