Ideas for impact

Dolphin International School, Pulwama hosted ‘No Talk, All Action’ themed Techstars  Startup Weekend Srinagar for Kids in partnership with  Google for Startups  from March 22-24.

The Startup Weekend event kick-started on the March 22 with an astounding response shown by school students in Pulwama coming in great numbers to participate in the event.

The total number of young entrepreneurial minds registering from 4 different schools bringing diverse talents and skills interacted with each other during ice-breaking sessions, and learned team-building lessons. All students learnt to ideate, build teams and pitch a business idea during the weekend.

Incredibly, we had 75% female participation, which reinforces our belief to open more opportunities for women. Out of 70 participants, every student pitched business ideas and out of those 10 were finally selected towards building a prototype based on the popular vote system. The participants literally proved that age is just a number and passion is above all.

The participants’ diversity ranges from a 12 to 15 year old students from grade 7th to 10th. When asked by Lopa, Lead Organiser for the event, about what drives them to attend such events, the response commonly received was “dreams”, “newness”, “opportunity for collaborative learning”, “conviction”, and “sheer excitement”. Participants had a chance to attend short experiential workshops on topics like Customer Validation, Business Model Development and How to Pitch like a pro, conducted by Techstars Startup Weekend Global Facilitator, Anurag Maloo.

Techstars Startup Weekend is not just about ideation, research and prototype building but also about mentorship. Young Kashmiri Entrepreneurs from various industry segments came On Saturday to guide the participants and help their ideas to turn into reality.

After a prototype was built on Sunday morning, participants pitched their ideas in front of the Judges and audience, from where the top ideas were celebrated with great appreciation and feedback. The judging’ panel for the event included, Shahid Jibran, co-ordinator seed funding scheme, Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Kashmir and Majid Wafai, an Agripreneur.

Anurag Maloo, Techstars Asia-Pacific Regional Manager came to conduct and facilitate this Startup Weekend Srinagar Kids 2019 and this is what he has to say, “Techstars Startup Weekend Srinagar provides a great opportunity for young students in the region to develop their entrepreneurial skills, learn the basics of developing innovative ideas that may help them see their existing challenges as opportunities to develop workable business models.

In 54 hours, they understood the rigours and discipline required to work within set timeframes and learn the value of teamwork.

Mr. M. Farooq Fazli, Chairperson, Dolphin International School, says “as I saw during this Startup Weekend Srinagar, there is a huge wealth of ideas coming from young people here and at Dolphin we see our role to support and harness these ideas and helping young people to become self-reliant creative risk-takers.”

Techstars Startup Weekend is the world’s best entrepreneurial experience program where participants go through the experience of building prototypes, take their ideas to the next stage and learns how to launch their business over a weekend in just 54 hours.

The programme amplifies startup culture among participants, helps in building entrepreneurial thinking and nurtures the startup community locally. Since 2007, Techstars Startup Weekend has taken place in over 150 countries with more than 450,000 alumni.

Techstars  is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars Startup Weekend brings together designers, developers, marketers and startup enthusiasts from across the State and beyond to share ideas, form teams and launch business ventures.

Participants select ideas with the most promise and make as much progress on the business as possible over the course of three days. In addition, business leaders and mentors are on hand to share insights and experience.