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Startup Village Flags Off Inaugural SV.CO Batch

32 teams to compete for presentation at Silicon Valley in six months

SV.CO, the digital version of Startup Village and also the world’s first online incubator for students, has rolled out its inaugural January 2017 batch with 32 teams making the cut after a highly competitive selection process for the six-month Silicon Valley programme.

In an admission campaign that lasted four months, over 10,000 students in 2,326 teams across 24 states and 226 universities applied for the programme. The 32 teams would now go through the six-month online course where they would select an idea, build a prototype and launch at Facebook headquarters in Silicon Valley in June this year.

The rigorous selection process for the Silicon Valley programme saw only one per cent of the team applications make the final selection process. Kerala has the highest number of teams (22), followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Delhi.

Startup Village, based in Kochi (Kerala), had launched its digital iteration in June 2016 after being ranked India’s No 1 Startup Incubator in its physical form. The demand from multiple states to set up a startup ecosystem had prompted it to experiment the digital model.

Sanjay Vijayakumar, Chairman, Startup Village said, “India’s largest experiment to test the mettle of our youth to perform on a world stage has started. If the experiment succeeds, a dramatic change in the culture of youth towards entrepreneurship will be witnessed across college campuses as this ‘Digital’ batch has 135 students attempting to be world class engineers. There is a huge possibility to build startups through a digital platform,” he observed.

Girish Mathrubootham, Co-Founder of Freshdesk, welcomed the batch with the course commencement address. “Big change starts for you today. Once you have taken the path to build a startup, you never will accept mediocre work in life and will always look forward to excel,” he said.

He also shared with them his insights on how he started Freshdesk in 2011 as just an idea with his co-founder and then steadily built up a company that is now competing with Silicon Valley companies in the global market.

“We are happy to see that students from tier 2 and 3 cities in states like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh etc are now able to access high quality learning and talk directly with founders like Girish. We have students who are Guinness Book record holders to champion developers in the current batch,” says Siddharth Ram, Head of Admissions at SV.CO.

Student entrepreneurship in India has got a major fillip with All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) recently launching the National Student Startup Policy that allows students to build startups while in college. Many universities such as Gujarat Technical University and Kerala Technical University have also launched Minors in Entrepreneurship Programme for students who convert their final year project into campus startups.

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