Andhra Pradesh is witnessing a very exciting phase. When things around you are in amorphous form, the energy for taking on challenges increases; bifurcation has created energy that gives the thought of entrepreneurship an impetus, says Gregory Collier, Director, International Programme, Northeastern University’s (NU) Centre for Entrepreneurship Education.
The Andhra Pradesh Government has collaborated with NU to impart a year-long diploma course in venture development to students across the State through the Andhra Pradesh Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC).
The idea is to provide a highly competitive, rigorous, hands-on learning to the participants, enabling them to start, develop, and launch their own business ventures.
Mr. Collier, along with his colleague Krish Nangegadda, also from NU, was here to explain to the aspiring entrepreneurs the nitty-gritty of the new terrain.
The NU-APSSDC team went around colleges in the State and identified the first batch of 250 students who will undergo the training.
“The best part is that the students here are ready for challenges. They come up with interesting questions about how to do things. There is a lot already happening here, which we can tap into. Young people are thinking of a start-up as opposed to may be 10-15 years ago when students could only think of going to university, get a good job, and settle in life. The mindset is slowly changing,” he says.
He talks at length about NU IDEA, a standard methodology developed over seven years.
“Through research and practice, we have identified stages that entrepreneurs go through; we have also identified tools, information and resources they need at different stages.”
He said in AP, the focus was on three key elements — we have a contemporary model called experiential module.
“We give them preparatory courses on basic entrepreneurship before going into the core programme. The modules are short and available online. Each module has a tool or a template they have to use. The challenge is to identify who their potential customer in the market is.” The focus will be on ‘Educate, Incubate and Launch’ mantra while helping the trainees develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
“At the time of the launch, we help them understand how to raise the capital and tie them up with potential investors in the area,” he said.
“Our students have high potential. It’s just that they have not had right exposure, guidance and opportunity. It may take another 5-10 years for AP to shift from the traditional to experiential mode of learning, and once that happens, there will be no turning back,” said Mr. Nangegadda, who will stay put here to monitor implementation of the course.