Kolkata: Students get hands-on training at the Youngpreneurs India Camp
Called the Youngpreneurs India Camp, the first edition was held at The Newtown School Kolkata.
The Youngpreneurs India Camp was organised by Devika Majumder, Founder and CEO of Youngpreneurs (YP) and Smita Majumder, YP's co-founder and COO, and Avelo Roy, TED speaker and serial entrepreneur.
Together they conceived the idea of Youngprenuers, with the objective of training and guiding high school students of India and eventually helping them launch their start-ups.
According to Devika Majumder, “Entrepreneurial skills are valuable to students, whether they see themselves going into business or not. In the real world, where simple answers are few and far between, where change is constant, competition is fierce, and the careers of tomorrow aren’t yet known, students armed with an entrepreneur’s tool kit will have a distinct advantage over students who are used to simply “doing” school.”
“Skills and benefits which students gain through YP Academy include comprehension and purposeful writing; presentation; drawing; technology; financial skills; consumer awareness; storytelling; listening skills; creative thinking; problem-solving; collaborative skills; and team-work. And above all are the soft skills that truly distinguish a very successful entrepreneur and a good human being,” she added.
Spread over five days, the camp started with ice breakers and group formation and was followed by introduction to the idea of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial mindset game and bug report.
The camp dealt with diverse topics and concepts in the domain id start-up and entrepreneurship, which included group discussions on customer discovery exercise and customer discovery findings, MVP - Minimum Viable Product, lean start-up, business model and plan and pitching a product.
There was also a session (on Skype) with Prof. Fred Katz from Johns Hopkins and Sahil Arora, a 17-year old entrepreneur and CEO and Founder, Vuzelaa Group.
Smita Majumder said, “The essence of true entrepreneurship should not get lost in teaching the technicalities of business models and minimum viable products. Teaching our youth to be socially responsible, globally aware, kind human beings is equally, if not more important! The youngpreneurs received the message so well and impressed us again.”
Avelo Roy, Founder, Kolkata Ventures, who is on the Board of Advisors at Youngpreneurs was impressed at the enthusiasm and intelligence displayed by the teenage minds.
“Four students are already developing their products with the full intention to build a viable business. The future of our country looks very bright," he said.
"We focused quite a bit on verbal communication, Roy said. "Because you might have a great product but unless you know how to sell, no one cares about it. We are always selling, selling ideas, selling our resume, selling our brand, selling our reputation, and one who knows how best to sell stands out of the crowd.”
Fred Katz, professor of entrepreneurship at the Johns Hopkins University, and Partha Ghosh, professor of practice and leadership at the MIT and Tufts University, US designed the course components.
Armed with this course of international standard, the trio aims to implement the module in schools in Kolkata, which they strongly feel will facilitate lateral thinking, leadership, innovation, oratory and other qualities among the city's youth.