“People don’t truly know their full potential, until an outer, neutral party gives them the support and resources to realize the same.” – Mr. Sanjay Vijaykumar, the founder of Startup Village.
On the 8th of August, a seminar was conducted by Startup Village which revolved around the theme of providing encouragement to all the students who wanted to come up with start- ups of their own, in the form of scholarships and a platform to kick-start their dreams. He went on to explain how Startup Village was the right place for student teams to present their ideas, get them reviewed by experts and get the necessary skill set for the execution of the same. Through innovative examples, he explained producer-consumer relationship to the audience. Like how Starbucks, a internationally reputed coffeehouse chain, while a success in a big city like Mumbai, would never be able to profit in a small town like Mangalore because of the vast difference in the consumer mindset in the two places. Mr. Vijaykumar further explained the importance of selecting the right teammates through yet another allegory- just as a ship cannot be maneuvered to the correct destination safely without the right Captain, mast-man, navigator, and the rest of the crew with specific tasks, similarly, a tech team aiming at launching a successful start-up or a specific product required a strong, compatible team of designers, developers, operations and sales managers, and marketing strategists.
Mr. Vijay told us how his online service, Startup Village provided the ever-active minds of engineering students a platform to present ideas, or even better, pick up well-researched ideas from their website and develop a product based on those ideas. This process comprised of an application submission, followed by a coding test and then an interview of the complete team. Based on this, the best teams are selected for a six month long online course that would further help in achieving the required skill set for the start-up after which, they receive a certificate in Entrepreneurship (minor). Furthermore, the team that performs best in this course gets an opportunity to present their idea in Silicon Valley. With this idea in mind, Startup Village has had a reach of almost fifty colleges, including the IITs, some of the NITs and of course, Manipal Institute of Technology.
Overall, despite the sparse audience present for the seminar, it was very beneficial for the students who attended, especially due to the interactive question-answer session that was held after the talk. A well-organised event from start to finish, it could have garnered a higher footfall with better publicity. Nonetheless, it was an eye-opening seminar which provided the students with a once in a lifetime opportunity to connect with the superstars of the world of start-ups!