[Super Student] Abhishek Kumar, Picasso of tech business models
An ability to look into the future and a will to adopt new technologies are some important attributes of of tech entrepreneurs. And our super student this week is one such fellow with many acclaims to his name.
Abhishek Kumar is a good example of someone who may not have an ivy-league credential, but that we can say could be more by choice. As he was among the group, who were shortlisted for their ideas by MIT. He was one of 31 students who presented their startup idea at MIT Accelerating Information Technology Innovation Scholar (AITI) event at Mumbai.
Abhishek is a final year Computer Science student at Harcourt Butler Technological Institute(HBTI), Kanpur. He is currently working to promote his startup BlueCheque, which is online micropayments platform for internet users. While we were discussing his achievements till date, one of his statement took me by surprise. Abhishek had completed his schooling at the age of 14 while the standard age in India happens to be around 17 years. As he continued with the details, he said he joined college at an early age, but never once did the age factor become an hindrance. “I had skipped two classes in my early schools and my teachers also approved of this.”
College saw his interests developing in the field of computer and mobile technology. The same year he also tried hacking into the Airtel server using the old Nokia model of 1100. And was partially successful in performing a SQL injection attack into the same. Early in the college, he started volunteering as Student Ambassador at Mozilla and also started contributing on various case studies for Mozilla.
During his stay at HBTI Kanpur in 2012, he was selected as a Student Ambassador at Google, and started conducting various online and on campus events on behalf of Google. In the same year he organised first National Level Panel Discussion on “Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)”. The event had speakers from Wikipedia , Columbia Law School and Times Group.
Stink at various business models and plans
Before putting his fork on Blue Cheque, Abhishek had created and presented business plans at various institutions and before many venture capitalists. This includes the B-plan competitions at IIM Lucknow, IIT Kanpur, IIT- BHU, NIT Allahabad, IIIT Allahabad, IIIT Gwalior and among the VCs, he has presented to TiE UP, Mumbai Angels, Seed Fund and India quotient. He had also handled the role of team leader successfully in many international B-plan competitions.
During our discussion, he elaborated one of his business models which was based on cloud service testing. According to Abhishek, the idea was to use distributive computing over the internet and test the Cloud services. “I had proposed to use the computers which are often left unoccupied at various colleges and institutions. These computers could act as users by providing a test model for various cloud services,” explains Abhishek.
At college he continues to hold many key positions for various departments. He played a crucial role in formation of Computer Science and Entrepreneurship Club and was also responsible for the creation of computer science club ‘ActivX’ at HBTI Kanpur among others.
Abhishek accelerated his startup “BlueCheque” at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AITI at IIT-B and was also recognized as “Honorable Mention for Hardest Working team”. We asked him what prompted him to start BlueCheque and he says: “many of my friends would ask around for debit cards when they wanted to purchase things online or do a mobile recharge. But they would often face rejection since not many possessed debit cards. At that moment I thought of creating something that would help them.”
BlueCheque is a campus driven program in its beta phase currently. It is an online wallet for micropayments across internet and is currently targeting smartphone users. On being asked what is his goal behind BlueCheque, he profoundly says: “Our goal is to empower smartphones so that you can perform one click online micro-payment using any of your internet enabled device and not have any dependance on credit or debit card. It will also save you the hassle of filling up long forms.”
BlueCheque aims to provide users with easy online microtransaction by presenting them a safe and convenient way to deposit funds into their BlueCheque account or other existing online shopping accounts and mobile wallets.
BlueCheque operates through special scratch cards which can be purchased from local recharge store. Each card will have a specific code that has an associated amount, on submitting this number to BlueCheque, customers can deposit the fund to their accounts and can easily use this money to make online micropayments and transfers.
Abhishek is targeting his college students as the initial users of BlueCheque and then he will expanding to the Delhi NCR region.
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