College is when we are brimming with ideas, dreams and a burning passion to change the world. But between thinking up an idea and executing it is a long, winding road fraught with risks. That’s why even the most gifted ones among us wish to have a back-up plan (read: degree, networking and a fallback option).
But every once in a while, we come across a bunch of mavericks who dare to usurp the existing world order. These noteworthy students, currently studying at IIT-Bombay, have done exactly that, launching their startups in the campus itself. Fire in the belly and conviction in the heart, they have pushed the limits of excellence and shown to the world that degrees are helpful, not indispensable. Check them out.
Chirag and Sahil: The Minimalist
Chirag Gander and Sahil Vaidya, two IIT Bombay graduates, are the founders of The Minimalist, an innovative design agency, that creates thought provoking designs through the art of minimalism. Having been crazy enough to think that starting a Facebook page and straying from the regular IIT career trajectory was a good idea, they soon realised that they’d struck gold, cause they won the Kyoorius Design Award for their startup, and The Minimalist got a huge amount of attention from a whole lot of people. It works with a wide range of companies to help them shift public opinion, grab the attention of their empowered customers, and take it to the next level with loads of powerful ideas! For their brilliant efforts, they’ve even made news in the Hindustan Times, The Times of India, Buzzfeed and Scoopwhoop, among others.
Apurva, Prasanna and Dinesh: Drona Aviation
Extremely fascinated with the Nano-Drone technology and its application in day to day life, Apurva Godbole, Prasanna Shevare, and Dinesh Sain, three absolute geniuses from IIT Bombay, saw that Nano Drone space was currently at a nascent stage. Realising the potential of the technology, they started Drona as a platform for various industrial applications. Robust and modular, Drona is currently the only startup in India which is building nano drone platforms for industrial applications. From surveillance and completely automatising smaller activities and chores, to application in manufacturing and industries, the possibilities are endless, and Drona is at the very forefront of it!
Naman and Nikhil: Readaroma
Imagine all your favourite novels, bedtime storybooks, and self-help guides converted into colourful animated videos. Would certainly save a lot of time, and also make things more interesting, wouldn’t it? Well, watching all their friends apply for internships at other startups, Naman Kasliwal and Nikhil Chavan, two third year students of IIT Bombay, decided to create their own startup instead, and came up with the amazing idea. Since then, they’ve had a whole lot of positive feedback from people, and are currently trying to reach an even larger number of people and age groups, including moral stories for 7th to 10th standard students, as well as expanding their genres to include multilingual content and reach an even wider audience!
Mukesh, Yashwant, Likhit and Pankaj: Bevy
Often we have plans and ideas flashing in our minds. Some are short and make no changes to your life, but others, well, you can’t help but think could be the next big thing this world has ever known of. After hours of research, there will probably be doubts. “Will it work? “Am I wasting my time doing this?” “Will I get funded for the project?” That’s where Bevy kicks in. A revelation after 6-7 ideas, Bevy is the brainchild of Mukesh Naraniya (Co-Founder & CEO), Yashwant Nagar (Co-Founder & CDO), Likhit Singhal (Co-Founder & CMO) and Pankaj Arora (CTO). They started working on the idea in February ’16 and within a month, got their much needed seed funding, which led to release in July ’16. The biggest motivation was their own failure and dedication to do something big. Using Bevy, users can initiate discussions on their startups, ask questions, offer your services to another startup as a Co-Founder as well as utilize their consolidated tools to boost your profits as well as performance. Bevy aims to be a simple and easy-to-use community for upcoming startups, which will be important in each step as startups move up.
Rishabh and Ishan, Kibo
Rishabh Bohara and Ishan Rakshit, both final year students at IIT Bombay, had been great friends for more than two years, having worked together in the core team of their college fest, Mood Indigo. Seeing a lot of people talk about various causes on social media every day, they tried to figure out a way to channelise this online trend into a more tangible and monetary form of impact for the cause. That’s how they came up with Kibo, a crowdfunding platform where you don’t fund with your money, but rather, with your social media outreach. In their words, it’s like an extension of change.org which goes way beyond just building awareness around a cause. The best part is that the entire process is designed in such a way that it ensures that no deserving cause goes unfunded. Up until now, Kibo has done 2 pilot campaigns, and are working towards launching their platform by the first week of August.
Visat and Ashutosh, Ushva
Visat Patel and Ashutosh Kumar, two mechanical engineering students from IIT Bombay, felt that people in our country don’t have the ability to properly utilise solar energy, even though a lot of it is freely available. Deciding to do something about that, they designed a smart solar inverter which would give customers access to abundant solar energy at their houses and industries. That’s how Ushva was formed. Since its inception in July 2014, they have designed several innovative devices that make use of this free energy in day to day life. And the cherry on top? Both the customer and the manufacturer are able to monitor the working of the personal solar PV system on their mobile phones and system interface, and can also receive all the relevant information about the savings along with the energy generation and usage data.
Saurabh and Rishi, Zaarvi
Zaarvi was formed by Saurabh Gupta and Rishi Kumar, two final year students of IIT Bombay, in May 2016. While participating in a hardware hackathon competition in their second year, they made a small device that can be attached to your mobile phone and used to control your lights, fans, and most electrical devices. The project won among others from all over India, and that’s where they got the idea to start Zaarvi, which provides free door step IoT (Internet of Things) and automation consultancy, as well as technological upgrades for offices, homes and buildings.They also have tie-ups with various system integrators who work under their framework to provide complete installation of the system as well. They plan to expand into several other major cities after their graduation, and build a team of technology experts in various portfolios so as to become a one stop solution for all your technological needs.
Rajendra and Shri Ram, Riders on Roll
Rajendra Bhaskar and Shri Ram Jaiswal, two third year students from IIT Bombay, were doing cycling trips across Mumbai when they found that there is no real adventure platform where all cycling clubs and groups can come together for adventure rides, trips and treks. So they thought of developing a platform to do just that, and came up with Riders on Roll in March 2016. Receiving an overwhelming response, Riders on Roll now gives an opportunity to each and every adventure enthusiast to explore Indian natural culture, with customised adventure trips according to their specific requirements.
Trell was thought of over a cup of coffee at IIT Bombay, when the small team of Pulkit Agrawal, Dhawal Goyal, Arun Lodhi, Bimal Rebba, Prashant Sachan, and Akshay Mehta was scouting for a place to hangout after classes. With the passion of exploring something new in the city, they came up with the idea of forming an all new way of microblogging about places, and named it ‘Trell – Trail Experiences and Tell your Friends’. The idea was that someone like us from our social circle has probably already been to places we would love to visit. Trell simply connects us to these relevant experiences, inspiring people to give up their monotonous routines. You can find out about the amazing experiences your friends have, and read the reviews of those experiences that they post. However, currently, Trell is invite-only and you can request an invite at their official website.
Prof. Solanki, Atul, Ayush, Pranav and Gaurav: kWatt Solutions
With founder Prof. Chetan Singh Solanki mentoring the other core members, Atul Kumar, Ayush Mahajan, Pranav Maheshwari, and Gaurav Pare, Kwatt Solutions was destined to go places from the very start. Started in November 2013, Kwatt offers rooftop solar solutions, having tie-ups with several solar power plants. It guarantees a price that’s lower than grid prices by a margin. The industries it caters to range from hospitals to educational institutions. Recently, they have also started operation and maintenance of solar plants, and they’ve developed analytical engines for this purpose.
Know any more startups run by current students of IIT-Bombay? Write in to us at [email protected]
The main image for this article was sourced from IIT-Bombay’s website.