The Feb08 edition of Open Coffee Club Chennai, was very different. Instead of the usual rant about not able to hire developers and such, we welcomed student Entrepreneurs and wannabes.
As part of Entrepreneurship Week organized and celebrated by NEN(National Entrepreneurship Network), the students form different educational institutions attended OCC. Proto.in is the link that actually connected the OCC with NEN. OCC regulars were surprised and amused by the concept of taking a pledge part of the NEN E-week awareness campaign. After taking the pledge, it felt good and you need to start somewhere!
Call it Abdul Kalam effect, here is how it goes( with a badge to wear too):
Today, I renew my pledge to an Entrepreneurial India. I WILL…
Break Barriers between Industry and Academia.
Regularly include Entrepreneurs, investors and professionals in the campus programs.
Find innovative was for students to experience industry before graduation.
Facilitate Faculty interaction with the industry.
Work to bring the discoveries of the lab into society.
Innovate in my work.
Consider working for startup companies.
Change my thinking from “Why” to “Why not?”.
Continue always to dream big and work to bring those dreams to reality.
Encourage and support others so that we all might live in richer, better India.
I happen to interact with students from National Institute of Fashion Design specializing on retail management. They amazed me with aspiration to build a retail chain brand. They were pretty clued and listening. For example Neha one of them, was very clear that she does not want to get into the production aspect but want to get into the branding and brand building. I was bit surprised that their blogging awareness is low and hands on experience with social media near zero( at least as a biz tool). I was too happy to point to Thomas the Saville Row tailor that leveraged blogging and other social media tools to expand his biz of making $4000 suits.
In another interaction, there was this question, “If you are a Startup, if by helping me to succeed as a Startup, are you not creating competition to yourself?” which stems form inexperience. Outlined the virtues of sharing, and how sharing is the best networking tool that will attract the right complementary pieces of your biz’s jig saw towards you like a magnet.
It was good to re-connect with the regulars. Surprisingly I did not talk about SecondLife to any of the newbies. There were questions/interest about next AWS meetup.
The meeting took place at the Woodlands DriveIn. Overall it was fun and refreshing.