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SV.CO Teams up with Facebook to Give Virtual Reality Edge to Indian Students

School of Innovation will cherry pick cutting edge technologies for students to learn and build products for the future

India's first digital incubator for college entrepreneurs, SV.CO, has teamed up with Facebook to announce the School of Innovation program that helps engineering students in India make the most of the rapidly emerging tech ecosystem. The VR Program in School of Innovation, the first area of focus as part of the program, will provide a platform for the best young minds in India to build their Virtual Reality ideas into next-generation, globally marketable products and services.

“Virtual Reality and its applications are poised to disrupt a lot of industry areas. However, there aren't established business models, products or markets anywhere in the world today,” said SV.CO Chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar. “In addition to large companies and growth stage startups, we want young technology enthusiasts in engineering colleges to be the early adopters of this bleeding edge new technology.”

“Startup ecosystem in India is plagued by the notion that they are copycats of US models. We need to change this perception that our startups only hop into the bandwagon while others blaze the trail,” he said. “The VR platform, in throwing open uncharted areas, provides us just that opportunity. And we are happy to have partners in Facebook who recognize the potential of bright 18-22 year olds in Indian colleges in working wonders with the new technology.”

Facebook, which already partners with SV.CO as the Official Silicon Valley Host Partner along with City of Menlo Park and US Embassy in India, has been helping mentor student founders on their exploratory visits to the US, as part of the SV.CO learning program.

Facebook’s open source React framework powers the SV.CO platform and has been helping young founders build and design great user interfaces for their products, along with Facebook Developer Circles that help founders connect with the developer community and the startup ecosystem.

In April this year, Facebook also announced the launch of React VR, a new JavaScript framework that lets developers build virtual reality experiences with the help of JavaScript, which can deliver it to a wide range of end users, including ordinary netizens using web browsers.

The VR industry globally is still in a nascent stage and Indian campuses could be among the breeding grounds for big original ideas in this space. “At Facebook, we are committed to working with India’s growing technology talent and developer community to help catalyze the next generation of start-up success in India. The School of Innovation program is a step forward, in realizing our vision of building an ecosystem that inspires innovation and empowers young talent to build products using emerging technologies such as VR that will shape the future of businesses,” said Satyajeet Singh, Head of Platform Partnerships, Facebook India and South Asia

“We want the students to be aware of the scope of VR and its potential disruptive applications across sectors such as Education, Healthcare, Commerce etc. Proper knowledge, along with guidance, will give rise to successful product ideas from the engineering youths,” said Suma Sundararajan, Vice President (Operations and Partnerships), SV.CO. “And this partnership with Facebook, will strive to do exactly that, recognizing the potential of bright 18-22 year olds in Indian Colleges coming about original and breakthrough products with the new technology.”

The School of Innovation Program, beginning December 2017 and until January 2019, will see top 10 student teams selected from millions of engineering students across the country via the #StartinCollege campaign.

Selected teams will be on-boarded to the SV.CO Online Learning Platform for a six-month programme that includes online and in-person learning to progress their idea, build a low and high-fidelity prototype and finally launch to customers. Successful teams will be selected and given an opportunity to represent their product in front of a leadership panel on demo day, to be organized at Facebook India office.


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