Business Wire IndiaSchool students of U18 Launchpad showcased their innovative ventures in a grand culmination event at IIT Delhi. The U18 Launchpad by ThinkStartup is India’s first startup accelerator for school students. The first cohort of U18 Launchpad comprised of a select group of 32 school students from all across the country, who beat the summer heat to toil hard over a two-week period to build and launch their dream startups. The showcase witnessed key influencers in education including academicians, scientists and entrepreneur alumni of IIT Delhi.
Some of these startups include Float – a futuristic hover bike that allows you to cut through the clutter of traffic jams and reach your destination faster; DeArchive – a decentralised cloud based storage system using blockchain technology where any one with extra storage in their computers can offer it to someone in need in lieu of cryptocurrency, CanConnect – an innovative social app for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers, Lera – a learning app for hearing impaired, BudgetBud – a meme based trendy financial literacy platform for school students, CareerAssist – providing career counselling and mentoring for school students and several other innovative ideas such as Hydride – a rover based solution to address corrosion in pipelines for hydrogen gas transportation.
Dr Sudha Acharya, Principal of ITL Public School and Chairperson of National Progressive Schools Conference said, “The future of India is in safe hands. I am delighted to witness innovative startups built by school students in such a short time. This only means that if a nation has to progress, entrepreneurship and innovation education should be brought early in the life of a student. This is also a thrust area of government that has recently released National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Promotion Policy 2022.”
U18 Launchpad is a first-of-its-kind program for high school students in India that got started at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi on 30th May 2022. School students got an opportunity to learn secrets of design, innovation and entrepreneurship from IIT professors, doctorate scholars, post graduate and under graduate students, startup founders from IIT Delhi and several industry leaders.
Speaking at the showcase, Aditya Singh, Founder of Dusc, a startup that provides low cost smart home solutions and a student of DPS International School in Gurgaon said, “The U18 Launchpad is an immersive program where we got a chance not only to learn from the best minds in this country but also to access the top class Makerspace and Quest Lab facility run by the Design Department of IIT Delhi. I learnt how to work on a solid modelling tool that provided great visualisation for miniature IoT circuitry.”
Pooja Saluja, a student of Modern School in Delhi who launched DocDeck, a smart medicine dispenser with vitals measurement system for older patients, said, “I never realised how two weeks passed during this program. Every day we worked on some aspect of our startup – be it product feature development, prototyping or branding, marketing, and communication. This fast-paced program builds your mental muscles to iron out the uncertainties of a startup life. Also, I got a chance to make friends with some very talented people.”
At the Startup Showcase Event of U18 Launchpad, Shivani Singh Kapoor, Cofounder, ThinkStartup said, “We are delighted that IIT Delhi opened doors for talented school students. This brought school students closer to the faculty and labs to give shape to their innovative ideas. In fact, one of the U18 Launchpad students ventured out to find a cofounder who is a current student of IIT Delhi.”
Utkarsh Mishra, a student from Patna said, “I am building RuKart that is solving the problem of last mile delivery of good quality day to day items for rural India which gets cheated on daily basis with fake items. The mentoring and support that I received from U18 Launchpad team is unmatchable. In two weeks flat, I am ready with the basic components of my venture. In the next three months, I shall be piloting RuKart in Jamui district of Bihar and then scale it up.”
Sanjeeva Shivesh, Program Director of U18 Launchpad said, “We started designing this accelerator program about a year back when we launched India at 75 – Youth Ideathon 2021. We discovered that daily a large number of young Indians are dreaming to build innovative things however, the supporting knowledge ecosystem was missing. We are trying our best to fill that gap. Our ambition is that India becomes the nucleus of startups and innovation."
U18 Launchpad is a new form of exciting experiential learning for talented school students offered by ThinkStartup’s experienced team with leading industry experts in partnership with IIT Delhi’s faculty, mentors, and labs for high quality prototyping, product development, startup building and showcase to investors and lead customers.
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