22 Nov 2019 17:51 IST

Warangal innovation leader bags National Entrepreneurship Award

Sreedevi Devireddy, CEO, SR Innovation Exchange, has created a strong innovation ecosystem in region

As an important step to catalyse a cultural shift in youth towards entrepreneurship, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) instituted the National Entrepreneurship Awards (NEA) to recognise and honour outstanding young first generation entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders for their contribution to entrepreneurship development.

The National Entrepreneurship Awards (NEA) 2019 is in its fourth edition and, this year, the awards were presented by the Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, at Pravasi Bhavan in New Delhi on November 9. A total of 45 awards under NEA-2019 were given to first-generation entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders across sectors, geographies and socio-economic backgrounds from all over the country. The purpose is to highlight models of excellence for others to emulate and improve upon. Also NEA intends to instil and entrench the entrepreneurial attitude among the future generations and the Youth of India.

Women-led initiatives


Every year, under the Ecosystem Builders category, a Private Sector Mentor is recognised. This has to be a person working in the private sector who has done exemplary work in developing the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem over the previous few years.

This year, the Private Sector Mentor award was conferred on Sreedevi Devireddy, the founding CEO of SR Innovation Exchange (the technology-business incubator of SR Engineering College, Warangal) for the path-breaking work she has been doing over the past eight years. She is an innovation evangelist who has created a vibrant innovation ecosystem in Warangal in just two years. She has led or supported various women entrepreneurship development initiatives in the last few years, and mentors start-ups on strategy.

Strategic partnerships

She believes that strategic partnerships across academia, industry, corporates and start-ups are key to our country's economic evolution. She has been instrumental in many national and international collaborations and volunteers for social causes too. She advises companies on POSH at the Workplace. In the past eight years, she has impacted more than 22,000 students through workshops, sessions, bootcamps, roadshows and seminars.

This is the first time the Ecosystem Builder-Mentor award has been conferred on a woman leader since the NEA was instituted in 2016.

“I am honoured and humbled by this award. It reiterates my belief that sincere efforts are always recognised,” said Sreeedevi. “We are a 1.2 billion-strong country, and our demographic dividend is our strength. We are ranked as the 52nd most innovative nation in the world as per the Global Innovation Index. We need to up our innovation index by creating inclusive innovation ecosystems across the length and breadth of the country with a clear focus on problem-solving for the country. I strongly believe that innovation and the entrepreneurial mindset of our young people will be instrumental in making India an economic superpower” she added.