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FLAME University Inaugurates the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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FLAME University Inaugurates the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

A platform to support startups through a structured and personalized mentoring program

FLAME University, the pioneer of Liberal Education in India inaugurates the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to support high potential early stage startups through a structured and personalized mentoring program.

FCEI (FLAME Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation) will be led by Mr. Darshan Doshi, who joins as the director of FCEI.

FLAME Origins Program, one of the initiatives under FCEI is an intense 5-month program which will set startups on a growth path.About 10-15 startups will be selected to participate in the equity-free no-cost FLAME Origins Program. Although the program participation is free of cost, FCEI requires entrepreneurs to work full time on their startups. The FCEI team will work closely with the participants to ensure that they can maximize value from the program. They will connect entrepreneurs to business mentors, subject matter experts, prospective customers and investors throughout the duration of the program.

The program will help selected entrepreneurs achieve traction, gain strategic and functional guidance, gain access to customers, partners, investors and to events and resources which will help them grow their businesses. The program comes with a plethora of benefits for the startup founders such as – access to world-class facilities including a co-working space, FLAME library resources, a pool of advisors, business traction and product workshops, cash flow management, developing and testing go-to-market strategy, fundraising and actionable next steps for growth.

Commenting on the inauguration, Mr. Darshan Doshi, Director of FCEI said, “Just as the African proverb, ‘it takes a whole village to raise a child’. We believe it will take an ‘Entrepreneurial Village’ to raise successful startups. By launching the FCEI, we are building on our existing partnerships like Babson Collaborative (USA), to create a strong foundation for entrepreneurship at FLAME University. Each startup faces unique challenges in its early days and one of the biggest value add that anyone can do to help the entrepreneurs is to enable conversations with entrepreneurs or subject matter experts who have recently overcome similar challenges. With this in mind, the FLAME Origins Program is designed to enable entrepreneurs to receive feedback on their products from prospective customers as well as receive guidance from people with relevant experience. Our advisors bring experience, expertise and industry connect to help startups identify and solve problems and reach the next stage of growth. Furthermore, FCEI will organize startup competitions to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, students and corporations.”

FCEI’s advisors include Kuntal Shah, Partner, Oaklane Capital Management LLP; Amey Mashelkar, Head of Reliance JioGenNext; Prasanna Krishnamoorthy, Co-founder of Upekkha Accelerator; SashiChimala, a serial entrepreneur and EVP Wadhwani Foundation; Suhas Kadlaskar, Vice President Corporate Affairs & Human Resources at Mercedes-Benz India Private Limited, among others.

The startups for the program will be selected through a competitive model wherein prospective startups can submit an online application and shortlisted startups will go through two rounds of selection process. The applications are open and startups can apply by visiting – https://www.flame.edu.in/research/centres/centre-for-entrepreneurship-innovation/the-application-process
Effectuation Workshop on August 1 & 2, 2018

The first workshop at FCEI will be conducted on effectuation on 1st and 2nd August, 2018 by Dr. Saras D. Sarasvathy, a leading scholar on the cognitive basis for high performance entrepreneurship. Saras is a Paul M. Hammaker Professor in Business Administration at University of Virginia – Darden School of Business as well as Jamuna Raghavan Chair Professor in Entrepreneurship, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Entrepreneurs interested in learning how to grow their business can apply for the August 1st, 2018 workshop here: https://www.flame.edu.in/research/centres/centre-for-entrepreneurship-innovation/workshops/from-ideas-to-ventures-an-introduction-to-effectuation

The effectuation workshop on August 2nd, 2018 focuses on faculty development and it is suited for entrepreneurship educators, incubator and startup accelerator leaders. The application link for that is: https://www.flame.edu.in/research/centres/centre-for-entrepreneurship-innovation/workshops/faculty-development-program-from-ideas-to-ventures-an-introduction-to-effectuation

On the onset of the inauguration, Dr.Saras D. Sarasvathy said, “I have long advocated that we should be teaching entrepreneurship to everyone, just as we teach science to everyone. Especially if we want to build a society capable of shaping its own future.FLAME is taking an important step in that direction and I am happy to work with them to foster entrepreneurship education as well as help startups in the area do well.”

Dr. Devi Singh, Vice-Chancellor, FLAME University added, “FLAME University aims to create societal upgradation through leadership. Launching the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is one more step in that direction. Giving entrepreneurs the knowledge and networking platform to take their startups to the next level with the support of partners, mentors and advisors with industry experience and expertise is what the Centre aims to do. FLAME Origins Program is just one of many programs that the Centre will conduct. We will also be conducting various workshops for the benefit of students, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship educators.”

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Aston Martin says back on the road to profitability after 2020 loss

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Aston Martin says back on the road to profitability after 2020 loss 1

By Costas Pitas

LONDON (Reuters) – Aston Martin expects to almost double sales and move back towards profitability this year after sinking deeper into the red in 2020, when the luxury carmaker was hit by the pandemic, changed its boss and was forced to raise cash.

The British company’s shares jumped 9% in early Thursday trading after it kept a forecast for around 6,000 sales to dealers this year as new management turns around its performance.

The carmaker of choice for fictional secret agent James Bond has had a tough time since floating in 2018, as it failed to meet expectations and burnt through cash, prompting it to seek fresh investment from billionaire Executive Chairman Lawrence Stroll.

The firm made a 466-million pound ($660 million) loss last year, compared with a 120 million pound loss in 2019, as sales to dealers fell by 42% to 3,394 vehicles, hit by the closure of showrooms and factories due to COVID-19.

For 2021, it expects “to see the first steps towards improved profitability” but is still likely to post a pre-tax loss, the carmaker said.

“I am extremely pleased with the progress to date despite operating in these most challenging of times,” Stroll said.

Aston said demand for its first sport utility vehicle, the DBX, which rolled off the production line at its Welsh plant in 2020, was strong in a lucrative segment of the market it entered to widen its appeal.

The model accounted for 1,516 of deliveries to dealers last year and the company expects further growth in its first full-year of sales, including in the key market of China, where rivals such as Bentley are also seeing high demand.

“We had not even a half-year DBX production in wholesome so probably we are going to see over-proportional growth in China,” Chief Executive Tobias Moers, who took over in August, told Reuters.

($1 = 0.7065 pounds)

(Reporting by Costas Pitas. Editing by Estelle Shirbon and Mark Potter)

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Oil prices hit 11-month highs on tighter supplies, Fed assurance on low rates

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Oil prices hit 11-month highs on tighter supplies, Fed assurance on low rates 2

By Florence Tan

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices rose for a fourth straight session on Thursday to the highest levels in more than 11 months, underpinned by monetary easing policies and lower crude production in the United States.

Brent crude futures for April gained 19 cents, 0.3%, to $67.23 a barrel by 0400 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for April was at $63.30 a barrel, up 8 cents, 0.1%.

Both contracts touched their highest since January earlier in the session with Brent at $67.44 and WTI at $63.67.

An assurance from the U.S. Federal Reserve that interest rates would stay low for a while boosted investors’ risk appetite and global financial markets.

“Comments from Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell, earlier in the week relating to the need for monetary policy to remain accommodative have probably helped, but sentiment in the oil market has also become more bullish, with expectations for a tightening oil balance,” ING analysts said in a note.

A rare winter storm in Texas has caused U.S. crude production to drop by more than 10%, or 1 million barrels per day (bpd) last week, the Energy Information Administration said. [EIA/S]

Fuel supplies in the world’s largest oil consumer could also tighten as its refinery crude inputs had dropped to the lowest since September 2008.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, is due to meet on March 4.

The group will discuss a modest easing of oil supply curbs from April given a recovery in prices, OPEC+ sources said, although some suggest holding steady for now given the risk of new setbacks in the battle against the pandemic.

Extra voluntary cuts by Saudi Arabia in February and March have tightened global supplies and supported prices.

(Reporting by Florence Tan)

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Australian media reforms pass parliament after last-ditch changes

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Australian media reforms pass parliament after last-ditch changes 3

By Colin Packham and Swati Pandey

CANBERRA (Reuters) – The Australian parliament on Thursday passed a new law designed to force Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc to pay media companies for content used on their platforms in reforms that could be replicated in other countries.

Australia will be the first country where a government arbitrator will decide the price to be paid by the tech giants if commercial negotiations with local news outlets fail.

The legislation was watered down, however, at the last minute after a standoff between the government and Facebook culminated in the social media company blocking all news for Australian users.

Subsequent amendments to the bill included giving the government the discretion to release Facebook or Google from the arbitration process if they prove they have made a “significant contribution” to the Australian news industry.

Some lawmakers and publishers have warned that could unfairly leave smaller media companies out in the cold, but both the government and Facebook have claimed the revised legislation as a win.

“The code will ensure that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content they generate, helping to sustain public-interest journalism in Australia,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a joint statement on Thursday.

The progress of the legislation has been closely watched around the world as countries including Canada and Britain consider similar steps to rein in the dominant tech platforms.

The revised code, which also includes a longer period for the tech companies to strike deals with media companies before the state intervenes, will be reviewed within one year of its commencement, the statement said. It did not provide a start date.

The legislation does not specifically name Facebook or Google. Frydenberg said earlier this week he will wait for the tech giants to strike commercial deals with media companies before deciding whether to compel both to do so under the new law.

Google has struck a series of deals with publishers, including a global content arrangement with News Corp, after earlier threatening to withdraw its search engine from Australia over the laws.

Several media companies, including Seven West Media, Nine Entertainment and the Australian Broadcasting Corp have said they are in talks with Facebook.

Representatives for both Google and Facebook did not immediately respond to requests from Reuters for comment on Thursday.

(Reporting by Colin Packham in Canberra and Swati Pandey in Sydney; Writing by Jonathan Barrett; Editing by Leslie Adler, Stephen Coates and Jane Wardell)

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