Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, in collaboration with Dell Technologies on Tuesday launched Student Entrepreneurship Programme 2.0 (SEP 2.0) for young innovators of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs).
Following the outstanding success of SEP 1.0, the second series was kick-started in the presence of Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog; Alok Ohrie, President and MD, Dell Technologies; R Ramanan, Mission Director, AIM; and Dr Anjlee Prakash, Chairperson, Learning Links Foundation.
“Today, I am full of optimism, as I witness the promising innovations by the young pioneers of ATLs. These innovators make me wonder what the young children of this nation can achieve when given the opportunity to think unconventionally to combat challenges faced by their fellow citizens. As we conclude SEP 1.0 and launch SEP 2.0, I am excited to see the impact that these innovations will create in the country,” said NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar.
SEP 2.0 will allow student innovators to work closely with Dell volunteers. They will receive mentor support; prototyping and testing support; end-user feedback; intellectual property registration and patenting of ideas, processes, and products; manufacturing support; as well as the launch support of the product in the market.
Dell Technologies India President and Managing Director Alok Ohrie said, “Dell is leveraging emerging technologies to empower students to craft their own experiences, thereby enabling them to develop an innovative mindset. We are extremely delighted with the outcome of the first Student Entrepreneurship Programme and look forward to what the next batch has in store. Our strong partnership with NITI Aayog has further enabled us in expanding our vision of technology for social good and encouraging budding entrepreneurs.”
Speaking on the occasion, AIM Mission Director R. Ramanan said, “Atal Innovation Mission aims to create over a million neoteric innovators and potential job creators of the country. Our partnership with Dell Technologies in spurring the entrepreneurial capabilities of the budding Atal Tinkering Lab innovators through the Student Entrepreneurship Programme encourages young aspiring school students, as well as creates a value-adding recognition platform for innovative talent across the country.”
SEP 1.0 began in January 2019. Through a 10-month-long rigorous programme, the top 6 teams of ATL Marathon—a nationwide contest where students identify community challenges and create grassroots innovations and solutions within their ATLs—got a chance to transform their innovative prototypes into fully functioning products, which are now available in the market.
As many as 1500 innovations were submitted in the last season of ATL Marathon. After two rigorous rounds, 50 teams were selected for the Student Innovator Programme. More than 75% of the winning teams were from tier-2 cities and/or rural areas, and more than 60% from government schools. Around 46% of the winning team students were girls. The teams were then mentored by Atal Incubation Centres for months via the Student Innovator Programme 2.0. Consequently, the top eight teams were felicitated by President of India Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhawan on 14 November 2019. The top 8 will now take their prototypes to product through SEP 2.0.
AIM Mission Director R. Ramanan congratulated the six teams: “Over the past few months, you have shown the grit and mettle to become an entrepreneur. Your perseverance has resulted in you becoming the ‘co-founder’ of your own startups and enterprises. This is the true essence of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.” He added that industry partnerships such as these are critical to nurture the inventiveness of young students, and will enable them to create our planet a better place.