Tweetup on Startups and Education with Aditya Mishra

We’re pleased to announce that the Adianta School of Leadership and Innovation will be hosting several tweet chats with its advisors and faculty over the coming weeks, beginning this Friday. Follow @AdiantaDOTorg and the hashtag #adiantas to follow and participate in these conversations on innovation, education, creativity, learning, and much more.

Our first conversation is with Aditya Mishra, the Founder & CEO of SwitchMe, an innovative web based service that helps people switch from one service to another. He is also the co-founder and Managing Director of Headstart Network Foundation, India’s largest network of early stage entrepreneurs. In addition, Aditya advises several early stage entrepreneurs and incubators on issues of product development, sales and strategy. All this, along with his several years of experience working at the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), make him one of the best people to talk to about the state of innovation in India, the necessary ingredients for a robust startup ecology, the problems that most startups face, and how to overcome them.

Here are some thoughts from an article that Aditya had written for the Design Public blog some months ago, comparing the state of innovation in India with the state of our Cricket team:

Strangely, the story of Innovation in India also has the same elements!
• 1. 2 billion people (not 1.4 billion) and still very low innovation output whichever way you measure it – inventions, patents, start ups, new products etc. Indians have won the Olympic Gold equivalent (actually higher I think!) of innovation – the Nobel Prize but most of them have been outside the Indian system.
• Indians are “study oriented” and not problem solvers. Education system encourages rote learning and following instructions. Innovators get suppressed / weeded out.
• Politics, biases etc also stop innovators. There are “clubs” which promote its own members or favored ones.

The engine to create innovators – training and environment to practice skills is completely missing. However, entrepreneurs have started to be portrayed as Heroes in mainstream media. Role models have also started emerging –be it Infosys or Tata Nano or Flipkart. Therefore, we have the fodder but not the engine.

So, if we have to draw a lesson from the mixed success of cricket, it is that we need to train people in skills required for innovation. This is in 3 parts:
• First part is a curriculum focused on innovation skills
• Second part is hands on application of such training
• Third part is absorption of such trained people into the game of innovation

Join us this Friday, the 18th of January, 2013, at 4 pm to be a part of this conversation on the Startups, Innovation and Education in India.

About Ayesha Vemuri

Ayesha Vemuri is responsible for thought leadership and outreach efforts at CKS. She has undergraduate degree in Visual Art from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where she also studied such varied subjects as biology, literature and the humanities. At CKS, she is responsible for curating the Design Public blog, managing our various social media platforms, organizing Pecha Kucha Nights and contributing to the intellectual content of the Design Public Conclave and other CKS initiatives. Find her on twitter at @ayeshavemuri.
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