Kolkata startup to groom teen talent

Youngpreneurs engages Avelo Roy, founder of Kolkata Ventures, Partha Ghosh, professor of leadership at MIT & Vikram Gupta, founder, managing partner at IvyCap Ventures Advisors

It promises to identify, fine tune and nurture entrepreneurial zeal and acumen among the Indian students in their teens. Youngpreneurs, a Kolkata-headquartered startup co-founded by Boston-based serial investor-Devika Majumder and Johns Hopkins University alumnus-Smita Majumder, is now coming up with an academy, blending the best of entrepreneurship education from both worlds.
Smita, one of the co-founders, is now adding a dash on Indianness and a desi contour to the course, originally developed by Fred Katz, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Johns Hopkins University, US and Partha Ghosh, Professor of Practice and Leadership at the MIT, US (who is also a professor at Tufts University, US).
And if things move the way envisaged, the first such entrepreneurial education programme for high school students in India, may also get formal recognition and approval from the Johns Hopkins University, Smita indicated.
“The idea is to apply Princeton's John Nash’s Game Theory to real life business scenarios to groom student participants and Young Turks into tomorrow’s startup wizards,” said Smita. For starters, Youngpreneurs is coming up with one-of-its-kind intensive camp to mentor students (in the age group of 13-19) into future entrepreneurs.
Starting from Kolkata, the camp will set out on a pan-India journey, said Devika Majumder. “Although at this point in time we are reaching out to premier schools for holding such camps and workshops for their students, our long-term dream is to have our own academy where we can impart longer duration entrepreneurial education and training for high school students. Our objective is to build a pipeline of next generation global thinkers and entrepreneurs equipped to take on 21st century’s unique challenges. It is not always about starting your own company, being an entrepreneur is equally important. Today’s youth needs an innovators eye and a founder’s grit,” she said.
Youngpreneurs has also engaged Avelo Roy, TED speaker, serial entrepreneur based in Chicago, founder of Kolkata Ventures; Partha Ghosh, professor of leadership at MIT (formerly with Mckinsey) and Vikram Gupta, founder, managing partner and investment committee member at IvyCap Ventures Advisors Private Limited, to take this initiative to a meaningful level.
“We are following a model that has been successfully tried out in the US and elsewhere. We are moving in the direction of UN’s Entrepreneurship Education Goal. Our curriculum will be minimum lecture-driven and maximum emersion and experimentation-driven.
Our focus will be on developing teamwork, creativity, critical thinking, communication, public speaking and out of the box problem solving. Our responsibility will not stop at organising such workshops and camps, but to incubate bright entrepreneurial ideas, connect them with the funds and do everything needed and possible to create the next generation of globally competent, creative entrepreneurial citizens,” said Smita.
The holistic camp experience will be packed with activities like citywide treasure hunt, yoga and meditation; icebreakers, idea generator, prototype launchpad, industry field trips, and poolside chat and so on.