Thiruvananthapuram: Startup Village Collective (SV.CO), India’s first digital incubator for college students, has launched its Product School programme with leading healthcare company Carestack as Anchor Partner in Kerala. The initiative, considered trendsetting move to make creating technology products an attractive pursuit, would offer job guarantee with double the salary as compared with that currently offered by IT services companies, said a SV.CO statement.
Shilendra Soman, an alumnus of College of Engineering Trivandrum (CET), will lead the Kerala Campaign to select student developers who will get to be part of SV.CO Product School. “The need to launch the Product School emerged from the fact that we have not been able to build successful campus startups” said Sanjay Vijayakumar, Chairman, SV.CO, today.
“To engineer world-class software products, students need up-to-date industry knowledge .The Startup Village Collective Product School has been launched to teach students this knowledge and skills required to build world-class startup products and create engineers who can work in startups that compete at a global level” he said.
Admission to the Product School, already open here, will be for student developers who form teams and compete in a coding challenge to build a website that displays crypto-currency prices. All students who qualify the coding challenge will face a personal interview, based on which the final teams will be announced. The programme, starting in March, will be for six months.
A total of 50 to 100 students will be accommodated in a batch and the fee will be Rs 1 lakh for each student. Scholarship up to 80pc will be provided for students and women will get 100 percent scholarship.
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 for all batches. Selected teams will receive access to the SV.CO online platform and training to the best industry skills and knowledge to build software products. On successful completion of training, the teams will get top placement offers with minimum starting salary of Rs 6 lakh which is double the salary that IT Services companies offer and can go up to Rs 12 lakh.
“A critical mass of software engineers who can build software products that can compete globally is the biggest missing link between the potential for India and Kerala to be a world class startup ecosystem and the dream becoming a reality,” said Vijayakumar.
For giving a concrete shape to the first of its kind project in the country, Startup Village Collective is partnering with Carestack, a leading healthcare startup in Kerala which has raised over USD 10 million from Accel Partners, the early investors of Facebook. The company has the potential to become a billion dollar company and compete globally with public listed companies in the US healthcare market.
“For our start ups to succeed, we require not only the capital (money) but also the best engineering talent in the world. We are aiming to support the Product School programme that will make innovation tremendously attractive for those college students who have zeal, drive and appetite for building globally marketable products,” said Arjun Satheesh, Head of Operations, CareStack.
Satheesh said the country’s higher education ecosystem is currently not creating engineers who understand software products, global markets, team collaboration, great design and customer empathy. “Companies like Carestack have become one of the best funded startups in Kerala and for us to realise our full potential, the only limiting factor is great engineers who can build and compete globally” he observed.
“That is why Carestack is joining SV.CO as an anchor partner to solve this human capital deficit problem jointly. The Product School is an initiative in this direction,” he said.
SV.CO is an evolution from the highly successful PPP model Startup Village and along with partners like Facebook, Paytm and Carestack aims to build a world class digital learning platform for engineering students to build world class technology products.