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Has India Become The Hub of Startups, Courtesy IIT? IITs are becoming the breeding ground for budding entrepreneurs

By Aastha Singal

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The possibility of diving directly into the sea of business possibilities has empowered the younger generation to innovate. Individuals, right out of colleges buzzing with ideas and knowledge to implement don't hesitate from starting their own business ventures.

While many startups fail due to the lack of experience and real-world application of ideas, we have witnessed an array of organizations reaching Unicorn stage and mushrooming into a public entity in the recent years. Statistics indicate that the majorly of startups which flourish in India have one or the other technological aspect associated.

However distinctive the business idea be, the acceptance of technology has opened gates of success for budding entrepreneurs and startups. Talking about the technology, IIT or Indian Institute of Technology is considered as the birthing ground for majority of Indian startups. Even the Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi believes so.

PM Modi on IIT

Addressing the 56th convocation of IIT-Bombay, PM Modi called IIT graduates the frontrunners of India's startup ecosystem. Considerably, a large number of Engineering graduates have built the IT sector of India with hard-work and diligence leading to the nation becoming "one of the world's largest pools of technical manpower".

Calling IIT -- India's Instrument of Transformation, PM Modi expressed that the institute has sourced the Startup revolution in India. Entrepreneur India analyzed the gravity of his words and assessed the formation of India's 15 tech unicorns only to realize that 8 out of these businesses have IIT graduates in their founders' team.

IIT Graduates Leading India's Tech Unicorns

"IIT graduates are at the forefront of some of the best startups in India. These are start-ups that are also at the forefront of solving so many national problems," said PM Narendra Modi stating that India is proud of what IIT graduates have achieved over the years as technology experts, entrepreneurs, executives and in academics.

Hoping for a long term sustainable technology-led economic growth, the government of India has initiated programs like Start Up India and Atal Innovation Mission to nurture budding ventures into full-fledged business organizations with a bit of hand-holding. However, government can't do all the work alone.

IITs Helping Potential Startups

With the aim of lending a helping hand to future entrepreneurs in creating potential startups, IIT-Delhi had recently announced a program of turning thesis papers submitted by PhD scholars into full-fledged startups. The ventures will also be provided with seed capital, mentoring, accommodation and access to IIT-Delhi labs.

The program will also provide the shortlisted researchers pursuing doctoral studies with a monthly compensation to kickstart their startups for three years considering the challenges and expertise needed. To ensure seamless nurturing of over 50 companies every year, the institute is planning to set up a separate incubation centre at Sonipat, Haryana.

Earlier in 2014, IIT Madras had also started an Incubation Cell which has so far witnessed the establishment of 142 successful startups. The entrepreneurship cell of IIT Bombay has also offered a number of opportunities to bring out the best of student's ability towards entrepreneurship through master-classes, workshops, investor summits and exhibitions.

IIT Bombay Alumnus and CEO of Auxledger, Akash Gaurav started his Blockchain research group with the help of IIT-B's E-Cell. He said that different departments of the institute like Placement Cell are taking initiatives for introducing deferral programs to support upcoming Entrepreneurs. "The deferral program allows final year students to skip the placement process and if require, can re-enroll in subsequent years."

Ayush Gangwar, the founder and CEO of Kuants, web-based platform for developing and deploying Automated Algorithmic trading strategies who recently passed out from IIT Kharagpur has stated that IITs have well-established incubation centers within their campuses that provide the students with help in technology and monetary resources in the least hassle-free manner.

He further added, "IITs have a lot of tech-based activities, mostly in collaboration with different industries, going on in their campuses all the year long, wherein students come up with innovative solutions to problems faced in there. Various departmental fests, inter-hall events, and events carried out by different companies provide a huge exposure to the students who burn their brains out to solve different problems."

Aastha Singal

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Features Writer

A business journalist looking to find happiness in the world of startups, investments, MSMEs and more. Officially started her career as a news reporter for News World India, Aastha had short stints with NDTV and NewsX. A true optimist seeking to make a difference, she is a comic junkie who'd rather watch a typical Bollywood masala than a Hollywood blockbuster. 

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