By Pranav Hebbar:
Working towards building an ecosystem that nurtures start-ups, I regularly meet young people who dream and aim high. More often than not, during my interactions with students, entrepreneurs and professors of entrepreneurship, one theme that keeps recurring is – the journey from idea to building start-ups, it’s difficult!
Traditionally Indians have been very conservative while choosing careers. All said and done, I am glad to live in a time where people are choosing passion over safe careers where young students, mid-career professionals and veterans are turning towards entrepreneurship. From tier – 1 to tier- 3 cities, “I am (or want to be) an entrepreneur” is slowly becoming the mantra. According to a report by NASSCOM, from 2014 to 2015, India witnessed a 40% growth in number of start-ups and by the end of 2015 around 4200 start-ups will be operational. With the government of India’s projects like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Startup India, Standup India’, the trend is expected to grow at a much faster rate.
Entrepreneurs themselves are a part of the ecosystem. Their ideas (or dreams) to build something gets all the attention and support. Idea is just the beginning, it takes team effort, patience to understand the market and make necessary changes and of course, investment to sustain and build a product that the customer wants. I have met students who have the most brilliant ideas one can come across and yet do not dare to go ahead with it. Among other things, what stops them is the fear of failure and lack of financial support at the seed stage. Let me make it clear that seed capital is not a major factor that can hinder market test of a product, however, it does play a crucial role in executing an idea.
If you consider an entrepreneurship ecosystem, the role played by investors and mentors is paramount, one fuels the passion and the other one creates an entrepreneurial advantage. NASSCOM’s latest report which highlights that total funding has grown by ~125%. Being a part of the fastest growing ecosystems, India is definitely experiencing one of the best times to start-up and build something. Education institutes are also not left behind, with very active E-cells and incubation centres, support is flowing from every corner. Competitions, investments, policy reforms, widespread discussion, India is witnessing a phase where entrepreneurship is being celebrated.
Industry pundits and ecosystem players, all agree that competitions are a great way to bring real awesome ideas to the limelight. It also performs as a stage where all players meet to exchange views and opinions. I have seen projects starting as a classroom assignment to go on and create impact the communities. Universities, incubators, accelerators and other players frequently host events that scouts for ideas that can change or disrupt an industry and create value to customers. MindBatteries is one such company which is using edutainment as a tool of empowering people.
MindBatteries’ Startupreneur Series showcases story and journey of entrepreneurs that started small and made it big. The first of the series showcased Vijay Shekhar Sharma – Founder & CEO of Paytm. MindBatteries is hosting its first ever ‘Ideathon – Chase Your Dreams‘ contest that promises some big stuff to the participants. The contest is all set to look out for the next big idea that can change the way Indian tech start-ups operate. Vijay in the interview said, “I invest in the driver and not the bus or the destination,” emphasizing that its always people that make the difference and not the idea itself.
Winners of the ‘Ideathon’ contest will receive Rs. 1 crore as seed-fund for their ideas and mentorship by Vijay himself. This according to Vijay, ‘giving back to the ecosystem’.
If you have an idea and dream of creating value to the customer, log on to the website and send in your ideas. The last date is 1st of March 2016.
Featured image for representation only. Source: Facebook.