What you call an activity where in, students convert their ideas into products and sell to make profits! In a real world that is what an entrepreneur does. We call it PUPA!!. PUPA is an Accelerated Entrepreneurial Experience for students, held every year at BVB College, Hubli. Students describe PUPA as –‘an opportunity to practice innovative thinking and to step out of the limits of books’. Over 700 students of first year to final year of BVB and also students from 8 other institutions participated in this product development and marketing event called PUPA. This year over 190 teams showcased their products they built, sold and more importantly, shared their exciting journey of 4 weeks with visitors.
It all happened on the morning of Saturday, the 17th October 2015, an exhibition named PUPA-2015 was unveiled at the KLE Technological University at the BVB campus in Hubli. PUPA is an accelerated entrepreneurial activity. This was the fourth such annual event at BVB campus and surely the biggest. PUPA is a time bound activity that enables and empowers students’ product ideas.
PUPA started in 2013 based on the suggestion given by Mr. Shekhar Kulkrni, an entrepreneur based in Pune. Shekhar is a strong proponent of letting students learn by doing and the experience resulting out of it. BVB took his suggestion seriously and designed a program around his concept of ‘idea-to-product-to-market’. PUPA has a simple concept wherein, students make their teams and are given a seed capital of Rs. 500. Each team is to build a product of any kind they choose. The only condition is that the product must be sold! And during the PUPA exhibition, they need to share their product building and marketing experience they had under PUPA, with other students and visiting entrepreneurs.
PUPA 2013 was the first such event where in 20 teams participated and the exhibition was held in a 600 sq. ft college class room. Since then, PUPA has been extremely popular with students and successive two PUPA events in 2014 (yes, we had two such event due to students’ request,) we saw more teams taking part. ‘PUPA Returns’ 2014 had 80 teams registered and 72 product demonstrations.
At PUPA 2015, students from other institutions around Hubli were encouraged to participate. We had registration of 241 teams. Over 210 teams were given a seed capital of Rs. 500. After 4 weeks, students were all excited to share their entrepreneurial experience. We soon found that we did not have a big enough room to hold all these participating teams. And we did it here!
The exhibition was inaugurated by Prof. Ashok Shettar, Vice Chancellor of KLE Technological University. A score of faculty, students and parents (not officially invited) attended. Every product showcased, was characterized by the unique innovation. The effort that was put in making the products was clearly visible at the exhibition. The products ranged from technical brilliance to artistic extravaganza.
The participants were mentored throughout the process of problem definition, customer needs, market analysis and finally realizing the product.
Super selfie-360, Steady-Cam, Dusche hand showers, Drop-coin Get-changed, Hologram, Neurospice were some among these attractive range of products demonstrated. Almost all the teams had successfully marketed their products to understand the economies involved in product building.
PUPA 2015 witnessed one other unique development – participation of BVB alumni who volunteered to fund 24 teams. They also travelled all the way to Hubli to be a part of this exhibition. They interacted with students and created an environment of true peer to peer learning.
PUPA is a non credit activity and is deployed by CTIE, (Center for Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship), which is working to build entrepreneurial eco-system in the North Karnataka. The student wing of CTIE, named as ‘Team-MIB’ (Make in BVB) manages all such activities on BVB campus. Many nation building measures like- ‘Make in India’, ‘Stand up India- Start up India’ have been instrumental in kindling the sense of entrepreneurial mind set in students.
Since its inception in 2012, CTIE currently has 34 technology companies on BVB campus. It has generated over 230 engineering jobs and is planning to support 70 start ups by the end of 2017. It has given away over 18,000 sq. ft. of incubation space and is very proud to disclose that 23% of these incubating companies are founded by students and graduates of 2015.
‘…I learnt a lot from the event organized called PUPA 2015. Unfortunatley I had not participated in the event but, I came all the way from Dharwad (16 kms away from Hubli) even though I had that day off and it was worth it! I helped my friends market some of the products and also bought some products and have ordered for some. My sincere request is, please do not stop this, we need PUPA 2016’
A KLE IT student wrote ‘…had a wonderful experience. Thanks to you all…We can certainly call PUPA as an Awesome experience anytime. Surely we loved it!’
One other student shared ‘Thank you for such a fabulous opportunity. We learnt a lot of things. We gained a lot more than what we expected…’
In a formal feedback, students shared that through PUPA, they learnt –
• Team work
• Marketing Skills
• Problems involved in Manufacturing a product
• Pricing strategies
• Self Confidence in turning ideas into tangible products