Gujarat Technological University (GTU) is holding a four-week-long crowd-funding training programme for some of its students from June 16 to July 11. The programme will be held on the premises of L D College of Engineering here.
Being undertaken in collaboration with Start51.com, the students would be taught how to draft stories for their projects and how to brief the investors so as to win their confidence for contributing their money in their projects. GTU is perhaps the country’s first tech varsity to have linked its engineering colleges with the industries in their local areas for the students to gain practical experience as well as help industries in solving problems with their fresh ideas.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Start51 director Ateet Bajaj said the concept was highly popular in the US, Canada as well as in the European countries, where this concept was being used at the research level in professional and technical colleges.
“The month-long module will include focused sessions with industry experts, case studies, mentor session, hands-on exercise on different aspects of crowd-funding with selected finalists. At the end of the programme, all selected finalists will go live on dedicated crowd-funding platforms and learn how to get funded,” said Bajaj. Bajaj said that this concept was experimented in case of a GTU student Himanshu, who wanted to go on a cycle expedition to Leh & Laddakh.
After the project was put on a portal, a large number of people contributed small sums of money that together amounted Rs 22,000 and Himanshu finally completed his cycle yatra. Hiranmay Mahanta, honorary director of the GTU Innovation Council, said: “Almost 90 per cent of start-ups and good idea prototypes in colleges and universities in India die for want of funding, despite the ideas having huge potential.”
He said that this GTU programme aims at transforming the students’ ideas into a concrete shape so that they could set up their own ventures immediately after completion of their course. Mahanta added that the exercise would be quite relevant as Gujratis generally preferred to launch their own ventures, instead of opting for jobs. GTU vice-chancellor Akshai Aggarwal said the university would not be involved in fund collection, instead provide training to students through crowd-funding. “The students will prepare their project report with videos and pictures that they can then place on portals and crowd-funding platforms,” said Aggarwal.