Tue. Oct 19th, 2021

The eight groups of engineering college students all offered fantastic, imaginative methods to assist save the world, one thought at a time. The concepts had been offered within the finals of the Al Gore Sustainable Expertise ventures competitors not too long ago at IIT-Madras, and I used to be fortunate sufficient to be one of many judges.

All of the displays within the competitors had been exceptional. One was from a crew from IIT-Kharagpur that recommended higher methods to desalinate sea water – a most welcome thought as a lot of the world faces water shortages, now or sooner or later.

One other thought, offered by a crew from Sastra College, Thanjavur, recommended a brand new technique of capturing carbon from industrial exhaust to create comparatively cheap industry-grade Carbon Nanotubes (CNT).

This may very well be vital for quite a lot of causes, I discovered. For one, it may considerably scale back carbon emissions from industrial furnaces.

For an additional, we want new and higher methods of manufacturing CNT; their distinctive molecular construction offers each power and chemical capabilities which might be paving the best way for advances in nanotechnology, optics, electronics, structure and different fields that have an effect on our on a regular basis high quality of life.

“We will produce Carbon Nanotubes at a fraction of the present worldwide costs,” one of many Sastra College college students instructed the judges.

The competitors was the results of initiatives led by Prof. Oopali Operajita, a senior advisor to varied Indian parliamentarians. The distinctive function of this competitors, in contrast to different expertise enterprise competitions, is that 33% of the marks had been for sustainability parameters.

One other intelligent thought was a design that leveraged gravity and buoyancy to enhance the effectivity of energy technology. This may very well be utilized to mini-power crops that work at a group stage. One other early-stage thought was a brand new method for producing algae-based biofuels – an affordable and environment friendly supply of vitality for the long run.

We judges, many people enterprise capitalists, acquired to speaking over lunch and agreed that quite a lot of these budding expertise entrepreneurs would find yourself at prime consulting corporations and banks – buying and selling of their desires for a soft job with a multinational.

Even the few who managed to withstand this temptation and truly create a startup won’t have the abilities and expertise to efficiently handle a enterprise. What they want is a mix of entrepreneurial zest and dynamism with a smattering of expertise and maturity – what an Eric Schmidt dropped at Google.

On the finish of the competitors I used to be heartened by the expertise base within the nation in addition to the power of those younger folks to generate recent concepts.

The universities themselves have arrange entrepreneurship and innovation funds the place many of those children had been capable of increase as much as Rs. 10 lacs as preliminary seed funding. There are additionally quite a lot of Indian and worldwide competitions that present them a platform to current and check out their concepts.

This is a wonderful place to begin. What we want extra of is a Silicon Valley sort of ecosystem, the place these children can entry mentors in addition to government expertise. They’ll want angels to help them – financially and managerially – to shine their concepts into viable enterprise alternatives.

We’ve got a number of angel networks just like the Mumbai Angels and the Chennai Angels, however we want many extra folks to contribute money and time to construct on these concepts. Even when only some of those ventures take off, they will create a major distinction not only for India however for the world.

Do share your individual concepts on the right way to promote modern ventures on this nation (by the best way, the Carbon Nanotubes thought gained first place, and desalination was second).

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