Start-up India, Stand up India.

Over the last decade, entrepreneurship in India has grown as a peculiar phenomenon – one that the country tried it’s best to bring to the forefront, yet one that the majority conveniently chose to shy away from, courtesy the inherent riskiness in the field. This Independence Day though, the country formally acknowledged the need to give a strong boost to this sector, with PM Modi announcing the ’Start-up India, Stand up India’ campaign to promote bank financing for start-ups and offer incentives to boost entrepreneurship and job creation.

It serves well then, to understand what a country like ours demands from these budding innovators. IIT Delhi recently hosted an event ‘Startup to Unicorn’ wherein the top heads of Frankly.me, Zimply.in and u2opia moblie shared details of their journey ; from conception of ideas to struggle for recognition to eventual taste of sweet success. Organised in co-sponsorship with MatrixPartners, the private equity giant, the event let to some interesting insights. Ordinarily, we look for a problem in the world that needs to be solved, but a brutally honest point laid down in the event was that we often neither hate nor love the world enough to strive for making a difference in it – most importantly we must follow what matters to us. Solving a personal problem and enjoying thproughly the process matters the most. Business networking opportunities, the axiomatic next step once an idea is conceived, is provided most conveniently in our digital era through media platforms like YourStory. Top colleges in India, additionally, have separate sister-bodies that provide similar opportunities (for instance, eDC with IIT Delhi) through conferences, meetups, showcase events etc. .

These entities play a crucial role in the educational setup of these institutions. The Entrepreneurship Development Cell, IIT Delhi for instance, has been successfully creating an easily accessible and exhaustive set of resources for the entrepreneurs within and outside the college. These include the students, budding professionals, mentors, angel investors and the venture capitalists. We strive to inculcate and enrich the entrepreneurial around IIT Delhi through various fun-filled and educating sessions such as Startup Showcases, competitions, eTalks and so on and so forth.

Venture capitalists, they say, fund your passion, and not just your idea. Your willingness to learn, work tirelessly, and target specific sectors goes a long way in deciding your position in the final scheme of things. For instance, in recent times, there is a persistent debate over pure software-based vs pure hardware-based start-ups. It is imperative we all understand that neither of these can solve our problems (efficiently) single-handedly. In today’s world, you need to be in a sweet spot when it comes to choosing between these two extreme sectors of the market. Smartphones have been dubbed the ’steam engine’ of the modern age – it is a product that defines the ‘uprising of modern machines’. One should know that it signifies a blend of hardware and software which smartphone producers are constantly trying to perfect in their aim to find the coveted ’sweet spot’.

The Viral Fever Media Labs recently came out with a benchmark TV series – ‘Pitchers’, which showcases four youngsters who quit their mundane jobs in search for startup glory. It’s unprecedented popularity gives interesting insights into what our country is moving towards. Is the youth of today becoming progressively courageous enough to risk giving up a dull-yet-secure run-on-the-mill job profile to follow a more adventurous, alluring and interesting career path? Or is it still happy to sit back and watch a few merry men take the metaphoric plunge? The government sure is starting to see the need and value of the former, and the scales are starting to tilt.

-Divyansh Srivastava

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