Siemens Venture Capital GmbH (SVC), the venture capital arm of electronics major Siemens AG, has announced a business plan showcase—Siemens Venture Capital India Innovation Programme—for the first time in India. SVC, which invests out of the parent’s global balance sheet, has gradually changed its focus from communications technologies to emerging sectors. The business plan showcase is targeted at entrepreneurs and research scientists developing products in these new sectors. The last day for submissions is 30 November. Rajesh Vakil, associate, Communications Fund, Siemens Venture Capital, spoke to Mint about the showcase. Edited excerpts:
Why the business plan showcase?
This is a first for Siemens. We have not tried this in any other market. Given the nascent ecosystem for entrepreneurship, we had to take a proactive step to reach out to innovators in our areas of interest. It ties in well with our long-term objective of helping businesses build poducts in these sectors. In return, these companies would help us diversify our product portfolio and expand our business.
What are the areas of focus?
We are looking for companies in sectors such as energy generation, automation and control, optical semiconductors, imaging technologies, health care diagnostics and sensor technologies.
How will the programme benefit these companies?
First, it will give them a platform of visibility. Seven companies will be chosen to present at the Siemens Venture Forum next April. They (the companies) will interact with experts from diverse business groups within Siemens, such as energy and health care. We will also evaluate the companies for funding opportunities and business collaboration. The top three finalists will win a cash prize each.
How will the selection take place?
In the first stage, companies have to submit a five-page business plan. Companies should have at least a working prototype of the product. The judges panel comprises Siemens’ local and global venture partners, members of related business groups and corporate technology groups. The panel will shortlist promising companies, and we’ll ask them to submit a more detailed business plan. Based on these, the seven finalists will be chosen.
What kind of participation do you expect?
We are expecting around 100 business plan entries. Given the kind of sectors we are targeting, we expect fewer entries from the student fraternity, which tends to focus on consumer technology.