Want to be an Entrepreneur? Now Immense Opportunities for Non-IITians!Days are gone by when only premier institutes like IITs were teaching the basics of setting up own businesses. These days entrepreneurship is on the agenda of even second- rung engineering colleges, and many of them are introducing it as a subject.

According to Padmaja Ruparel, the president of Indian Angel Network, IAN, “While large companies hire against attrition, start-ups are best positioned to create new jobs”. Encouraging entrepreneurship runs beyond providing incubation centres, Ajai Chowdhry, the chairman of IIT- Patna and the co-founder of HCL says. ‘Premier institutes have the best students and faculty members. During their course work they come up with interesting product ideas but there is little to nurture that’ says the architect of the B Tech minor in entrepreneurship initiated at IIT Hyderabad in 2011, and now at IIT-Patna. He adds that he has been approached by autonomous universities, as well as tier-2 colleges from Gurgaon and Bangalore for emulating the same.

“The idea is to get youngsters excited about entrepreneurship. Although there is a support system for encouraging entrepreneurs, no-one tells youngsters how to go about entrepreneurship,” says Ajit Rangnekar, the dean of Indian School of Business. This premier B-school has initiated the Technology Entrepreneurship Programme, TEP, offered as an elective to engineering students in the third and fourth year.

The programme is adopted by 26 engineering colleges across Andhra Pradesh on-board. It will train students in business education, and combine technical mentorship and prototyping with the support of faculty and business mentors. Aruna Reddy, the associate director of Centre for Entrepreneurship Development at ISB says, “We do not expect students to turn into entrepreneurs immediately after college, as it is not the first career choice for many.”

The two- year pilot programme in collaboration with the AP Society for Knowledge Networks has set a corpus of Rs.2.5 crore for seed funding business ideas selected at the end of the programme, apart from angel investors willing to participate.

Similarly, there are initiatives which have been implemented by other states to encourage entrepreneurship among young graduates, like, the Student Entrepreneurship Scheme of Kerala government, which incentivises student start-ups with incubation, as well as 20 % relaxation in attendance and grace marks for their initiative.

The Karnataka government’s initiative is to set up infrastructure facilities in tier- II and tier- III cities for development of satellite IT centres and incubators earmarks. 100 crores have been set for VC funding for tech start-ups in the state.

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