For a young mind, coming up with ideas may not be the problem, but finding a mentor who can guide him is. It is a common phenomenon that most students come up with ‘original’ ideas, however, their flight of creativity usually crash lands due to lack of proper support.
Realising the importance of providing such guidance, a city-based entrepreneur, Vishal Kandukuri, started a not-for-profit organisation, V Adept Energy (VAE), through which he is pairing up potential innovators with accomplished guides from across the globe.
“People think that financial constraints are responsible for the lack of innovation. But I found that it is the lack of guidance that hinders one from pursuing research. We are trying to address this problem through this organisation,” Mr. Vishal said. If proper guidance is given to children, their parents often come forward to fund the projects, he observed.
Mr. Vishal’s insight is based on his own experience. “I wanted to take up a project for my engineering in 2009, but could not find a proper mentor. After this experience, I teamed up with few friends and started VAE,” he said.
VAE works on a simple principle. “Students submit their ideas through e-mail or can request for a mentor at www.vaenergy.org. This mail is then forwarded to mentors who give their suggestions and decide if a particular idea is viable,” Mr. Vishal explained. Once a viable idea is identified, the team also tries to rope in financial support. “If students are unable to fund their own projects, we try to negotiate with companies that are working in similar fields to provide financial help,” he said. Till date, more than 27 projects have been completed and six more projects are in the pipeline.
Applications have been submitted to obtain patents for these 27 projects and once patents are obtained, students can negotiate with the companies or can commercialise it on their own, he said.
VAE mainly deals with projects in physics, automotive and aerospace engineering and renewable energy. “Though we are addressing students’ problems, we have been receiving requests from senior citizens as well. We want to create a platform which can boost innovation,” Mr. Vishal added.