How Can An Institute Help Build Startups Through Their Pedagogy?

Students going on to create jobs instead of finding one is a matter of great pride for an educational institute. With that in mind, are institutes really doing all they can to enable this move? How can this be improved?

The ever-growing entrepreneurial spirit of the young students has energized the institutional startup ecosystem. They are now developing offerings to help students develop their business ideas and turn them into fully functional businesses. Institutes now play a critical role in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship beyond functioning as a multidisciplinary knowledge hub. 

A country's entrepreneurial activity influences its global ranking in terms of innovation, competitiveness, and job creation, also it helps in guiding its social and economic growth. As a result, the government has started taking initiatives to foster an entrepreneurial spirit, particularly among students.

Rapid expansion entrepreneurial ventures are critical to economic and social progress. Entrepreneurs add value by seizing opportunities, taking risks, resolving problems, and acting. They take risks in developing and commercializing innovative technologies. These technologies can sometimes create an entirely new market and industrial opportunities.

An institute plays a critical role in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. It creates the conditions, facilities, and talent that allow for the emergence of game-changing ideas. Many institutes have systems in place to support the development of new ideas so that they can be put to use.

Furthermore, colleges and universities are more than just multidisciplinary knowledge hubs. They also provide contacts, connections, and a wide range of networking opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. As universities are frequently located at the heart of local economies, they are constantly engaging with people for associations who may be able to support or become major stakeholders in a student's business venture.

Institutes have become the ideal place for budding entrepreneurs to benchmark their ventures and test them with their peers, experts, and professionals, with institutes going the extra mile to stimulate entrepreneurial spirit amongst students.

Some steps to encourage and support student entrepreneurs to build their startups are:

Create an entrepreneur hub for students

A Hub / Incubator / Center for Innovation on campus, or a similar facility designed to assist students for excellence and innovations.

Organize startup hackathons 

Students are asked to form groups, identify a problem to solve, find suitable solutions that can be translated into a viable business venture, and finally pitch their idea to a specially designed jury.

Partnership with an external organization 

Inviting external speakers, motivators, and mentors from a variety of fields is a smart way to add value to the entrepreneurship programme. Another option is to collaborate with media companies that can provide some initial pro-bono work, such as building an app or a website, in exchange for returning clients if the idea or venture is fruitful.

Stay connected globally 

It is being advised to the institute and students to maintain contact and stay in touch in order to maintain the relationship and new business opportunities or associations. This not only gives your entrepreneurship programme credibility, but it also establishes overseas connections, which are critical in today's global society.

Check out local events 

Keep track of local meetup event pages for start-up events in nearby areas. There are numerous interesting events taking place all over the world. This is an excellent opportunity to meet a potential co-founder, gather information, and share your entrepreneurial enthusiasm.

If entrepreneurship programmes need to succeed at all educational levels, institutes must ensure that their intellectual property policies do not limit academics' ability to collaborate with entrepreneurial students in commercializing their research. Accelerators, hackspaces, makerspaces, invention rooms, incubators, wet-labs, and digital observatories are among the facilities and equipment which institutes must provide to encourage student entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship is maturing and becoming more ingrained in local and national economies, which is why it has become increasingly important in academic curricula at institutes. Students are no longer simply taught entrepreneurship courses and modules in educational institutions; they are also exposed to the practical aspects of industrial demands.

Encouragement of student entrepreneurs should become a part of an institute’s fabric: a critical component of their missions of contributing to prosperity and social progress, especially during the ongoing global pandemic of 2020. Student entrepreneurs contribute to the development and utilisation of an institute's international connections, and some may go on to become significant philanthropic donors in the future.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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HEI start-up pedagogy

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