Student-driven initiative FlyUP is inspiring teenagers to take up entrepreneurship
An initiative by Divyansh Agrawal, Krish Talwar, and Satyam Mehta
‘Age is just a number’ and a group of teenagers from The Amity International School, Noida have proven this statement right by their actions. Inspired by the struggles they faced respectively in their entrepreneurial journeys; these young innovators decided to help fellow student entrepreneurs who dreamed of changing the world with their ideas. They decided to establish a platform to provide aspiring business leaders to get access to funding opportunities, develop key skills from their one-of-a-kind curriculum and avail invaluable mentorship. Presented below is the interview of these change-makers who have successfully turned their vision into reality.
Q. What was your project/idea all about and what inspired you to come up with it?
A. We describe FlyUp as a launchpad for all young changemakers who are ready to defy all odds to build the startup of their dreams. From pitch events and innovative curriculum to mentorship and investment app, we’ve got it all covered for student entrepreneurs.
All of our core team members had experience leading startups or initiatives previously and after enduring our set of entrepreneurial struggles, we found a big gap between what students wanted to and ended up achieving. We decided to fix it.
Q. What were the challenges you faced in the process and how did you overcome them?
A. We faced a number of challenges on the road, which we feel helped us get where we are. But, the most significant challenge was to create a perfect comprehensive solution for budding entrepreneurs.
Not only did we have to ensure that we cater to both aspirants and entrepreneurs already in the journey but also that we provide services that were not easily available to them and were actually beneficial.
We were able to resolve this problem through a multi-fold approach where we had numerous brainstorming sessions, calls with mentors, and engagement sessions with aspirants.
Q. What have you been able to achieve with the idea till now? How has it significantly impacted society?
A. For us, the most significant achievement was to start a continuous loop where young aspirants break their boundaries to produce impact and end up inspiring others to do the same, giving rise to an innovative student ecosystem.
As for our work, we’ve held a number of pitch events where students got mentorship and seed investment, launched an app for students to connect with mentors and fellow entrepreneurs, built a community, and started a campaign for the underprivileged to grasp entrepreneurship.
We even partnered with IIT Delhi and IIT Jodhpur E-Cells and Entrepreneurs@Berkeley (UC Berkeley E-Cell)
Q. What are your future goals for the project? What is your vision?
A. We are currently working on bringing traction to our FlyUp app that has been released on the Google Play Store. We aim to popularize the app further and make it the go-to platform for aspiring entrepreneurs and mentors.
Moreover, we plan on partnering and collaborating with more NGOs to spread entrepreneurship in the backward sections of the society and eventually stimulate the rural economy further.
Q. How did you divide the roles amongst each other? What skills were unique to each of you that made this collaboration a success?
A. Diverse skill sets were needed to help initiate a change in the student ecosystem- perfect for our team who had it embodied and demonstrated through previous endeavors.
Divyansh took the role of the C.E.O where he exercised his managerial and entrepreneurial competencies to lead the change as the forerunner. Krish utilized his technological prowess while also catering to the general needs of the startup through his all round nature as the C.T.O. Satyam directed the operations as the C.O.O through the interplay of his organizational and analytical slant.
Q. How did you manage your academics along with this project? How would you suggest fellow teenagers to create a balance?
A. To pursue our passion along with routine school academics, we employed a variety of tactics.
We all understood the concept of opportunity cost, through which we all tend to cut down on other areas of our routine time like social activities etc to devote time to our passion- which was as exciting as the activities we cut down upon!
Then, we prioritized tasks in advance. According to our academic schedules and other tasks at hand, we planned our realistic moves and goals well in advance and tended to stick to them.
We think finding a balance is not too difficult, as long as you are passionate. Try prioritizing all your chores and maintain a positive spirit within the team so that there is no time wasted due to slacking!
Q. What would be your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?
A. Our advice to aspiring entrepreneurs would be to be open to new experiences, whether good or bad, and enjoy every step of the learning process. We even recommend taking up some challenges just for the sake of learning!
Moreover, never be afraid to ask for help wherever needed. Remember, the answer to a question never asked is always no! People are ready to offer more than you would expect.
Q. What are your thoughts on the need for raising innovators in this nation?
A. Our nation has great potential, but that can only be exercised if we start nurturing leaders and innovators right from the foundations. We firmly believe that to form a continuous loop of mind-boggling innovations producing global scale impacts, students should be taught practical skills right from middle school.
All pre-existent problems in the ecosystem and economic sphere can be solved efficiently, with more concentration on students.
To highlight some of their other achievements, BuildUp (Pitch Event) Summer ‘21 was a huge success as it reached 150+ students over 8 countries wherein the top 20 startups were offered mentorship and seed investment from corporates, IIT E-Cells. Moreover, they had 3 NGO partners for their campaign for underprivileged children and 5 institutional partners.
It is right when they say, ‘Where there is a will, there is always a way’ because these students have defied all odds to solve an issue they believed was of utmost significance and with a self-driven attitude and leader-like demeanor, they overcame all challenges that came on their way to establish a platform that would ignite the spirit of entrepreneurship in multitudes of teenagers!