Young Entrepreneurs’ BootCamp
YEB(Young Entrepreneurship Bootcamp) at BITS Pilani Goa Campus: Day 1
Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani, K. K. Birla Goa Campus, is currently hosting 64 school students from across India, covering around 16 states, for the Young Entrepreneurs’ Bootcamp (YEB), from March 28 to April 02, 2023.
The program is designed for school students between 9th to 12th grade to experience technology-driven innovation and an entrepreneurial ecosystem at the campus. “The aim of the program is to create an entrepreneurial spirit and provide exposure to initial steps in creating a startup,” says Prof. Suman Kundu, Director of BITS Pilani, K. K. Birla Goa Campus. “The technology infrastructure of the campus will be used to provide hands-on experience for developing innovative prototypes,” narrated Prof. Mridula Goel, who is spearheading the event on the campus along with a team of driven faculties and students.
The BITS Pilani Institute launched the Young Entrepreneurs' Bootcamp (YEB) initiative, which aimed to foster an entrepreneurial spirit among students in India. Over 40,000 schools were contacted, and 64 finalists were selected based on essay writing and group discussions. The YEB was held at the Pilani and Hyderabad campuses in October and December 2022, respectively, with the program at the Goa campus making its debut this March of 2023.The institute will evaluate the feedback and impact of the initiative to further develop it and promote entrepreneurship among students as they plan their future careers.
Initially, all the participants had a fantastic drone show today outside the iconic building of Bits Goa, the B-Dome. Mr. Karan Bajaj was the chief guest for today who is the founder of the well-known startup WhiteHat Jr., which was later acquired by BYJU. Mr. Bajaj is also the author of several best-selling books including The Freedom Manifesto (2022), The Yoga of Max's Discontent (2016), The Seeker (2015), Johnny Gone Down (2010), and Keep off the Grass (2008), published by HarperCollins and Penguin Random House. Following the inauguration, the students had a wonderful interactive session with Mr. Bajaj. The vibrant Q&A session was a glimpse of their curious minds and the quest to learn & do new, innovative things among the students posited as budding entrepreneurs. With student-led questions, the discussions evolved around topics ranging from Product-Market fit to managing failures.
Ritvick, one of the YEB participants, was moved by Mr. Bajaj's words which suggested that investing time on Instagram is not a productive use of time since the content creators often put in minimal effort in crafting their posts. In contrast, authors of books spend years meticulously contemplating and refining their work, resulting in a richer and more engaging educational experience. Therefore, Mr. Bajaj recommended reading books as a better means of learning. We should consume information from sources based on the input invested into their production.Basically posts/reels on social media like Twitter/Insta etc are not created with much effort as compared to books. So if we look at the effort input, we see that blogs have some effort and quality but books are way ahead…While Sara, another participant was motivated by Mr. Bajaj’s words which said, “When starting a startup, you shouldn’t wait for the ‘right moment’ to begin; it’s better to start and learn on the way.”
Sir also said to give 10 lakhs equity-free funds to the best ideas which project out of this camp. This was followed by the Programme booklet release. This event was also graced by the esteemed presence of Bits Goa alumni and founder of a well-known startup BlueLearn, Mr. Harish Uthayakumar. It was very enjoyable to see girls and boys of such a young age developing so much interest in entrepreneurship. Interacting with them, one of the girl participants said, “ I never believed that a 15-year kid like me can pitch an idea and there will be someone who will be interested to listen and give positive feedback too”. After this session, they went for a delicious lunch of chola-puri, sewai-kheer, and much more.
Following this, they went for a guided bus tour around Goa.A few of the places were Panjim, Mira maar, the town of Vasco, etc..
The participants were quite happy and clicked pictures throughout the journey. They also visited old goa churches. The basic purpose of this tour was to see problems around the state of Goa and suggest some recommendations for the same.
The participants winded down the first day through games of getting to know each other, looking forward to Day 2!
-Written by Shivansh Mishra