Gujarat University To Take A Groundbreaking, Multi-Pronged Approach To Support Student Startups & Entrepreneurship
“Country’s largest ever attempt to promote student startups beyond technology”
AHMEDABAD – July 3, 2015 – Today the Gujarat University announced that the state-run varsity will roll out, over the next few months, several initiatives to support student entrepreneurship and innovations.
At the centre of the initiatives is the establishment of a state-of-the-art Centre for Student Startups, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, that will act as a catalyst to support budding student entrepreneurs and innovators from Gujarat University.
The planning and the execution of these initiatives is being spearheaded by the top management of the University and is being overseen by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. MN Patel.
Over the last few months, the Vice-Chancellor and his team held several preliminary discussions with various stakeholders to plan these initiatives. While several generic and technology-focussed startup policies exist, Gujarat University’s initiatives are the first-of-its-kind for students of science, arts and commerce streams, making this the country’s largest ever attempt to promote student startups beyond technology.
Calling the initiatives groundbreaking, Dr. MN Patel said that the time was right to empower the youth of the country and encourage them to become job creators.
“More than 50% of our country’s population is under the age of 25 and our youth needs empowerment to display their talent, potential and skills. This is the time when we should encourage students to become job creators and not job seekers and while such policies and programs exist for students of technical fields, it is important that students of non-technical fields also get the same kind of encouragement,” the Vice-Chancellor said.
Speaking on the need of such initiatives, Dr. Patel added, “The need has always been there. There are several student startups progressing in all our departments across all the three streams and we realised that the students should get support from their own university. Some students had been working at other incubators and some working from home and local cafes, and we thought why shouldn’t we support them.”
The Centre will be established at the Gujarat University campus and will serve as the epicentre for all entrepreneurial and innovation related activities.
The University plans to utilise the Centre as a co-working space for young entrepreneurs, as well as an activity hub to sensitise the University’s students about entrepreneurship and innovations.
“We will create a network of existing students of Gujarat University and affiliated institutes who are trying to build their own startups and innovations, and support them,” said Dr. Patel.
The Vice-Chancellor will soon be writing to all the institutes affiliated to the university in order to build this network of existing student entrepreneurs and invite the young entrepreneurs to participate in this movement to support student entrepreneurship and innovation.
The Vice-Chancellor added that a network of successful entrepreneurs from the alumni of Gujarat University will also be built, and existing students will be encouraged to take up entrepreneurship and innovate with the help of numerous activities.
Present students, past students up to a certain year, as well as eligible students from other universities will be allowed to enjoy the benefits of these initiatives.
The University also plans to bring together existing startup promotion agencies, central institutes, and policy makers to help the University expand these initiatives across the state of Gujarat, beyond the tier 1 and tier 2 cities.
The University is also considering implementing a university-wide Student Startup & Entrepreneurship Policy to make further necessary academic and co-curricular interventions to support student entrepreneurs and encourage more students to become job creators.
“The goal is to support hard-working students of science, commerce and arts fields who are doing something extraordinary while studying; and to inspire other students to become job creators for the betterment of this country,” Dr. MN Patel added.
These University plans and approaches are in line with the present union government’s ‘Make In India’ and ‘Digital India’ initiatives.
Established in 1949, the Gujarat University is the oldest and the largest university in the state of Gujarat, and more than three-and-half-lakh students are associated with the University.