Thirty-one student startup founders from six states are on a week-long visit to Silicon Valley to pitch, network and learn from the best at the tech Mecca under a flagship #StartInCollege programme instituted by the Startup Village Collective (SV.CO) in partnership with Facebook.
The students from various engineering colleges, who have built their startup products while enrolled in SV.CO’s digital learning program, are on a week-long visit to showcase their prototypes, learn product development and skills, and get exposure to the world class startup ecosystem in Silicon Valley.
SV.CO’s startup program for first-time founders is supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, the US Embassy in India and has multiple state partners giving support to their respective students. Startup industry leaders Paytm and Freshworks are on board as partners providing scholarships and mentoring to students.
In the US, the team, the largest single Indian student startup delegation to visit the Silicon Valley, were welcomed by the City Council of Menlo Park and housed at Menlo College. On Tuesday (June 20) the founders will visit the headquarters of Facebook in Menlo Park where they will have a pitch session and get feedback from experts at the social media giant.
“At Facebook, we believe the student community has a central role to play in helping build a world class startup ecosystem in India. We are pleased to support the Start-in-college program that cultivates a sense of purpose amongst students and enables them to build meaningful projects from their college campus,” said Satyajeet Singh, Platform Partnerships, Facebook India.
During their week-long stay until June 24, the students will visit other valley landmarks including offices of Google, Intel, Silicon Valley Bank, Freshworks, Zendesk and Bootup Ventures; and attend startup workshops at the North Eastern University and Google Launchpad.
Leading entrepreneur turned venture capitalist Rajeev Madhavan will share with the students his insights on building two multi-hundred million dollar technology startups.
Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) is sponsoring 19 of the students as part of its international programme for startups.
“If we are to build a world-class startup ecosystem in India, as is our goal, our entrepreneurs need to get first-hand experience of global best practices. KSUM’s international programme is intended for promising young founders to have that experience and increase their level of confidence while in college itself so they get an early startup” said Dr Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM.
The Startup Village Collective (SV.CO), a first-of-its-kind digital platform with a mission is to build a world class learning platform for students to become startup professionals and explore their full potential in life.
Its action learning program framework enables students to work on a real time problem and go through the journey of entrepreneurship while still in college. This learning experience gives them startup industry relevant engineering skills and experience so that they can become either founders or startup professionals as they graduate from college.
“The Silicon Valley visit is to give the students, a world class global exposure very early in life so that they can be more confident, motivated and get the ability to dream bigger than ever before as they immerse in the startup culture in Silicon Valley” said Sanjay Vijayakumar, Chairman, Startup Village Collective.
“This is just the beginning of our bigger dream. Our aim is to take 300 students in a full flight next year so that more students from across India get an opportunity to become job creators and contribute to the growth of the nation” he added.
SV.CO’s next admission cycle is set to begin in July with a nationwide #StartinCollege campaign Season 2.
“This trip is an experience I have never had before,” said Kerala-based Ajo John, founder and CEO of Madlabs. “There automated systems for ease and convenience provide a whole different user experience. Even the Menlo College grads I have interacted with seem to be wired differently; they are very organized, there is much to learn here,” he added.
Kunchum Harsha, founder of IMUX and a student from Andhra Pradesh said: “We are excited to visit Silicon Valley and meet people whom we had always admired. We always wanted opportunity to prove our work and this is the best one can expect.”