20 Jan 2018 13:02 IST

Start-up collective draws up scheme for student engineers

The aim is to teach students knowledge and skills to build world-class products

A ‘disruptive’ idea brewing in the start-up ecosystem in Kerala could well see trained college students being wooed with ‘guaranteed’ good salary packages. The Startup Village Collective (SV.CO), arguably the country's first digital incubator for college students, has partnered with healthcare start-up CareStack, to make this possible.

‘Product school’

As part of this, SV.CO and CareStack have launched the Product School programme, said Sanjay Vijayakumar, Chairman, SV.CO. The aim is to teach students knowledge and skills to build world-class products and create engineers who can work in start-ups that compete at a global level.

“We have not been able to build successful campus start-ups yet. To engineer world-class software products, students need to have up-to-date industry knowledge,” he added.

Admission to Product School is open to student developers who form teams and compete in a coding challenge to build a website that displays crypto-currency prices.

Scholarship offer

Those qualifying will go through a personal interview based on which the final teams will be announced. The programme, starting in March, will run for six months.

Up to 100 students will be accommodated in a batch for a fee ₹1 lakh per head. Scholarship of up to 80 per cent is available; women aspirants will get 100 per cent scholarship.

Selected teams will receive access to the SV.CO online platform and training to industry-best skills and knowledge to build software products. Vishnu Gopal, who wrote the first line of code in what is widely considered India's first internet product SlideShare, will be the primary batch-coordinator.

Critical mass

“A critical mass of software engineers who can build products and compete globally is the biggest missing link in our race to become a world-class start-up ecosystem,” said Vijayakumar.

Arjun Satheesh, Head of Operations, CareStack, said that start-ups require not only the capital (money) but also the best engineering talent in the world.

CareStack has raised over $10 million from Accel Partners, early investors in Facebook. It is one of the best funded in Kerala, Satheesh said.

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