According to a recent survey conducted by the Entrepreneurship Cell (e-cell) of IIT-Bombay, the startup culture in the premier institute is growing rich in numbers by each passing year. The survey revealed that in the last three years, the number of student startups in the engineering institute has increased by a whopping 58 per cent. While there were only 31 student startups at IIT-Bombay in 2015, the number has shot up to 49 startups in 2017. This figure is excluding those founded by students who have graduated in 2016 and 2017.
However, according to the survey, despite the increment in the number of student startups, the funding for these startups have witnessed a slight dip this year. According to the survey, while the funding had increased last year as 29 per cent of the startup raised money as against only 16 per cent in 2015. But, this year, the funding has dropped from 29 per cent in 2016 to 25 per cent.
For the uninitiated, IIT-Bombay is not only famous for churning out engineers, but over the years it has also established a reputation for giving birth to world-class entrepreneurs. This growing startup ecosystem in the institute is courtesy the rigorous hard work and efforts put in by the institute’s e-cell and the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), which is an IIT-Bombay owned incubation centre providing a host of programmes to promote entrepreneurship in its students. According to the report, out of 20 startups, as many as 11 have already won some entrepreneurship/startup related competition already. This list includes the three student startups that qualified for the final round of Eureka – IIT-Bombay’s International Business Model Competition after beating its competitors fair and square.
The survey also brought to fore the sea of change in the problems that these student startups faced back in 2015 in comparison to what they face now in 2017. While in 2015, student startups had to deal with funding issues, finance problems, legal help and networking; in 2017, these problems have escalated to largely being technical difficulties. The dearth of funding though continues even in 2017.
Coming to the change in the nature of startups, the institute has seen a shift from a service providing startups to technological solutions startups. According to the survey, while in 2015, a majority of the student founded startups at campus were dealing with some kind of service, but this year, half of the startups on the IIT-Bombay campus are providing solutions leveraging technology. Considering it is predominantly an engineering institute, this can be considered a good change as this means more and more people are putting their classroom knowledge into action.