Category: Entrepreneurship


College is a cool playground to implement your start up ideas. This will also be encouraged by the management. To start a business at college you need to identify a niche market, where you can sell a product or service. Once you identify the market, make a list of resources you require. Form a team with your seniors, peers or juniors. You could involve one of your professors as a mentor. Your customers could be students, tutors, management or parents.

  • IDEA 1: Stationery store – Start a stationery store at subsidized rates for colleges. Your college could be your first customer. Colleges require basic stationery items like pens, markers, chalk, notepads, papers and so on. Apart from that some electronic items like headphones, mouse, usb sticks could be added to your product catalogue for sale.
  • IDEA 2: Virtual learning – Colleges are hubs for learning. To develop a ecosystem to educate each other is always a challenge. Create a virtual learning support system for your college and involve other colleges eventually. Manage your college community and engage with other colleges to build an interactive and supportive ecosystem.
  • IDEA 3: Personal tutoring – Few students at college require personal attention which not be possible in a classroom. Professors and lecturers may not be accessible all the time for students. If you are good at a subject you can capitalize this opportunity. If you are a smart kid, help your peers and tutor them one-on-one. You could charge a nominal fee for spending your time with focused attention on the student.
  • IDEA 4: Sports education – Though college is centered on academic learning, sports will definitely be a part of the curriculum. Cricket, hockey, basketball or any other sport that rules your college could be a great source of income. Conduct innovative games and introduce new game methodologies for students to enjoy sports and apply them during tournaments. Coach your juniors and peers in college sports. Bring in seniors as sport mentors.
  • IDEA 5: Notes on my back: T-shirts are a common wear among youth. T-shirts with academic notes could be your unique selling proposition (USP). This will inculcate easy learning among students. Your t-shirt will have a new piece of information for your friends to learn and you will have other t-shirts to learn from. This could be a good learning methodology. You can sell to other colleges by customizing their logo on it.
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Jack McGourty of the Columbia Business School talks about the Venture for India programme, after which students are guaranteed a two-year placement in New York

Jack McGourty, director of community and entrepreneurship at the Columbia Business School, speaks to HT Education about the school’s collaborations with India and a threeweek workshop that will culminate into a two-year placement in New York City.

VFI will place fellows in companies related to their fields of interestPlease elaborate on the Venture for India programme.

Venture for India’s (VFI) fellowship programme gives graduate students the opportunity to attend a three-week entrepreneurial workshop conducted by Columbia Business School (CBS) in New York City. The workshop is followed by the student getting placed in a company for a minimum of two years. After the two years, students go through a capstone simulation where the top performing student over the two years will get over and above entrepreneurial mentorship and support from VFI to start his/her own venture. Venture for India not only aims to develop the entrepreneurial environment in India but also generate jobs by helping companies expand and train graduates to become business builders and job creators.

What kind of students are you looking for? Is there an eligibility criterion?

VFI has a detailed application on the website which students must download, complete and send to apply@ventureforindia.org. We are selecting graduate students with a motivational drive to become an entrepreneur. Although good academic standing is important, it is not the deciding factor for selection. Ideally, students from 22 – 28 years of age will be selected.

What made you choose India to collaborate with?

India is a hotbed for entrepreneurship. Along with having a great demographic dividend in which the majority of India’s population is below the age of 30, entrepreneurship is necessary to sustain the economy and creating new jobs. This brings us to VFI’s mission: create jobs and help the economy.

What will the selected students be able to experience?

Venture Fellows, through interactive lectures and selfdirected assignments are guided through all elements of the venture planning process in a modular format. Each module will help the participant develop a comprehensive new venture plan. The five modules are: opportunity, strategy, innovation, leadership and execution. At each stage of development, participants are exposed to critical terms, tools that support research and decision making, and explanations of how each major planning activity fits into the business plan. Fellows will also be visiting start-ups throughout their stay in New York City.

When you say ‘guaranteed two year job placement’, how do you place this guarantee? What kind of jobs are we talking about?

VFI has tied up with Angel Investors such as Mumbai Angels and TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs). We have also tied up with early-mid stage companies to provide a platform for students to gain experience in the working world, after the programme. It is imperative that students get experience working in the field before they start their venture. Hence, VFI places its fellows in a company which is related to fellow’s area of expertise to unfold maximum exposure.

The CEO of today was a college dropout” makes great headlines, but to most of the aspiring entrepreneurs it is very misleading. It is mostly interpreted in two ways:

a) The CEO was considered an idiot at college, made it big later on.

b) The CEO realized building a company is exciting and easier than acquiring a college degree.

Neither of the interpretations are genuine. These statements are only an output of emotional eruptions and frustration in life.

Then how should it be perceived?

Let’s consider a few examples to understand the true perspective of a CEO letting go of a college degree.

Mark Zuckerberg is fits this title the best. Let us understand his background a little more.
File:Mark Zuckerberg at the 37th G8 Summit in Deauville 018 v1.jpgBefore being known as an Internet entrepreneur and inventor of FACEBOOK, he was an achiever at school. He won many competitions in science, mathematics, astronomy, physics and classical studies. He can read and write four languages apart from English. It was only at Harvard he made a choice between a college degree and being the CEO of FACEBOOK. Though he did not get a degree, he earned things more precious that through his career.

Micky Jagtiani of Indian origin, has been a serial entrepreneur is the retail space of leisure, lifestyle and food. He started his journey as a businessman with a family owned business and is now the owner of LANDMARK retail stores. He joined a London accounting school and we know how the story ends. He dropped out of that school. Does that make him dumb, NO. He was smart is buying stake at the right time and marking his brand.

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are few others to name who have a consistent achiever’s record and a sound background who fill the Famous College Dropout list.

Some resources that will give you more clarity in your perspective.

http://collegedropoutshalloffame.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_college_dropout_billionaires

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Entrepreneurship – My Attitude

Entrepreneurship is something that each individual experiences in different ways in his or her life. It could be in the kitchen, at school, with a stranger or at work. How does one taste entrepreneurship? There is no defined process or rule as an answer to that question.

We see a lot of individuals opting to start their own enterprise versus a job. This is driven by passion to turn their dream into reality. In this journey, some more adds to the list –

  • Commitment and Promise to one’s self and decision
  • Focus, which means I can see nothing but my GOAL
  • Courage to bulk up and rise when I am pulled back by the current of competition. 

All we can infer out of this is that, ENTREPRENEURSHIP is not a trend, it is not a designation, it is not a fad. It is an ATTITUDE.

We can see this shift in attitude with the burgeoning number of incubation centers growing in India. The attitude in India is shifting from convention to exploration and adventure. PRICECHECK has painstakingly gathered a list of 50 most amazing startup incubators and accelarators in India. Follow the list here. It has classified the list by location, which includes Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Kerala, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh.