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Sunday 23 February 2020

Army to conduct startup weekend for Jammu-Kashmir youth

To propel growth in the region, the Indian Army is mentoring the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to become "job creators rather than job seekers"

Jammu: To foster the spirit of entrepreneurship in the youth of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Army is conducting a three-day “startup weekend” at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University in Reasi district from 20 September.

Indian Army’s Counter-Insurgency Force (Uniform) is conducting the workshop to come up with ideas for the next generation under the aegis of White Knight Corps in association with Techstars, a Banglore-based startup seed accelerator, PRO (Defence) Udhampur Lt Col Abhinav Navneet said.

The ‘Techstars startup weekend’ is an entrepreneurial experience programme where participants go through the experience of building prototypes, take their ideas to the next stage and learn how to launch their businesses. “Today, India is one of the fastest emerging economies in the world and is well poised to acquire the status of a developed nation in the near future. However, in order to achieve the same there is a need to create more than 10 crore jobs,” Lt Col Navneet said.

Aligned to this goal and to propel growth in the region, the Army is mentoring the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to become “job creators rather than job seekers”, he said, adding entrepreneurship is budding in the region and requires focused approach and support.

The PRO said the programme amplifies startup culture among participants, helps in building entrepreneurial thinking and nurtures the startup community locally. He said the participants that attend the programme have 60 seconds to pitch their ideas, these pitches are whittled down to top ideas, and then teams are formed around them to come out with a prototype or a saleable model or project.

Finally, the weekend culminates with demonstrations in front of an audience of judges and potential investors, Lt Col Navneet said. In order to add further value to the event, a parallel workshop is being conducted on September 21 for those who have been successfully bootstrapping and running their startups on their own and are looking for funding to further expand their business, he said.

The officer said investors from diverse fields of expertise are expected to attend the event and share their thoughts with participants and audience alike on 22 September. “The event is likely to witness huge draw from various colleges of the region as well as many budding entrepreneurs have already shown their interest,” he said.

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