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Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru June 07 , 2023
New-age startups led by student founders spot health-tech focus with blockchain as prospective business ventures. Also the next wave of startups from the student ecosystem will be potentially in areas aiding hybrid workforce, creator economy, social - but not just media, new-age money and sustainability at large.

It is here Campus Fund, which is Asia’s largest venture capital investing in student-led startups backed by India Inc., global leaders, and institutions like SIDBI, HDFC Bank, IIFL Wealth, amongst others, has successfully been able to spot the bold and fearless individuals who not only conceive disruptive and transformative ideas but also convert them into business realities.

Karan Bhagat, founder & CEO, 360 One which is a financial services provider, said, “With a young population at a time when the world is ageing, India’s youth holds the greatest competitive advantage a startup ecosystem could ask for a hungry and energetic talent pool.”

The Bengaluru-based start-ups funded, incubated and mentored by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) has housed drug discovery development, medical device and diagnostics. Till date C-CAMP has supported over 100 start-ups/spin-offs through funding, bio-incubation and mentorship, said Dr. Taslimarif Saiyed is the CEO and director of C-CAMP.

In its report titled 'State of Student Entrepreneurship in India – Edition II', Campus Fund sees that new-age startups focusing on Web 3.0, Crypto, Blockchain, have emerged as the new interest areas in the student startup ecosystem. It gives an insight on 2,000 student-led startups evaluated by Campus Fund across the country from July 2021 to December 2022. The Indian education landscape is booming, now more than ever. According to UGC, there are 460 state universities, 128 deemed to be universities, 56 central universities, 430 private universities and 161 institutes of national importance.

Academic Institutions, along with support from the government are constantly working to create more fertile grounds to enable students to startup with more students looking to take the plunge. It is incredibly exciting to think that India, and the world are on the cusp of another such tectonic shift, and we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to become catalysts in this process," said Richa, Founder of Campus Fund.

Over 2/3rd of the student founders originate from Medium Resource Colleges (MRCs) vs. 1/3rd from High Resource Colleges (HRCs). About 70% of the student led startups, operated in or from Tier 1 cities. Bengaluru accounted for 17.7, followed by Delhi NCR at 16.5%, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai. Further, 54% of founders from Tier 1 cities started their ventures after they had graduated from their respective degrees whereas amongst founders starting up in non-Tier 1 cities, as high as 62% of them started out earlier while they were still pursuing their degrees. This reinforces the fact that more and more student founders are looking at starting up as a viable career opportunity, stated the report.

In the `70s and `80s, a group of computer science “nerds” decided to quit college, quit their cubicle jobs, and started writing lines of code from their garages. They were laughed at, called names, and their feverish dreams were readily dismissed by people. By the turn of the millennium, these same people became tech moguls, building products that their contradictors could never have imagined possible. The world accepted this change with open arms, said the report.

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