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Universities need to establish close linkage with industries to mentor and handhold students with novel business ideas – Vice President

The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu today emphasised that fostering student-entrepreneurship through innovation programmes is extremely critical and universities need to establish close linkage with industries to mentor and handhold students with novel business ideas.

Addressing the TiE Global Summit-2020 through video conferencing from Visakhapatnam today, the Vice President asked the universities to set up incubation centres to tap and nurture entrepreneurial talent among youngsters. He also appealed to the corporate sector to come forward to fund and promote entrepreneurial ecosystem on university campuses.

The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiE) is a Silicon Valley-based non-profit organisation supporting start-ups through networking and its Summit-2020 will be showcasing opportunities to get mega investments into India.

Mentioning that the youth comprise about 65 per cent of India’s population, Naidu stressed that the vast energies of the talented youth should be tapped fully and their mindset should be changed from being job-seekers to job creators. The Vice President also wanted a special drive to be launched for promoting entrepreneurship among women. There is a huge potential for promoting women entrepreneurs in the country, he said and expressed happiness over the fact that TiE has impacted 50,000 aspiring women entrepreneurs through mentoring.

Describing India as home to world’s third-largest start-up ecosystem, Naidu quoted a recent NASSCOM that about 50 per cent of the Tech start-ups are confident of reaching revenues of pre-COVID-19 level. “This certainly is optimistic news and I am sure, things would look up for all Indian start-ups in the near future”, he added.

Referring to various studies, he said that most entrepreneurial countries in the world are also the most prosperous and entrepreneurship makes people happier and more fulfilled.

Highlighting that entrepreneurship is not only about profits, Naidu said that it is also about making people’s lives better through education, health care and basic human rights. “It is about valuing both competition and compassion”, he added.

Talking about the challenges thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vice President said that this is the time to turn adversities into opportunities. Calling upon the youngsters to come out with innovative ideas to meet the emerging challenges, he wanted the creation of an ecosystem that can enable many innovative ideas to be translated into promising start-ups.

Stating that entrepreneurship plays a crucial role in economic growth and employment generation, VP appreciated the Government for creating an enabling environment through Start-up India. Fostering entrepreneurship is not just about crafting the right economic policy, or developing the best educational curricula, it is about creating an entire climate in which innovation and ideas flourish, VP said and added, “When entrepreneurs succeed, they create economic opportunity not only for Indians, but for people all over the world.”

Stating that with more and more young people joining the labour market, the world will need about a half a billion new jobs by 2030, the Vice President called upon the established entrepreneurs and chambers of commerce, associations like TiE to mentor the next generation. They need to share the wisdom they gained, while the universities must work through research and internships to nurture and develop entrepreneurial skills of students before they graduate, VP added.

The Vice President was of opinion that good entrepreneurial ideas backed by talent will beckon investors, who will be willing to invest in early-stage entrepreneurs — not only in Silicon Valley — but in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam or any other place where there is talent. For the entrepreneurship ecosystem to be effective, he stressed the need for the private sector to work hand-in-hand with NGOs, universities, and governments.

Observing that starting a business is a daunting task, Naidu said that we must connect entrepreneurs with mentors who can guide them. He expressed happiness that in this TiE Global event more than 300 mentors are available to show the ropes to young entrepreneurs across the globe.

The Vice President noted that such summits not only provide an important platform to exchange ideas and knowledge but also help in creating networks and complimented TiE for this initiative.

The Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, President, TiE Hyderabad, Sridhar Pinnapureddy and Mahavir Sharma, Chairman, TiE Global Board of Trustees, TiE India Angels and RAIN were among the dignitaries who attended the virtual event.

Following is the full text of the Vice President’s speech at TiE Global Summit-

“I am truly delighted to participate in this virtual TiE Global Summit.

Firstly, let me commend you for partnering with the Indian government and several Indian states to put together this Global Summit. Such summits not only provide an important platform to exchange ideas and knowledge but also help in creating networks. I am happy to know that this summit will be showcasing opportunities to get mega investments into India.

I must compliment TiE for promoting entrepreneurship through education, mentorship, networking and funding opportunities. I am also happy to note that TiE has impacted 50,000 aspiring women entrepreneurs through mentoring.

It is quite fitting that this year’s Summit has brought us together via a virtual medium, showcasing the resilience of human spirit and endeavours. It should also be noted that many Indians who are turning novel ideas into new businesses are supported and encouraged by pro-active governments in the Centre and States.

Dear sisters and brothers,

With the youth comprising about 65 per cent of India’s population, the creation of a proper ecosystem to promote and nurture entrepreneurship is of utmost importance. The vast energies of the talented youth must be tapped fully and their mindset should be changed from being job-seekers to job creators. Similarly, a special drive should be launched for promoting entrepreneurship among women, who constitute almost 50 per cent of the country’s population. There is a huge potential for promoting women entrepreneurs in the country and provide the required support to them for choosing to become entrepreneurs and job creators.

To tap and nurture entrepreneurial talent among youngsters, our universities must set up incubation centres. Fostering student-entrepreneurship through innovation programmes is extremely critical and universities need to establish close linkage with industries to mentor and handhold students with novel business ideas. The corporate sector too must come forward to fund and promote entrepreneurial ecosystem on university campuses.

While India is home to world’s third largest start-up ecosystem, there is a huge scope for growth in this area. It was reported that NASSCOM in a recent survey has found that about 50 per cent of the Tech start-ups are confident of reaching revenues of pre-COVID-19 level. This certainly is optimistic news and I am sure, things would look up for all Indian start-ups in the near future.

Dear sisters and brothers,

A study conducted a few years ago in the United Kingdom revealed that most entrepreneurial countries in the world are also the most prosperous. The study also found that entrepreneurship also makes people happier and more fulfilled.

Entrepreneurship is not only about profits. It is also about making people’s lives better through education, health care and basic human rights. It is about valuing both competition and compassion.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up many challenges in the wake of the massive disruption it has caused to economies and livelihoods. This is the time to turn adversities into opportunities. This is also the time for educated youngsters to push the boundaries and come out with innovative ideas to meet the emerging challenges on different fronts from healthcare to education. An ecosystem that promotes entrepreneurship can enable many innovative ideas to be translated into promising start-ups.

The Government on its part is creating an enabling environment through Start-up India to support inventiveness and entrepreneurship. It should be remembered that entrepreneurship plays a crucial role in economic growth and creating employment. When entrepreneurs succeed, they create economic opportunity not only for Indians, but for people all over the world.

The manner in which technology is changing our lives is simply incredible. Nobody would have envisioned some of the breakthroughs that young entrepreneurs have created in the past 20 years. Fostering entrepreneurship is not just about crafting the right economic policy, or developing the best educational curricula, it is about creating an entire climate in which innovation and ideas flourish.

I am glad to see TiE has taken up this responsibility to create this innovation climate where ideas can flourish.

Aspiring entrepreneurs must not only dream but also take risks to convert their dreams into a reality. That can be achieved by being creative and innovative—by thinking differently and bringing something new to the table.

As more and more young people join the labor market, the world will need about a half a billion new jobs by 2030, many of which have not been invented yet.  Today’s youngsters have more tools at their fingertips than any generation in history. They have all the scope to write a new chapter.

Established entrepreneurs and chambers of commerce, associations like TiE must mentor the next generation. They need to share the wisdom they gained, while the universities must work through research and internships to nurture and develop entrepreneurial skills of students before they graduate.

Good entrepreneurial ideas backed by talent will beckon investors, who will be willing to invest in early stage entrepreneurs — not only in Silicon Valley — but in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam or any other place where there is talent.

For the entrepreneurship ecosystem to be effective, it is important for the private sector to work hand-in-hand with NGOs, universities, and governments. And in the end, the networks also play a role. I am glad to hear and understand that one of TiE’s pillar is networking.

We must connect entrepreneurs with mentors who can guide them as starting a business is a daunting task. I am happy to know that today in this TiE Global event more than 300 mentors are available to show the ropes to young entrepreneurs across the globe.

I am sure that events like this one help re-create and regenerate the culture of entrepreneurship. Today’s youngsters have a chance like no other generation had in the past to create a more prosperous, dynamic and just world.  “So have a wonderful Summit. Jai Hind.”

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