“An entrepreneur searches for change, responds to it and exploits opportunities. Innovation is a specific tool of an entrepreneur. Hence an effective entrepreneur converts a source into a resource” ~Peter Drucker
Entrepreneurship is about solving real world problems using business as a tool! So say, for instance, your home city faces frequent power cuts. You have been really concerned about the same since childhood, and have been cursing the government for the lackluster performance. The one with an entrepreneurial mindset, will take the onus and attempt to solve this problem, by innovating in the alternate energy sector, and coming up with practical solutions to facilitate power distribution across the city, which are reliable and affordable. Setting the home city as a model, he will attempt to scale the solution across the country, across continents, realizing the vision of a world where every home is electrified! Most entrepreneurs are driven by a vision, a problem that they care about, and are motivated to give in everything to give life to their idea.
Entrepreneurship is not a career choice. It’s an attitude, that you can exercise in any walk of your life. An attitude, that requires you to follow your dreams, live your passion, and have a firm belief on self capabilities that you can make things happen.
“Everything around you was created by people no smarter than you. And you can change that. You can build things that other people can use.” ~Steve Jobs
IIT Kanpur, provides you aplethora of opportunities to cultivate this attitude. Aspiring entrepreneurs should make the best use of their time exploiting these resources, that will help them at crucial points in their entrepreneurial journey!
1. Taking Initiatives: IIT Kanpur campus is not a perfect place. There are problems that you face on a regular basis in your student life, and that may have been persisting for quitesometime now. Talk to the relevant people, and see if you can come up with a solution. Work with the your HEC, or the Students’ Senateto implement your idea. Don’t procrastinate. Fight hard to ensure a better campus life for the IITK community.
2. Campus Entrepreneurship Meetups: Get to know people at campus who areinvolved instartups, and are working on business ideas. We are building an active entrepreneurial community, where in people can get to know their counterparts, share resources, and learn from one another. The community meets regularly, and holds discussions on various aspects of entrepreneurship, pondering upon opportunities in various sectors and getting experts to share their experiences. Talk to your fellows abouttheir startup ideas.If you feel excited about someone’s work, approach that team and figure out how you can add value to their work. Get involved with them to gain some experience.
3. Alumni Meets: We are fortunate to have a very resourceful alumni pool, who comprise the perfect lot to guide you on how to make the best out of your college days. They have been at your place, and can understand your situation. Talk to them about their student life, the decision flow that have shaped their career, and the mistakes they should have avoided. Learning from their experiences is invaluable. Reach out to them over email and social networks. And when they are on campus, catch them up to have an interesting conversation.As per my experience, most of the alums will help you tothe best of their capacity.
4. Competitions: Participate in relevant competitions organized oncampus organized during Takneek and Techkriti. Make sure that youparticipate in at leastone Busines Plan competitionbefore you graduate. If you participate seriously, you will learn a lot about the very first steps in starting-up, and who knows, that might be the business idea you want to take ahead!
5. E-Cell Events: The entrepreneurship cell at IIT Kanpur is trying hard to create an ecosystem that supports and helps aspiring entrepreneurs. In the process, they invite successful startup founders, to talk about their entrepreneurial journey! Don’t miss an opportunityto catch them up for an informal conversation over dinner. It also conducts various workshops that serve to educate you about startups!
6. SIPP : The best experience for an aspiring entrepreneur is to work at a startup. Some really good companies turn up to recruit interns via Startup Internship and Placement Programme(SIPP). Try getting into one you like. If there isn’t any, scroll through online portals with startup internships and drop them an email. You get to learn a lot working at a startup, given the small team size and the sense of ownership one experiences there.
Its a general notion that there is a risk involved in building your company, and that is completely true. “What if I fail?” is the question that stops lot of people to experiment with their ideas, and take that next step. Quoting Mr.Ashish Gupta, IIT Kanpur alumnus and MD of Helion Ventures, “Risk is not in what you do, but how you do it”. With an IIT degree, you, by default, have a safety netto fall back on. It’s a privilegethat we should be making the best use of. The entrepreneurial ecosystem has been flourishing over the years at our campus. I do hope to see more excitement for startups and the hunger in the junta to build innovative products and businesses!
Written by Samarth Bansal