IIIT-B, NEN team up to help freshers

It was a first-of-its-kind event. IIIT-B and National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) jointly organised Placement Day Zero, to officially bring start-ups together with entrepreneurial job seekers from the institute.

NEN Placement Day Zero, which was held a day before the institute’s official placement process, brought together over 80 students from the graduating M.Tech batch and 10 pre-screened start-ups to interact with each other in a low-pressure environment. Participating firms included 8KMiles, AllGo Systems, Mango Techno, Mobisy, Perfint Healthcare Devices, ReadiMinds, redBus.in, Tyfone and Yos Technologies.

The start-ups were identified and screened jointly by NEN and the IIIT-B Placement Committee to ensure a focus on high-growth businesses, and ensure that they would be able to offer competitive compensation packages.

In demand

Laura Parkin, Executive Director, NEN, said, “We are delighted to have IIIT-B host the first NEN Placement Day Zero. NEN student members at IIIT-B have become very tuned in to entrepreneurship since IIIT-B joined NEN in 2006, with the number of graduating students joining start-ups going up from two per cent to 20 per cent. The Placement Day Zero activity goes a step further to support this development. But there is another side to this. NEN’s goal is also to help start-ups meet the challenge of finding competitive young talent, and expose young people to hands-on entrepreneurship experience in high growth firms, making them better equipped in situations faced by first-time entrepreneurs.”

S. Sadagopan, Founder Director, IIIT-Bangalore, remarked, “Today, there’s a changing mindset towards start-ups, and rightly so. They are seen as innovative, wealth creating, and interesting places to work in. At IIIT-B we have a new breed of entrepreneurially minded students seeking start-up experiences. We have been working with NEN to generate this interest and further develop students’ skills and knowledge. NEN’s Placement Day Zero is a tremendous step towards achieving this goal, and I am happy that IIIT-B is taking the lead to host this event.”

Two parts

Day Zero was structured in two parts: first, a crash course for students about start-up work and life. Speakers included Paddy Raghavan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of 8Kmiles.com; Sridhar, Chief Executive Officer of Techvoyant; and Sunil Maheshwari, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mango Techno.

The second part comprised a series of activities that allowed students and start-ups to interact with and interview each other. The highlight was Speed Dating, a unique session that allowed firms to pre-interview potential candidates, and for students to meet with every start-up.

Each side screened each other in a four-minute per “date” format. The session concluded with NEN identifying student-start-up matches based on mutual consent, and assigning interview slots.

Phanindra Sama, co-founder and CEO, redBus.in, says, “Attracting talent is one of the biggest challenges faced by a start-up in its growth phase. Most graduates don’t have the right perspective.”