Students with bright ideas get investors to back them

  • Apoorva Puranik, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 22, 2014 19:58 IST

If you thought start-ups and innovative entrepreneurial ideas by students were limited to the IITs and IIMs, students from other colleges will prove you wrong. Budding entrepreneurs may soon give the IIT whizzes a run for their money with their ventures ranging from themed restaurants, recycling shoes to social media marketing.

Shriyans Bhandari, a third year student at Jai Hind College, used to throw away his sports shoes within four months owing to excessive usage. He now recycles them to make eco-friendly slippers.

A part of Jai Hind’s entrepreneurship cell (E-cell), Bhandari says that every year 350 million pairs of sports shoes are thrown away, while millions can’t afford to buy footwear owing to poverty. This prompted him and his friend Ramesh Dhami to refurbish the discarded shoes into slippers. The project, Kadam-by-Kadam, now has 30 odd customers for the slippers, which cost Rs 400 per pair.

“We have extremely talented students who have wonderful ideas that need direction. We routinely get investors and other entrepreneurs to meet the students to get perspective,” said Hasina Sayed, co-ordinator of the E-cell at Jai Hind College.

The idea of owning a restaurant may be a dream for many, but Yash Chandi, another student of Jai Hind College, is the proud owner of Go Panda, a fusion restaurant in Andheri. Chandi also has two more ventures running ,alongside including a social media marketing initiative and a marketing company that caters to night clubs.

“The E-cell played an active role in helping me meet private equity investors and other venture capitalists for my earlier ventures,” said Chandi.

At KC College, student entrepreneurs are making most of the E-cell with countless ideas for start-ups. One such student, Rahil Parikh, started Infydreams, a company where he captures every precious moment of a child’s life, right from birth till the age of five through pictures and videos.

“Children have hazy memories of their early childhood, so through Infydreams, we are providing parents and children a bundle of tangible memories. Photographers capture milestones in the child’s development and package it for the parents,” said Parikh, a computer science student.

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