This is one of the most favorite questions whenever a student thinks of even thinking about a “startup idea”. The ‘grades-are-the-ultimate goal’ mindset of the Indian society limits us to unleash our true potential and encloses us in a closet kind of environment where seeking a job is the ultimate goal. Starting a startup is not so strenuous as it seems and it’s not about only the luckiest and ‘the ones with a silver spoon’ make it big. In fact, the student phase is the best phase for doing a startup as you are focused in one direction at that phase. Plus your identity as a student has access to many of the funding opportunities and other platforms which you can use. Today, there are too many “worker mindset” people in the country but few of them having the confidence of taking high risks.
India produces over 1.5 million engineers every year. How many of the 1.5 million students actually want to engineer great products and dare to dream? Engineering students in India are still only learning how to code and build apps and attending redundant startup events and workshops at most. The country now needs scalable platforms and ecosystems that can be tried and tested; giving the 1.5 million engineers to think beyond their campus recruitments.
Today, India has a prime advantage of the highest population of youths, who have the potential to change the world with an average age of a citizen be 29. The startup wave is coming to India and there are n number of incubation and platforms who have their arms open to welcome the young entrepreneur.
Now that you might have understood why entrepreneurship is necessary for youth, especially students, here are some pointers on why a student should start his startup right in college :
- Learning about life in a nutshell.
The ‘grades-are-the-ultimate goal’ education model concentrates only on how to bring marks and grades, it does not give us an idea of how life actually is. It only emphasizes on graduating the student without any actual learning. Here’s where entrepreneurship comes, which teaches the actual meaning of failure and gives an example of how life works. Starting a startup also makes us learn actual skills which are required in real life which the broken education system will never teach.
- You have the time.
My favorite reason why you should do a startup in college is because you have time for building your idea. Everybody knows though that college doesn’t really take up that much time. Most college students spend their extra time playing games, napping, or sitting at a bar top. People who are passionate about starting their own business spend their free time working on the business model canvas. All you need is a little time management and dedication to create your success. So stop being a lazy bum, and start working on your big idea!
- You have plenty of resources.
During college, you have many resources to access which other people don’t have. Many student b-plan competitions are organized which are a great platform for knowing whether your idea is the one or not. Then there are incubations in college by the E-Cell which are great access to execute your startup. There is alumni support after graduation for any kind of help, be it funding or anything else.
- Many funding opportunities to get your startup running.
There are various B-plan competitions, specifically for students and there are E-Cells of college for funding your startup. There are many ways to fund your startup specifically for students like crowdfunding using platforms like ketto and Indiegogo where you can receive donations for fuelling your startup.
- Start earning along with studies.
Does not matter whether the income from the startup is too low, you have separated yourself from the normal crowd who is still dependent on someone else and run a company on your own while doing college. Starting a startup gives you a sense of independence and makes a responsible man. These qualities make you a mature person and makes you a leader.
If you are an engineering student and took the time to read this, it is clear that you have entrepreneurial aspirations. Form a team of three to five of your co-students, brainstorm till you get an idea and start working on it. Setting a time frame of six months, you need to move from being in the idea stage to rolling out a product that people will actually want to use. If it fails, you’ll end up learning what people actually want to use and you will either improve your product or give it a twist to increase its utility.
Entrepreneurship makes us a better person and helps us learn a lot of things that can be learned only by doing. Starting a startup in college minimizes the risk of failing and makes us a better person and a leader after graduation.