A unique open innovation platform, One Billion Minds connects Corporations and Non Profits looking for innovation to Students and Alumni of top universities able to solve problems in Design, Engineering, Business, Science, Computer Science and Social Innovation.
Creating opportunities for both ends, students as well as corporates and non-profits, One Billion Minds established in 2009, has found instant takers.
“Corporations and Non Profits work closely with us to post challenges on our unique platform and at the completion of each challenge awards a combination of significant financial reward and professional recognition to the students with the winning solutions. Recognition includes awards, interview opportunities for exciting full time and internship positions.”, explains Sanjukt.
The fact these challenges are open to students and alumni of universities across the world makes the business even more viable and Sanjukt says that the vision is to continue creating value and innovation opportunities for their key customer – students in universities. “Our vision in 2010 is to give students in Indian universities a unique opportunity to exercise their minds on real problems for global Corporations and Non Profit Organizations.”
Sanjukt shares that what started off with one person alone working on personal funds, an office from a friend and the intent to contract from prospects has now grown to six people with two offices in London and Kolkata but adds with the same modesty that all of this to him simply translates into a further sense of responsibility to the people who left their jobs to plunge into his business.
With a recent investment round, there are plans for further expansion but Sanjukt still takes pride in the decision to refuse an investor at a time when there was just $10 in the bank. It helped that his friends and family supported his decision and the investor finally saw his reasons and came to an agreement.
“I can flirt with ideas now that I am 34 and married,” jokes Sanjukt adding in earnestness that his moment of pride is when his daughter often asks him when he would allow school children to also participate in solving problems of the world.
When prodded about achievements, the modest man only says “Our Chartered Accountant deferred his fees and our Printer, who runs a Rs 1 crore business, delivers our business cards personally. I think what we have achieved is here is a sense of excitement in the value we are creating amongst all our stakeholders.”
Unpretentiousness at its best, Sanjukt finishes by asking us to have a look at his email folder titled ‘love’ which contains letters that the community writes to them and by advising entrepreneurs to ‘hire late, sell early’.