Mumbai: Insead, France’s premier business school, plans to set up an entrepreneurship research centre in India by the end of the year.

The centre will undertake research projects on the start-up ecosystem in India.

Strong focus:Chad Myers, executive director, Rudolf and Valeria Maag International Centre for Entrepreneurship, Insead.

“Insead has a stronger focus on entrepreneurship than most other international business schools, and India and China are important research areas for us," says Chad Myers, executive director, Rudolf and Valeria Maag International Centre for Entrepreneurship, Insead.

The school has 17 electives related to entrepreneurship, compared with five to six subjects in other colleges.

Headquartered in Singapore, the centre was set up in 2003 with funding from Insead and the Singapore Economic Development Board.

The centre also matchmakes between start-ups and its students—its Entrepreneurship Project ClearingHouse allows companies to submit projects to be carried out free of charge. In return, its students gain exposure to real-life problems faced by start-ups.

Over the last year, the centre has intensified its research on Indian start-ups, especially in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

It has developed business case studies on start-ups such as mobile payment solutions company mChek India Payment Systems Pvt. Ltd and online tutoring firm, both based in Bangalore.

With the need to undertake bigger research projects—it received a request for a survey on 200 Indian start-ups for innovation trends—the centre is establishing a direct presence in the country.

It plans to appoint a director in India to coordinate the surveys and case studies commissioned by Insead’s faculty and hire research assistants to carry them out.

The centre has plans beyond just research and aims to play an active part in growing the start-up ecosystem in India.

“There are gaps in the ecosystem which need to be plugged—there is a lack of education, on the part of entrepreneurs and investors, especially high networth individuals," says Myers.

The lack of sufficient seed capital will affect the growth cycle of start-ups and hence investments, he adds.

The centre will organize networking events in India, in addition to helping start-ups with advice and contacts.