India Innovation Initiative (i3) is a national-level competition organized by theConfederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Government of India with the principal aim of communicating and promoting science, technology and innovation among Indian citizens, and facilitating commercialization of most promising innovations.

The initiative aims to expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the country by fostering the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship among young Indian citizens who have the ability to think out-of-the-box and the boldness and passion to solve contemporary industry and social challenges.

This initiative is in line with the growing awareness in the country of recognizing and awarding prizes to spur innovation by incentivizing innovators (from urban and rural India) to tackle key challenges in areas such as healthcare, sanitation, agriculture, energy, environment, engineering, IT and communications among others through application of breakthrough technology ideas in society.

To address the needs of innovators from all walks of life, CII created the platform of “India Innovation Initiative” in 2009 where students, innovators from R&D institutes & labs, MSMEs, Industry professionals, independent innovators, entrepreneurs and early stage- start-ups from all regions of the country are encouraged to participate, get recognized and rewarded for generating high potential innovative solutions for various industrial and societal challenges.

Through this challenge, an influential section of academia, investors, incubators and industry are invited to scout for the most novel solutions. Innovations adjudged having the highest potential societal or industrial impact are recognised and connected to the start-up ecosystem of business incubators, angel investors, venture capitalists and industry mentors according to where they find themselves in the different stages of the innovation or business cycle.

Through its seven years journey, i3 has received over 6,190 innovations by students, teachers, scientists, researchers, professionals, rural innovators, entrepreneurs and MSMEs coming from all corners of the country. i3 has consistently grown in size and prestige over the years.  

In 2014, along with existing partners, one new partner came on board in the form of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to foster a spirit of innovation among students and popularize this contest in the academic institution community. The partners help in providing commercialization / incubation support to participants.

 Last year, the initiative received an overwhelming response in the form of 740+ entries. The 7th edition of i3 2015 National Fair and Awards Ceremony was held on 4th December 2015 on the side-lines of the first India International Science Fair, organized by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi.

Nine best innovations by individuals from diverse backgrounds including five students, one class VII drop-out and two PhD scholars in the field of healthcare, textiles, agriculture, food technology, electronics  and products and services were conferred with the top awards of 7th India Innovation Initiative (i3) 2015. The winners were felicitated by Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan during the valedictory ceremony of the India International Science Festival (IISF) held on 7th December 2015 at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

This year, the focus of India Innovation Initiative is:

  • Reach out to innovators, from all walks of life,having novel and high impact solutions for industrial and social challenges.
  • Enhance understanding and raise awareness about the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem among all stakeholders especially innovators.
  • Connect the most promising innovators to the ecosystem of mentors, incubators and investors to help them translate their innovations into viable commercial ventures.

A significant part of the entire exercise also aims to assist innovators understand the nuances of areas such as intellectual property and patenting, commercialization and doing business by organizing workshops/lecture series with specialists and providing them mentorship with top venture capitalists and angel investors. The mentorship support is funded through resources generated from industry members, by CII. Every year the aim is to broaden the mentorship and incubation support to more and more innovators so that many more ideas are translated into commercially viable products and services.

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TSB partners i3 for mentoring the young ventures

World over, the vacuum of continuous mentoring is acutely felt by the start-ups. These founders could be fresh college pass-out, professionals starting their second innings, companies looking at growth stage, women or rural entrepreneurs. 

The Startup Board (TSB) is a group of experienced industry professionals who work with the start-up founders, to help increase the chances of success of the business venture. Under our flagship Able2Enable program, mentors, with their perspective and experience, work together to overcome the pain-points that founders have. These could range from to work on growth of top-line, increasing reach of products / services in new geographic areas, increasing brand presence, helping with key management recruit during growth or alike. The engagement is result driven. 

The Startup Board brings together “The Right team” which is the key to the success of start-up venture. The mentoring is based on practical tips and leverages the contacts and know-how of the working professionals. 

Team for a venture is modular in structure and is constituted as per the need. It may include core team that comprises of experts from major functional areas - strategy, human resources, sales and marketing, finance or technology. Another layer could consist of guidance from support groups on Government policies, IP & trademarks, processes, partnerships, among others. On top of it, macro sector specific trends are sourced from the domain experts. Professionals are chosen based on their entrepreneurial bent of mind, expertise in their functional area, and minimum 10 years of industry experience to ensure availability of rich blend of perspective. 

Big organizations have their board of directors who guide the CEO / management team on strategic direction, TSB fills this gap for the start-ups. More details are available at