Venture Center team at Wasteless Office in Auroville

WasteLess is non-profit social enterprise based at Auroville which designs waste related educational materials for school students. Started in 2011 by Ribhu and Chandrah, WasteLess emerged from their passion toward waste management. In 2009, they organized a ‘Litter Free Auroville Campaign’ which was attended by more than 2000 people. It was after this, that they realized that behavioural change is a massive barrier towards waste management practices.

Their approach towards waste management is being explained by Ribhu in the video below. He states that “according to behavioural psychologists if you do something for 4-6 months it becomes habitual, something unconscious. For example, brushing your teeth before going to bed”. This is what they wish to do with Wasteless, that is to bring a change behaviour in people. For this, they have started with the school students and have developed innovative educational games.

WasteLess 50:50 Strategy to Waste Management

We’ve developed a 50:50 #strategy in our work on #education for #sustainable #waste #management.
Check out our approach to #closethetap & #inspire the next #generation to mop better.
This is part of a longer video message addressing the #amazing Plant-for-the-Planet youth summit
Watch the full video :
Thank you Martin Autour du Monde for making this for us!

Posted by WasteLess on Thursday, December 29, 2016

In 2012, they launched their waste education board game called Garbology 101. The board game consists of 6 different themes and 101 activities on waste, resource conservation, avoidance & reduction, conscious consumerism, system change and whole school activity. At present, the toolkit is being used in 50 schools across the country.
In 2017, they came up with Garbology lite, consisting of fun and interactive activities which are free to download.
Source: http://wastelessindia.org/garbology-lite/garbology-lite/

Amidst the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and multitudes of awareness campaigns, WasteLess hits right at the spot by reaching out to the kids. What is being taught at the school prepare the kids for the future. Waste education so far has been little or untouched in the curriculum. The ideology of WasteLess has a potential to create an enormous ripple effect and change the way we deal with the waste we generate.

About the Author: Shubham Singh is presently working as the BIRAC Social Innovator at Venture Center, Pune.

Eco-Service, Auroville Visit

As a part of immersions, we visited a dry segregator established and operating out of Auroville, Pondicherry. The unit is headed by a couple residing within Auroville, Palani. K and Kali. Their main philosophy is to offer a better waste management solution to the communities residing within the Auroville campus by offering them an end to end service by managing their dry waste.

Following are the highlights of the visit:

  • Eco services request residents and communities to segregate their waste at source in as less as 6 and as many as 13 categories. Some of the basic segregation categories are:

– Paper

– Plastic

– Metal (Aluminium, Copper is maximum)

– Glass (Broken and unbroken separately)

– Non-recyclable

– Sanitary

– Tetrapack

– Thermocol

– Cardboard

– Leather

– Batteries

– Tyres

  • The entire model of Eco Service hinges on community participation as the primary segregation is the key. The “Ammas” (local ladies) doing the secondary segregation require a certain level of segregation at source.
    Now, since Auroville is a very closed gate community these rules and regulations can be easily emphasised and monitored, which can be a hassle in other situations.
  • The Ammas doing secondary segregation re-segregate the waste into as many as 82 categories from the initial separation. This ensures the right waste can reach the right recyclers. Eco Service stores this waste and drops it off at the right recycling locations once an optimum quantity is reached.
  • The recyclers buy this waste from Eco Services at an price depending on at which tier it is being sold at. The revenue generated from this is distributed to Ammas and the waste generators based on a pre decided split up. A 8-10% of the profit is retained by Eco-Service as the operational and logistics expense.
  • Eco-services charges the communities for the waste picking charges depending on what kind of waste is being offered. A completely or partially segregated waste is collected at ₹60/ bag of paper, plastic. However, an unsorted waste is collected at a value of ₹180/ bag.
  • Eco-service is currently facing issues to procure the technology or manage recyclers to manage the double sided plastic, tetra-pack and thermocol.
  • Eco-Services has also come up with different types of innovative solutions to deal with some of the waste. For example:They have made a concrete cup like structure which they fill up with used batteries and then pour concrete to fill it up and seal it off. These cups are then planted with decorational plants and are used as landscaping artifacts.

    They chop down the thermocol into smaller pieces and mix it with concrete to make non load bearing partitions which can be used in the houses and offices within the premises of Auroville.


Author: Monish Deshmukh, BIRAC SIIP Fellow at Venture Center, Pune


Patents and Patent filling procedures

About Speaker –

Archana Joshi is Assistant Manager at Intellectual Property Facilitation Center (IPFACE), Venture Center. IPFACE is a project of Venture center,funded by MSME(govt. of India) and NCL.IPFACE provides services regarding trademark,patent filing,drafting,GI filing,patentability assesment etc. IPFACE also conduct Awareness talks at various institutions and organize workshops in IPR.

She has done M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry and PG Diploma in Patents Law from NALSAR and also, she is registered Patent Agent.

Lecture –

On 08th July 2017, under the Start-up 101 Lecture Series for Entrepreneurs, Archana Joshi offered a talk on ‘Patents and Patent Filling Procedures’. She started her lecture with explaining basic terminology used in patents and patent filling.

What is Patent?

It is one of the type of Intellectual Properties (IP). Patent is exclusive right to protect your technology which is granted by Government. It’s a territorial exclusive right to inventor or their assignees which is assigned for limited period of time (20 years, from date of first filling date).

Now, question comes in why and when to file patent. Patents can fetch good amount of money, goodwill, you can gain recognition and can restrict other person from infringement. She gave some examples like – Hitachi earned $455 million in patent royalties in 1996. It paid approximately $91 in patent licensing fees on the technologies it got from others. Thus, it made a profit of $364 million in 1996 in its patent trade and patents made a significant contribution to the company’s bottom line.

When to file Patent?

Before disclosing your innovation to anybody anywhere. For example – Before submitting PhD thesis or before displaying in exhibition.

Novelty is the primary criteria to get any patent. Further, she explained the check list of Patentability-

  1. Is your innovation novel?
  2. Check if you have clearly added value to an existing product
  3. Who will benefit from your invention
  4. Search for similar ideas in patent databases
  5. Search for existing technology (Websites – Alibaba.com and Indiamart.com)
  6. Expected profits
  7. Search for potential licenses and investors

Once you file patent it takes some time to get patented. Below are the timelines –

About the Author:  Pramod Bhurji, BIRAC Social Innovator at Venture Center, Pune

Nuts and Bolts of Starting a New Business

About Speaker-

Sujata Bogawat is Chartered Accountant and MBA with over 16 years of experience in financial management of manufacturing and services industries; including start-ups and not-for-profit companies. She is Senior Partner at Baheti & Somani which is a full-service CA firm headquartered in Pune. Also, she was Director at ADVANTAGE Business Consulting, Pune from Feb 2012 to March 2017.

Lecture –

Under Venture Center Startups 101 Lecture Series, Sujata Bogawat delivered a lecture on ‘Nuts and Bolts of Starting a New Business’ on 01st July 2017.

The talk was largely focused on legal structure of entity, registration and licenses of entity, business plan, start-up finance, balance sheet, investors perspective of investing in any business and funding.

The lecture begins with a very good quote – “Never go half-hearted if you are in business”. I really liked this line and the way she started her lecture. Then she talked about – who is an entrepreneur?

Once you have an idea and business plan then registering an entity which is very important part. These are the types of legal structure in India –

  1. Sole Proprietorship
  2. LLP
  3. Joint Venture
  4. Society/ Trust
  5. Partnership Firm
  6. One Person Company
  7. Public Limited Company
  8. Private Limited Company

After registration of entity, compliances are the important part and it leads to fines if fails to do on time. She gave a brief overview of how an investor look at any business plan when we approach them. She said investors don’t have time to go through entire business plan but they do check whether you have done your homework or not and look at Business Model Canvas which give them the overall understanding of business plan.

She talked about customer relationships, balance sheet, how to analyse balance sheet and cash flow statement. Cash is life blood of any business, if a business have cash it will survive. She said you don’t need lot of cash but you need sufficient cash to run operations.

How much Cash do you need?

Start-up Funds = (One-time Start-up costs) + (Monthly costs up to regular sales realization) + (minimum liquidity)

She briefly talked about why you need Co-founding agreement to avoid conflicts in future with your partner and how to build a good team.


About the Author:  Pramod Bhurji, BIRAC Social Innovator at Venture Center, Pune

Simplifying the term sheet

Under start-up 101 lecture series, Shruti Devasthali offered a lecture on Simplifying the term sheet on 8th July, 2017.

The talk began with Shruti explaining the term sheet. A term sheet is a confidential and exclusive document which words the mutual understanding between an investor and entrepreneur. The term sheet post signature by both the parties is a binding document and is a valid for a definite period. However, it is not a legal document.
A term sheet covers:
– Investor details
– Details of the company in which investors are investing
– Details of the instrument against which the investment will be done
Includes: Equity, Preference shares (convertible/non, participating/non, cumulative/non), Convertible debt
– The actual investment details and agreed valuation of the company
Includes: Amount of investment, timing and frequency of investment, valuations at which investments are done (Pre/Post money evaluation), preference share (distribution of dividends based on % of interests), convertible instruments and basis of conversion
– Other terms of investment
Includes: Board seats distribution, Affirmative rights, anti-dilution, exit rights (IPO), Third party sale, promoter buy back), Drag / tag along, right of first refusal/offer, transfer restrictions, founders’ lock-in, lawyers’ fees

According to the speaker an entrepreneur should always do the following before signing a term sheet:
i. Understand the term sheet in depth
ii. Always consult your board of directors, advisers and peers
iii. Only accept the terms which are universally part of the investment agreement
iv. Spend time to understand the terms which are not general and are binding for the company

Author: Monish Deshmukh, BIRAC SIIP Fellow at Venture Center