Rakesh Verma, India’s original digital map data product maker and the founder of MapmyIndia, a Make in India, Deep-Tech company which specializes in Maps, Navigation, Tracking, Analytics, GIS, GPS, IoT & location technologies has pledged INR 1 Crore towards strengthening the Incubation and Innovation ecosystem. Well-known for its students and alumni startups, 17 of BITS alumni-led startups have raised $700 million in past few months. MapmyIndia will further support promising student entrepreneurs by mentoring and advisory, workspace, seed/angel funding and incubation to help accelerate their ideas.
“I am indebted to BITS Pilani, a generous giver, my almamater has played a key role in shaping me personally and professionally. And it gives me great pleasure to be part of this unique initiative – BITS Pilani Incubation and Innovation Centre (BPIInC). In this pandemic hit scenario we will churn out job creators rather than seekers – a class of professionally Aatmanirbhar students via Mentorship, guidance, funding and incubation. BPIInC will be a legacy builder, one that will have a lasting impact on the future genrations of the bright and talented alumni that will walk through the hallowed precincts of this great institution, says Rakesh Verma, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, MapmyIndia, a BITS alumnus, class of 1972.
Prof. Souvik Bhattacharyya, Vice-Chancellor, BITS Pilani, said, “What MapmyIndia did in 1990s, despite a lack of support system really inspires us at BITS – it’s our commitment and ambition to support innovators on the campus with the resources they would need to be successful. With Rakesh’s pledge, we are moving a step closer to our intended goals.”
This initiative comes close to the heels of the recent path breaking partnership between MapmyIndia and ISRO to create India’s indigenously developed most advanced geospatial services, as a shining example of public-private partnership to enable Aatmanirbhar Bharat, and the Government of India’s historic announcement of the opening up of geospatial industry to bring the benefits of geospatial to the entire economy and society. MapmyIndia is quickly making moves to leverage them advantageously by speeding up innovation and increasing the output of the Indian geospatial sector.
Prof. Arya Kumar, Dean, Alumni Relations, added, “BITSian entrepreneurs and the alumni network has been widely acknowledged as one of the most helpful innovation networks, with support available to anyone with a viable idea. Rakesh Verma has been a long-standing contributor to this network, and his collaboration with the incubation efforts at BITS will help scale outcomes to newer heights.”
The funds from MapmyIndia shall be used for augmenting the upcoming Incubation and Innovation Centre at the Pilani Campus being built at the cost of Rs. 15 Crore – a 20,000 sq. ft. space for innovation labs and co-working spaces for enabling students and faculty with their ideas to change the world.