A four-day Annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2021 ended on Sunday, 28th February, organized by the Entrepreneurship Cell (ECell), functioning under the aegis of Rajendra Mishra School of Engineering Entrepreneurship, IIT Kharagpur. This flagship program of ECell which is one of India’s largest student-run non-profit organizations was inaugurated by Prof. V.K. Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur on 25th and was addressed by Hon’ble Cabinet Minister, Smt. Smriti Irani, Padma Bhushan Dr. V.K. Saraswat, and Mr. Kiran Mani, MD, Google. This year’s theme has been “Festival of Fortitude” and it is the first time the event was held online due to the ongoing pandemic.
Smt Smriti Irani said “The fact that the summit encourages more and more youngsters to come forward with innovative ideas, the fact that many can dream and achieve them on this platform gives us a great cause of celebration. There is a need for emphasis on women being central in this startup ecosystem and today when I look at Atmanirbhar Bharat, I can say that it will rise on the shoulders of women”. Professor Virendra Kumar Tewari, Director of IIT Kharagpur stressed on ‘Local for Vocal’ and elaborated on the address by Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister who emphasized the need for affordable technologies through an innovative mindset in the recently held convocation.
The summit had a plethora of events including competitions such as GES Pitchers, Intern Carnival, Co Founder’s meet, and Intel AI Entrepre-Neural with six-figure cash prizes. Several insightful keynote sessions were from industry stalwarts like Mr. Kevin Goldsmith, Chief Technology Officer at Anaconda, Larry Kim, CEO of MobileMonkey, Mr. Shiv Khera, Renowned Author, and motivational speaker and workshops from experts like Mr. Shrehith Karkera, Co-founder, Finshots or S.Manohar of VDMA India. Speakers from various parts of the world took part in workshops, such as Dr. Larry W. Cox, Prof. Raghu Echempati and Prof. Jonathan M. Weaver from the US, Dr. Robert E. Wendrich from the Netherlands, Dr. Luciana Pereira from Brazil or Mr. Venkata Gandikota from Finland. Various startups participated in the Intern Carnival, where they offered various internships in fields as diverse from Business Development to Computer Vision, to students from all around the country. Co Founder’s Meet was a great event where various budding entrepreneurs met like-minded people to discuss their ideas and explored possibilities of a venture together. Connecting the Dots was another great initiative in the GES’21 where representatives from various Entrepreneurship Cells from Indian Universities participated to discuss modalities of improving the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The closing ceremony consisted of keynote sessions by Mr. Amitabh Chaudhry, MD & CEO, Axis Bank, and Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India, where the latter talked about the priorities of government and said “A Self-reliant economy is built on capabilities, Capabilities themselves are built through competition. ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ is different from earlier attempts as it relies on the empowerment of the private sector and has a much higher chance of succeeding” He also talked about various reforms and waivers offered by the government and how they will impact the nation and create assets while focusing on sustainable economic growth at the same time. The participation level was quite high with over 100 leading investors, 300 plus startups, and more than 1500 college students from different parts of the country, besides faculty members of several institutions.