Asia’s largest student entrepreneurship summit witnesses 4,300 participants

>>KSUM’s IEDC Summit calls upon student entrepreneurs to experiment boldly

Dr Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM, speaking at the fourth edition of the IEDC (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre) Summit, held at Sahrdaya College of Engineering and Technology (SCET) in Thrissur on Saturday.

As many as 4,300 student entrepreneurs converged at the fourth edition of the IEDC (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre) Summit, billed as Asia’s largest student entrepreneurship conclave, heralding their active next level participation in the startup ecosystem of Kerala.

Aspiring entrepreneurs from the student community should have the courage to experiment, research and to go ahead in their ventures without worrying about the outcome, exhorted the summit, held in Sahrdaya College of Engineering and Technology (SCET) in Thrissur district, today.

The field of business is riddled with problems, but it requires innovative skills to resolve them, speakers noted.

Organised by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), the day-long proceedings saw a convergence of 4,300 delegates and 100 startups at Kodakara, 60 km north of this city.

At the inaugural session, KSUM Chief Executive Officer Dr Saji Gopinath noted that entrepreneurship is in itself primarily driven by people’s knowledge and passion for innovation.

“The major secret behind the success of entrepreneurships like Facebook and Amazon is that they addressed hidden problems that had been there for years,” he remarked while speaking on ‘Fuelling Innovation through IEDCs’ at the event.

“IEDC is a platform where one can experiment immensely,” Dr Gopinath noted.“What is important from the part of students is to show the courage to experiment.”

Dr Rajasree M S, Vice-Chancellor, APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Thiruvananthapuram, called for refinement of the country’s higher education system considering the “disruptive changes” around the world.

“Budding entrepreneurs should explore global opportunities and think about how their innovation can pay back to their state and country,” she said. “You must earn knowledge about pertinent matters the world over and set a global-level benchmark in competence so as to solve local problems of any community. Then only we can say the efforts lead to the economic movement of the country.”

SCET Executive Director Fr George Pareman welcomed the gathering. Dr Elizabeth Elias, Director of the 2002-established institute, was also present at the function, where SCET Principal Dr Nixon Kuruvila proposed thanks.

With ‘Accelerating Ideas to Industry 4.0’ as the theme, the 2019 summit seeks to give IEDCs a chance to play a significant role in exposing the student community to the needs and aspirations of the society propped up by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With a separate session on success stories, the conclave featured 25 speakers and a string of technical workshops.

There was overwhelming response to the exhibition where 20 startups and 30 student startups exhibited innovative products and technologies.

The event, under KSUM as the Kerala government’s nodal agency to develop the state’s technology startup ecosystem, gave student delegates from across Kerala an opportunity to express their entrepreneurial ideas and get in touch with the experts attending it from different parts of the world.

Subsequently, industry leaders and top officials with government, research and educational organizations will play a critical role in formulating and developing the implementation of Industry 4.0 strategy through IEDC Summit 2019.

An annual event, the summit was typically packed with activities such as startup expo, extended reality, blockchain track, activity hubs and panel discussions.

Organisers noted that a key determinant of a country’s competitiveness is its students’ talent pool: their skills, knowledge and experience, overall known as the ‘soft capital’.

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