Various speakers that included vice-chancellors and representatives of about 40 universities from across the state stressed the need for framing a concrete start-up policy with provision for funding from the state government. They were speaking at a day-long round-table conference at the Gujarat University here on Friday.
The conference was organised by GU vice-chancellor M N Patel in response to Prime Minister’s August 15 speech in which PM declared to launch “start-up India, stand up India’’, that meant motivating youths for innovation and entrepreneurship to convert India into a manufacturing hub.
Though the idea of start-ups was first floated in the state by Gujarat Technological University vice-chancellor Akshai Agarwal three years ago when he set up four clusters of engineering colleges directing them to motivate students to go for innovation and also tie up with the local industries to solve their problems. Though his effort succeeded to a large extent because several engineering and pharmacy colleges began innovation work and also filed patents. Some of the students also turned into entrepreneurs while still studying in third or fourth semesters.
State Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama was also present at the conference. Chudasama in his speech suggested to set up international start-up hostels in Ahmedabad and other places in Gujarat to attract international students and provide them facilities for innovation and development.
GU VC M N Patel said that it did not take much to support start-ups because universities and technical colleges already had enough infrastructure to do that. What was needed was to make institute’s infrastructure accessible to start-ups so that they got a place to work and a lab to experiment at low or no cost.
Techpedia director Hiranmay Mahanta said that over 300 students in different engineering colleges in the state were working on start-ups at present.
He said that PM’s dream could get a boost if the state government formulated a concrete policy on it and also made available some funds for initial financing of the start-ups.
Ahmedabad University’s provost Shailesh Mehta said that even non-technical colleges could also be covered under the start-up programmes.
Mehta said that Karsanbhai Patel of Nirma group and Shreni Lalbhai were not engineers or holding any degree in management and yet they set up ventures with annual turnover of hundreds of crores of rupees.
Viral Shah of LJ College of Engineering and Technology said that students required to be motivated by teachers for setting up start-ups and provided facilities for it at the colleges.