Progress Software Corporation, a Nasdaq-listed provider of application infrastructure software to develop, deploy, integrate and manage business applications, is in the process of fostering entrepreneurship by incubating student groups with business ideas in the IT space, according to Ramesh Loganathan, vice-president and centre head (India).
“The objective is to get students to first understand and appreciate the idea of a startup. Hopefully, in the next two to three years, we will come to a point where the students, faculty and the colleges understand that, along with jobs, even starting up is a serious career option,” he told Business Standard.
Through Progress University Programme (PUP), an initiative to build relationships with colleges and universities around the world so as to create a knowledge base in the industry and enable institutions to get the best of industry exposure through Progress’ campus initiatives, the company has already set up an incubation centre at IIIT Hyderabad. Right now, there are about 12 startups that have matured from IIIT.
Loganathan said more such agreements were in the pipeline and that he, in his personal capacity as well as on the company’s behalf, had held discussions with Vasavi Engineering College, BVR IT and the engineering college at Osmania University in Hyderabad.
“In two months from now, these colleges will work out 30 to 45 ideas. As a company, Progress will help them in defining the product, review the architecture and design. These projects do not require too much of funds. All they need is their (students) ideas and their sweat equity,” he added.
Progress Software is pushing the institutions towards encouraging third-year students to generate ideas during this summer itself, besides paying an internship to them to continue working on the same through their final year.
At least 20 groups (each comprising three students) were expected to be completing their projects through their final year. The institutions have already agreed to consider the short-listed ideas as their final-year projects, Loganathan said, adding there were social and professional angles to this initiative.
“If some team members plan to give up after their final year owning to risk appetite and decide to take up a job, they may join us. A priority over others will be given to them because of the 12-month richness of their ideas. At the higher-end, if they decide to stay, we will have these students as partners developing solutions using our technologies,” he said.