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How to Build a Unicorn Startup or Launch IPO? Learn From ideaForge!

Do you want to build a unicorn startup? Sounds like a big thing, right? Well, it can be easy if you learn from the right people! What's stopping you? TICE is here with some great insights from the founder of ideaForge, who himself built a unicorn!

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Shreshtha Verma
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Remember that whiteboard in your garage, covered in scribbles and fuelled by endless cups of coffee? Back then, the idea of your startup becoming a billion-dollar behemoth, a coveted "unicorn," felt tangible. But as the daily grind sets in, the path to that IPO seems to stretch into infinity.

Do you ever wonder what separates those fleeting dreams from reality? What's the secret sauce that propels a startup from a shoestring operation to a market leader?

Look no further than IdeaForge, an Indian drone startup that soared from the dorms of IIT Bombay all the way to a successful IPO. This is a story of resilience, innovation, and a whole lot of flying robots! If you are also thinking "how to build a unicorn startup?" Or "how to launch IPO?", this story can just be for you!

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Unicorn Startup ideaForge & their IPO Journey!

Get ready to dive deep with Mr. Rahul Singh, Co-founder and VP of Engineering at IdeaForge. We'll explore their incredible journey, from those early days of experimentation to conquering challenges, navigating the ever-changing startup landscape, and ultimately achieving that unicorn status.

IdeaForge's story is more than just inspiring – it's a roadmap for every entrepreneur chasing their own startup dreams. Buckle up, grab your metaphorical pilot's license, and let's get ready for takeoff!

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Singh shares the inspiring story of how a group of IIT Bombay students founded ideaForge, and over 17 years, turned it into a leading drone startup, recently launching an IPO and achieving unicorn status.

The story of ideaForge starts about 17 to 20 years back when our co-founding team came together as students at IIT Bombay. We started tinkering with technology and had fun creating impactful outcomes, which convinced us to create an enterprise. In 2007, we incorporated our company as ideaForge and began our journey. At that time, drones were relatively unknown, and we had to start from scratch to build both the technology and educate the market about the potential of drones. It took longer than expected, but today, we are one of the largest drone manufacturers in India for defense and civil applications, with international growth.

 The Expansive Role of Drones in Multiple Industries

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Rahul explains how drones have evolved beyond capturing images to become versatile tools for surveillance, agriculture, and other industries.

Drones, from an aerial perspective, can collect information or move things. We focus on applications with high utilization and frequency of usage, such as surveillance, agriculture, mining, and construction. Drones are also becoming integral in mobility applications, making their future look increasingly common but impactful.

Challenges in Launching an IPO

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He shares the challenges and importance of launching an IPO for a startup based on his learnings of ideaForge IPO.

Going public involved more compliance and disclosure efforts, but it's necessary to gain the public's trust and confidence in our growth story. Disclosing business practices and plans ensures that our growth can be verified and backed up, which benefits both the organization and the public.

The Role of IIT Bombay in ideaForge's Journey

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Rahul highlights the significance of IIT Bombay in their journey.

IIT Bombay played a pivotal role, contributing to our competency and capability with students from the institute. The incubator at IIT Bombay supported us during the early stages when the ecosystem was challenging for a startup. We continue to collaborate with IIT Bombay, creating win-win scenarios for both academia and industry.

Evolution of the Indian Startup Ecosystem

Rahul discusses how the Indian startup ecosystem has become more favorable for entrepreneurs.

Today, India has become more entrepreneurship-friendly with improved ease of doing business, access to capital, and the expansion of the digital economy, offering new opportunities. It's an exciting time for entrepreneurship in India, benefiting both entrepreneurs and society.

How to Survive Funding Winters? - Sustainable Business Practices

Rahul advises new-age startups on surviving in challenging funding environments.

Business sustainability is key. Avoid over-dependence on external funding, as a sustainable approach can help you continue even in tough funding situations. Our values are based on the theme of flight, emphasizing sustainable practices.

Rahul's Mantra for Entrepreneurial Success

Rahul shares his personal mantra for entrepreneurial success.

Do something you are passionate about and committed to. Having a clear purpose, beyond profit and people, is crucial. The journey itself, driven by a strong purpose, makes the challenges worthwhile.

The Role of Incubation in a Startup Journey

Rahul explains the importance of incubation in a startup's growth.

Incubation acts as a support system, like guardrails for a young plant. It provides support, both financial and emotional, allowing startups to grow and thrive in the harsh environment of the real world. Incubation plays a significant role in the journey of enterprises.

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