Wednesday, 12 January 2011

NEN -1st Dot showcase for Student Startups

The other day I was at the National Entrepreneurship Network's first dot showcase for student start ups. Sponsored by IBM and The Wadhwani foundation, the showcase provided a forum for student start ups to well, showcase their business model and interact with mentors and experts.

I had the daunting task of mentoring 2 student start ups. Mentoring techno-savvy youngsters of the digital generation should be challenging and I geared up by brushing up my 'techno-skills' by interacting with my son and daughter - who are way ahead and up to date on matters technical. Brimming with giga-bits of information disdainfully fed by my "i kids'  I felt confident of not getting stumped by my prospective 'mentees' (whoever invented this word needs mentoring!)

After few minutes into the mentoring session, I realized I need not have gone through the troubles of 'updating' my technical knowledge. The 'studentrepreneurs' are very clear that technology is important, but they are not going to 'depend' on it. They were more concerned with how their technology will actually benefit the people.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that both the teams expressed genuine concern for the country, its youth and how their venture could play a part in improving lives of people through technology.

These young start ups are not chasing dollars blindly or just geeks fanatic about their gadgets. These are real social entrepreneurs who wanted to make a difference in society. I liked their motive and conceptual clarity. I returned from the mentoring session with the reassurance that the future of India has its mind and heart in the right place!

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