by Tanya Agarwal
India’s startup ecosystem is counted among the top five in the world. The country’s young population hold much potential to be innovative and creative solutioneers. Nonetheless, the nation lacks apt opportunities to mould and mentor young minds. In the education space, the emphasis on creativity is ripe for attention, and the need to complement academic and co-curricular activities with first-hand work experience is strong. Education does not have to precede industry exposure or work experience anymore.
Giving the youth the ‘Startup Edge’
Enter programs like ‘The Startup Edge’, an initiative of the World Youth Council. The main aim of this event is to give young people a taste of the startup culture and ecosystem in the country. Conducted as an experiential learning module, the students don the roles of entrepreneurs and experiment with their ideas to combat life-like scenarios.
According to the Council’s official description, the Startup Edge program helps participants ‘develop creative capacity, entrepreneurial confidence, and the necessary skills to build scalable startups that solve real-world problems.’ It adds: ‘The entrepreneurship challenge simulates life in a startup by challenging participants to learn new modes of team-building, problem-solving, design thinking, business model development and pitching to create a work foundation for a viable company. The Program follows a Harvard -MIT inspired approach of Design Thinking toward Entrepreneurship.’
When and where will it be held?
The Startup Edge program is being rolled out across the country in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Indore, Vadodara, Rajkot, Anand, and Pune.
It will span from July through November, and each installment is for 3 days.
How does it work?
The participants, with various industry themes, propose ideas for startups. The potential themes for the 2018 edition of the initiative are: Power & Energy, Finance & Investments, Travel & Hospitality, Food & Agriculture and Healthcare & Wellness.
The event then involves various rounds of simulation. This provides an insight into the role and responsibility of an entrepreneur and their employees. After successful completion of the training, the students can craft a business plan for their very own startup, and pitch it to a select panel of industry experts.
An initiative to guide, mentor, and spark change
Such initiatives promote a problem-solving mindset among the young people, while instilling the confidence to take career risks in them. It also gives them access to resources and networks that will guide and coach them along the way of starting and scaling up their very own ventures.
Tanya Agarwal is a student at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies.
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