Students seek VC funding for societal ideas

By SiliconIndia   |    2 Comments
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Hyderabad: The entrepreneurial spirit is taking a social bent as many B-school and engineering students vie for venture capitalists (VC) support to shape their ideas, which have a social concern. While one team suggested using laser beams to change the traffic signal in real-time to save time and fuel, another suggested conversion of text messages into sign languages to communicate with the disabled.

"Some venture capitalists (VCs) are keen on financing some social ventures. The ventures would give professional touch in executing otherwise simple ideas," Director of Student Projects at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Subramania Sarma told Business Standard. Around 18 ideas sprung at the global social venture competition recently organized by the ISB. Lighting Lives, a concept from ISB students to market LED lamps, which predicts a social return on investment (SROI) of $2.14 for every $1 invested, won a prize money of $1,000 (around 50,000). The participants not only included students from ISB, but also from BITS Pilani, and a few from as far as China and Taiwan.

There were other ideas like using social networks to create a mobile-based platform to connect people in real time for sharing transportation and promotion of bicycle usage in Mumbai metropolitan region. A proposal of a team from Hong Kong University to use the play pen for lifting water from the borewell, has been selected by ISB to nurture it into a business propositions.

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