Entrepreneurship Programs at major IITs

IITMadras is even raising a startup fund. The time is all set for IITs to give a shot at teaching entrepreneurship in the classroom. IITs have always produced a steady stream of entrepreneurs, including those behind celebrated companies such as Flipkart and Snapdeal. There are so many IITs that are looking to liberate a number of entrepreneurs.
IIT-Madras is raising a fund for start-ups. “We’re tapping into our alumni network to handpick mentors who could guide the student entrepreneurs,” said Ashwin Mahalingam, assistant professor, department of civil engineering, IIT-Madras.

IIT-Madras is raising a fund for start-ups. “We’re tapping into our alumni network to handpick mentors who could guide the student entrepreneurs,” said Ashwin Mahalingam, assistant professor, department of civil engineering, IIT-Madras.

The stand of other IIT’s

The entrepreneurship initiative has also created an impact on IIT-Patna that is looking to launch a minor in entrepreneurship. “With a subject like entrepreneurship being taught by actual entrepreneurs, it will help, support and guide young entrepreneurial ventures in the right direction,” said Ajai Chowdhry, founder of HCL, who also teaches the subject at IIT-Hyderabad and is chairman at IIT-Patna.

IITs in Delhi, Kharagpur and Hyderabad are planning to bring entrepreneurship at the forefront of their BTech curriculum, and plan to launch minor as well as elective courses on the subject from next year. Other IITs in Madras, Mumbai, Gandhinagar, Kanpur, Patna and Mandi have just taken baby steps to include entrepreneurship in their curriculum.

These steps could further whip up a culture of entrepreneurship at the IITs and in the country, entrepreneurs and investors say. “This will benefit students who are not born into a business family, but yet aspire to run a company,” Sasha Mirchandani, managing partner and founder of Kae Capital and founder of Mumbai Angels, a network of investors, said.

“If you have faculty members teaching entrepreneurship, students would be more willing to learn about startups and businesses,” he added. IIT-Delhi recently introduced courses on entrepreneurship. These could evolve into a minor, PV Madhusudan Rao of the mechanical engineering department of IIT-Delhi, said. A ‘minor’ is a pre-defined course in a focus area whereas an ‘elective’ is an optional departmental or open-category course.

IIT-Kharagpur

IIT-Kharagpur is considering a micro or thin specialisation in engineering entrepreneurship for its BTech students from next year, said PP Das, head of Rajendra Mishra School of Engineering Entrepreneurship at IIT Kharagpur.

IITs may even consider offering full-time degree and diploma programs on entrepreneurship, Rohin Kapoor, senior manager at Deloitte said. Many engineering institutes abroad already offer formal courses like Masters in Entrepreneurship etc.

IIT’s achievement

The minister referred to the rankings while underscoring the need to inculcate an entrepreneurial mindset among the youths, noting that knowledge and entrepreneurship are key to take the country ahead. Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are ranked fourth on a list of 50 best entrepreneurial undergraduate institutes in the world, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said on Friday.

The ranking was compiled by PitchBook Data, a US-based private equity and venture capital research firm.

In the study, the research firm found that the IITs had a total of 264 entrepreneurs, who have founded 205 companies and cumulatively raised USD 3.15 billion.

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