Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Best Practices at VGU, Jaipur

 

  1. Promotion and facilitation of Entrepreneurial ecosystem

 

Objectives of the practice

VGU, through its administrative mechanisms, financial support, events and activities aims to promote entrepreneurial ventures, utilizing innovative outcomes of academics into progressive, job creating business networks.

  • Support, motivate and promote youth and young minds at grassroot level for initiating start-ups.
  • Create a supportive environment towards entrepreneurial endeavours through awareness and capacity building in the region.
  • To set up multidomain innovation and incubation centres on campus to facilitate such activities.
  • Connect classroom learnings to business development opportunities and initiatives.
  • Create a mentor pool of domain experts for personal, industrial and professional grooming of innovative minds towards impactful socio-economic growth of the region.

The context

The stated aim to support entrepreneurship, matched the visions and goals of VGU and its sponsoring body, Bagaria Education trust to solve issues and challenges faced by the youth in the region. A few of the social-economic issues identified are as follows:

  • Reliance for job opportunities and placements with the corporate sector only.
  • The region, especially Rajasthan being a trader’s hub with lineage of business families, societal beliefs supported the conservative business trades and domains majorly.
  • The city lacked the availability of resources and flexible, approachable infrastructure like accessible R&D labs, co working spaces, library with interdisciplinary resources relating contemporary business ideas.
  • The academic programs and curriculums lack mechanisms, benefits and provisions to support such personal plans and career goals for students and young professionals.
  • The start up challenges need regular handholding, mentorship, emotional and technical support from people of varied backgrounds and expertise. Availability and accessibility to such experts becomes difficult for an individual.

The Practice

A vision needs to be demonstrated and implemented in a planned manner to achieve its identified targets. The mission to create a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem at VGU was well outlined and executed in the past 7 yrs. of the university’s existence through student clubs, curricular reforms, collaborations, outreach and capacity building events, financial supports from within and outside the campus.

  • The university faculties and management supported its alumni from the early batches to pursue their innovations into business entities. CORE B trailers, Flitpay, Shriram Handicrafts are some of the successful start-ups by VGU alumni. These companies form examples of motivating and inspiring success stories from the campus and are among the placement providers to the campus students today.
  • The collaborations with agencies supporting entrepreneurship like NEN Wadhwani foundation, Start-up Oasis, Headstart network, Start-up Rajasthan to facilitate entrepreneurship events and programs on campus further supported the development and awareness of such concepts on campus.
  • VGU has been conducting around 20 events annually for the faculty and students to participate in innovation and ideation activities. Project competitions as part of events like STAMBH, EnCODE, PANACHE, boot camps and hackathons, research methodology workshops, lectures on IPR for all students and research scholars, and domain specific technology advancement discussions, ideation camps further help to involve students in identifying social and industrial issues and problem-solving exercises.
  • Further as a mechanism to support the ecosystem and popularize it among university students and faculties Decoller students club was established in the year 2014. Swawalamban club, supported by SIDBI and Design Adda were further set up in the year 2019 to promote participation of students. Institute Innovation council (IIC) and IPR cell were further established to promote and support the faculties to channelise entrepreneurial initiatives among students regularly.
  • VGU management has been supportive and forthcoming to support establishment of relevant infrastructure on campus. VGU in collaboration with Department of Science and Technology (DST)-Govt. of Rajasthan established its first on campus incubator VGU-RTBI in 2018, with a matching grant of Rs. 30 lakhs from the university. Further adding to the entrepreneurial infrastructure facilities at VGU, ACIC-VGU foundation and VGU-TBI Foundation were set up in the year 2020 as part of government grants by AIM, Niti Aayog and under ASPIRE scheme by MSME. Currently the campus has approx. 20,000 sq. ft. of built space dedicated to interdisciplinary incubation centres on campus.

VGU further promotes the students to pursue their start up dreams by making provisions to amalgamate one’s career choices to the academic fulfilment of a degree program. The university innovations and entrepreneurship policy (UIEP) envisions to map to the National Innovation and Startup Policy (NISP), floated by AICTE in 2016 to facilitate curricular credit transfer to the students for their entrepreneurial accomplishments.

 

Evidence of Success 

With its continuous efforts and practices VGU has been able to create its identity among not just colleges and institutes in the state but is also recognized for its entrepreneurial ecosystem across the northern region of the country. The university staff and students boast of numerous awards and recognitions to substantiate evidence of success of their efforts.

  • VGU has been awarded certificate of appreciation and ranked among band A institutions (Top 6-25) in category of self-financed private universities in India consecutively for the years 2019 and 2020 for the ARIIIA ranking by MHRD and AICTE.
  • The campus Innovation Centre has been rated with highest rating (4.5-star for year 2019-20 and 4 star for year 2020-21) by Ministry of Education in nation-wide MIIC ranking.

 

  • VGU Currently supports 20+ start-ups belonging to different domains
  • Solfields agritech is a campus incubated start-up with a revenue of 18.46 lakhs and 8 employees currently.
  • Hukum Digital is campus borne start-up working into IT products and in with more than 15 prestigious clients from across the state and revenues of approx. 1 crore in 2 years.
  • Mitti hub recently launched craft-based start-up has been acknowledged by Niti Aayog as part of its success stories.
  • The evidence of growth and success of the practice is presented as below:

 

S. no.

Parameters of success

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

1.

Events conducted on campus

 To promote IPR, EP, Skill development and RM

5

11

24

29

41

2.

Awards received for innovation and entrepreneurship by faculty, students and campus.

2

4

5

6

15

3.

Start-ups incubated by campus

1

3

4

8

6

4.

Revenue generated by the incubated start-ups (in lakhs)

0.50

2.50

16.20

100.30

200.00

5.

Employment generated through the incubated start-ups

(no. of people)

2

5

28

40

46

 

Problems encountered and resources required

The entrepreneurship development journey of last 7 yrs at VGU has been well accepted and celebrated by the campus staff and students. Resistance of society and expectations of the parents from an academic institute to give priority to placement opportunities has been a resource utilizing and identified concern by all mentors of the ecosystem. But with regular events and continuous efforts towards sensitizing the people, in recent years a shift in people’s opinions and involvement has been appreciable.

  

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