Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), which are considered premier institutes in the country, are the fourth largest producer of billion dollar startups in the world, according to a 2017 study's report.

Now, in what could be considered as the catalyzing move to produce more problem-solving startups and entrepreneurs from the premier institutes, IITs across the country are planning to help doctoral/Phd students convert their thesis in to a full-fledged 'Start-ups'.

The move planned will be first executed by the IIT-Delhi to allow research scholars to become entrepreneurs.

“It will be a platform to harness deep technology from blockchain to artificial intelligence via young companies. The aim is to convert thesis to start-ups,” V. Ramgopal Rao, director of IIT-Delhi said on Tuesday.

Rao said, currently, some 25,000 researchers are pursuing doctoral studies at centrally funded technical schools (CFTIs). And IIT-Delhi will tap a portion of them and give them the option to start their own venture at a separate incubation centre.

Those who will be shortlisted will be provided a monthly compensation “at par with the industry salary” to pursue their start-up journey. Besides, such candidates will be provided seed capital, free mentoring, accommodation and access to IIT-Delhi labs. And the IIT will also help them connect with venture capital funds to raise money if they need any.

B.K. Panigrahi, a professor at the IIT-Delhi, said doctoral students who have done research on deep technology in areas like artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, sustainable energy, blockchain technology, infra security will get a chance to work more on their ideas and develop it into companies. “IIT-Delhi will handhold them with all kind of facilities and compensation for three years. Since deep technology subjects needs expertise, it was natural to think about doctorate students,” he said.

Panigrahi said the move will also will also push doctoral fellows to think about an alternative career beyond academics and may be motivated to create jobs than just seek jobs.

Besides, IIT-Delhi is also planning to set up a separate incubation centre at Sonepat, Haryana to incubate around 50 companies every year.

“The next focus of IITs will be on creating entrepreneurs so that successful research works can be converted into usable products. The present initiatives are part of that,” said M. Balakrishnan, deputy director of IIT-Delhi.

When it comes to IITs, IIT Delhi has churned out the maximum founders and has names like Flipkart's Sachin and Binny Bansal, Quikr's Pranay Chulet and Jiby Thomas, Snapdeal's Rohit Bansal, ShopClues' Sanjay Sethi, and Zomato's Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah as its esteemed alumni. Inmobi's founders Naveen Tiwari, Abhay Singhal and Amit Gupta went to IIT Kanpur while their co-founder Mohit Saxena was a student of IIT Roorkee. Ola's founders Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati are a product of IIT Bombay.

Source - Live Mint

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