As part of the Ryerson Global Innovation Challenge (RGIC), three teams of Ryerson students are taking an experiential learning trip to India to tour the local innovation ecosystem and learn more about their target market.
Here, Debra D’Cunha shares her experience meeting various industry experts in India. Her team’s project, called Water-G, combines innovative technology to achieve water filtration and transportation while generating electricity.
Our experience with the Ryerson Global Innovation Challenge has taken us on a journey that one can only dream of. Over the past week we have met with a line of amazing talent which consists of innovators, investors, government officials, entrepreneurs and educators, all of whom created a space of open dialogue and first-hand experience.
Today we visited three groups, all with contrasting experience and knowledge. Our first meeting was with Unitus Seed Fund who invests in start-ups that innovate for the masses in India. Their motto is to “prepare for growth via seed funding, strategic & operating support, providing critical connections, and securing growth capital.” Their insight into social ventures was highly beneficial as it provided us with further insight into the early stages of social entrepreneurship and the challenges that can emerge.
Our second meeting was with Villgro where they believe that change starts with an idea and when ideas become reality they transform lives. Villgro helps support innovators by mentoring, inspiring, funding and incubating the early stages of social enterprises. Our meeting was successful in that they believed Water-G could be a social enterprise that could be implemented and funded.
Our final meeting was with Akvo and was undoubtedly the most exciting part of our day. Our visit to their lab created a sense of excitement. It was inspiring to see this not-for-profit foundation in action. They presented a demonstration in their lab with the use of open source, internet and mobile software and sensors. They work to improve infrastructure and services, for disadvantaged populations.
Life is an endless process of self-discovery and for every day we live this journey, we discover what was unknown to us. This journey and the people we have come across have given us a piece of knowledge that was otherwise hidden.
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all” – Aristotle
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